Why We Like It: “She Blinded Me with Molecular Nanotechnology”

Of all our volunteers, Lisa Summe has the best collection of pants. She’ll tell you herself: she owns more than twenty pairs. What we haven’t yet shared on the blog is Lisa’s love of opening new batches of submissions. She gets crazy excited when she sees a big stack of envelopes and, when assigned mail duty, has been known to pump her fist and shout “Yessss!” Here are some other Lisa facts we’ve culled:

  • She slings Cincinnati-style chili to hungry customers, and always gives extra oyster crackers.
  • She’s a rabid fan of the San Francisco Giants, so October 2012 was a good month for her.
  • She likes to catch fish and then hold them, looking at them meditatively.
  • She is not Lisa M. Summe, MD, a local internist.

Though we won’t turn to Lisa to treat our gout or sinusitis, we do like to hear her insights about poetry while she sits in the office, tearing through manila mountains. We were recently treated to this off-the-cuff tribute to a poem from Issue 9.2:

Lisa Summe: What strikes me about Amorak Huey’s poem “She Blinded Me with Molecular Nanotechnology” is the way the poet relates the formulaic nature of the science with (arguably) the obvious nature of a failing marriage. What is the difference between science and marriage? Nothing, really. Both are predictable.

Despite the subject matter, Huey makes us laugh while giving us pause to think about the logistics of our own relationships. And, if your relationship is anything like that of the speaker, he’s breaking your heart, too: “We need a special microscope / to talk to each other anymore.” When the honeymoon phase is over, how do you deal with your lack of pleasure? Your boredom? Your realization that science knew the outcome before you did? There should be a formula for this.

Huey’s description, even of what is tiny, along with they way he combines jargon and colloquial rhythms, give this poem its push. Huey keeps it real; marriage doesn’t protect you from anything. It’s the vulnerability of this acknowledgment that is appealing to me.

(Read Huey’s explanation of the poem’s origins here.)

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