Poem of the Week | December 09, 2010

This week we are delighted to feature“Changed My Mind,” by Arthur Vogelsang.  The poem is previously unpublished, but will soon be available as part of his latest collection Expedition: New & Selected Poems, due out from The Ashland Poetry Press in January 2011.  He has poems in recent or forthcoming issues of Boston Review, Gettysburg Review, The North American Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, Poetry Daily, and The Yale Review, and in the anthologyAmerican Hybrid (W.W. Norton & Co.).

Author’s Note: “My comments about the poem are, coincidentally, or perhaps what we used to call organically, the two quotes in the poem which are probably the reader speaking.”

Changed My Mind

The ionosphere is very important but too strange.
It begins about 50 miles up but not always and continues
To 400 miles
Up maybe and is lumpy or wavy not
An even circular band of both radiation and anti-
Radiation surrounding us, no,
A lumpy one.  The wireless for long-
Range communication depends on the lumpiness
For a boost or “hop” as it’s known in communication
Circles.  Of course I am telling you there are people like this.
And as you will say, or have said,
“There’s some of the ionosphere in
Most creatures and all buildings, and in some plants.
It is a requirement to be a person.”
No one knows whether the sun hates this conundrum or loves it.
The sun explodes to goose the ionosphere a couple
Of times a night and three or four times in the day.
I’ve nearly forgotten-the ionosphere is very beautiful, the
Beauty of a bad actress, and so would you goose
Such a one because you loved her appearance or because you hated her performance?
And as you have said, “When you goose a beautiful
Bad actress, there’s some love and some hate in every part
Of your finger.”  So would you answer me how could
The sun know whether it fired up the nerves in the ionosphere
Out of animal attraction or out of acting criticism?
Wouldn’t it be interesting though to
Meet a person who was so like the ionosphere
Everybody would say that about them all the time?
Yes.  The aurora borealis is a part of the
Ionosphere’s shenanigans and such a
Person as I have just spoken of is
As beautiful, strange, wavy, and necessary.