A cross-sectional microcosm pressed between
two sheets of glass is merely representational, heuristic.
A civilization hidden underground, displayed, displaced
to an obvious one of alien pencils, pens, composition books.
A gooseneck lamp beams down on this specimen self-contained
amidst the disarray of Kevin’s desk.
If they toil for his amusement, martyr their whole subterranean
culture for some flip science project, they’ll never
know it (mindless creatures!).
Never know their captor’s ransom.
Kevin doesn’t give a damn about ants.
He channel surfs or whiles the time mesmerized by Nintendo,
falls in step with the rank and file
marching down the hall toward the lunchroom.
For two weeks the army has been excavating.
A collective mind has emerged from a few ounces of dirt
and Uncle Milton’s Start-up Kit (live ants included).
With painstaking fortitude and dedication they have hauled
each grain of sand up to the surface and piled it near the silo
in a tiny plastic farmyard scene.
The networks of tunnels they’ve dug
is as delicate as any anastomosis,
more labyrinthine than Derinkuyu and Kaymakli—entire cities
carved out of rock beneath the Cappadocian plain.
He went kicking and screaming on family vacation that summer
to backward Turkey, would rather have chilled staying home
to watch videos and rollerblade.
He’ll be a college kid before he knows what in the world
an anastomosis is, and older still before he know what it means
to push a boulder by himself uphill.
By Brant Lyon
Brant Lyon has practiced, practiced, practiced, and played piano at Carnegie Hall, dispensed advice from behind the wheel as a New York City cab driver, then listened to people's problems for over twenty years as a clinical social worker, eaten a guinea pig beside the ruins of Machhu Picchu, climbed the Himalayas to watch a sunrise, taught himself Arabic and opened an internet cafe with his partner in the shadow of the great pyramids of Giza.
But none of these adventures have been more challenging than writing a decent poem and reading it for people like you! He writes them, anyway, and frequently writes music to accompany them, too.
He founded and has been hosting the peripatetic and sporadic 'jazzoetry' reading series, "Hydrogen Jukebox". His publications include work in Rattle, BigCityLit, Lullwater Review, The Long Islander, and numerous other journals, and a chapbook, Your Infidel Eyes from Poets Wear Prada Press (2006). He has performed at Bowery Poetry Club, Theatre for the New City, A.I.R. Gallery, Galapagos Art Space, KGB Bar, and many other places over the past ten years.
Most recently, his poetry and art work appear in an anthology entitled, A Cautionary Tale (Uphook Press 2008), and a CD of his poems and those of friends accompanied by music composed and performed by him, Beauty Keeps Laying Its Sharp Knife Against Me (Logochrysalis Productions 2008). Both are due for release any day now. Watch for them!