Lone Ranger, or, The Boson Speaks

NGC 6302 Hubble crop mod detail

Lone Ranger, or, The Boson Speaks

That which has no substance
enters where there is no space.
*

No signs of a lone Higgs particle have been detected in previous experiments. **

1: OPEN SESAME

here we are at the magic gate
eager to chat you up and
show you round the cave

I am the face you do not see here
the mouth that speaks words
that no one can know or hear I am
what falls out left over from chasing
things at massively high speeds
the thing that doesn’t matter
like a typo with consequences
or blithe sex with supersymmetry
the rock star goddess
of your current universe

while you look for me, I am looking
for my partner particle, that teasing
shadow racing past your panning
the nothing that follows something
when somewhere is everywhere

indeed I am here but you won’t find me
if not knowing me is necessary
if where you suppose me to be I am not
right now I am behind the construction
guy admiring nearby highspeed curves

we do not know who is whose shadow
though we know what shadows are
the mystery in some fanatic’s bomb
the meek assistant with the notebook mind
the kitchen table particle accelerator
the container darkness steps out of
the day everyone should have stayed home

but me, I’m just excitable
riding the sidecar of your head
you turn, I turn, my parallel your peripheral
I am hiding out where you suspect I am
so I can show you what believing hides:
you cannot find anywhere somewhere
I am alone because we are

2: PAR-TAY

if the pokey particle shows up late
after messing with the mechanism
and collapsing all that can collide
everyone but the clean-up crew
will miss the scene that breaks out
after closing time—lots of
good-natured jostling and quarking
a bit too rowdy for the standard zoo

meanwhile gliding homeward in a night
so full of dark it’s clear, you’ll muse
well, no one saw before before
no one will see after after—but damn!
was the thing elusive only because
we could not find it? did we think it was
there because it thought we were here?
is it even now circling our heads
an erratic nimbus unseen just because
we can’t see everywhere at once?

yes, you may halt friendly neutrinos
for questioning at icy checkpoints
but no one is stopping us
you may see our pilot wave as we
cruise into the harbor, but
I am the boson on this boat
we will arrive massively late
at a party for which you may have
the wrong address

3: DON’T LOOK NOW

I am dogging you so close that
I could be you, say, last summer
swimming in a lake of brisk dimensions
you cannot know because you are
the lake, because imagination is
an unmanned satellite and what
conveys cannot also illuminate

still, only human to want signs
that make sense instead of
sense itself since something that
one day can look benign can
arrive the next like full-on fate
a riptide, or perhaps a sleeper wave

look up now, the sky is your mind
pricked with conflagrations safely past
unlike your wonder, a fire inside
burning through this present moment
with its grace

*Tao Te Ching, trans. Stephen Mitchell
** New Scientist April 2008

altered image;detail from Hubble NGC 3602, http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/nebula/pr2009025b/npp/all/hires/true/ NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

2008-2012

2 thoughts on “Lone Ranger, or, The Boson Speaks

  1. I am delighted that you were inspired to write a poem about the Higgs Boson – I still don’t fully understand what it is but I am more open to it after reading this! Thanks.

    Like

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