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Charles W. Brice

Things That Come in Waves*

I. X Rays, Gamma Rays, Microwaves, MRIs


How deep must we go—

past skin, past bone, past muscle?

Descartes thought the soul resided

in the Pineal gland.

A pea-shaped bleb of light

cleaves to something anterior,

or caudle, or posterior.

Eventually we are all read-out

by someone in a white jacket

we don’t know; a stranger who,

between a sip of diet soda

and a bite of peanut butter bread,


counts the peaks and troughs—

calculates the dead.


II. The Gravitational Harmonies of Deep Space


We were never a beginning, only

the other side of a collapsed star,

black hole excreta; random

whim of an indifferent singularity.

The Big Bang: the next feature

after a celestial intermission

between a gazillion cosmic films,

an astrocinematic ructus

with no beginning, no final act.

Only we end, eventually

not even a mote bowered

in some defunct god’s eye.


Our son, his world, my wife’s hand,

my myopic Everland.



III. Sound


That finds itself

then gets lost

finds itself

becomes confused

drops into splendid solitude.

Goldberg Variation number twenty five

deliquescent embryo come alive

but barely so—

the question, will it survive,

lingers throughout.

Glenn Gould’s hum carries Bach’s song

to its refulgent end.


We strive to grasp its meaning.

It eludes us now, then, and again.


IV. Weather Fronts


It can get so cold

that your soul turns to frost

like rime around a cocktail glass;

so hot that your heart bakes

your writhing lover’s back;

so rainy that retted streets

flow like the River Lethe,

your essence a flood of melancholy;

and the wind, the wind turns

your wheat field pages

like ancient sacred screeds

caressed by cowl sleeves.


Are you listening Heraclitus?

Change was all you left us.

Issue One

          August 2016

*Titles taken from The Windward Shore: A Winter On The Great Lakes, by Jerry Dennis

Charles W. Brice is a retired psychoanalyst living in Pittsburgh. His full length poetry collection, Flashcuts Out of Chaos, was just published by WordTech Editions (2016). His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kentucky Review, The Atlanta Review, Chiron Review, The Dunes Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Sports Literate, Avalon Literary Journal, Icon, The Paterson Literary Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spitball, Barbaric Yawp, VerseWrights, The Writing Disorder, and elsewhere. He was named an International Merit Award winner in the Atlanta Review’s Poetry 2015 International Poetry Competition.