View Archives by:


Mirrors and Magnets

Ashley VanDoorn

During this particular same, yet different, age of million-pillows
extravagance, fake fishbowl fish swim through glass-echoed
lips entering elaborate castles, fern blades fan even faster
in mechanical fan blast, and chrome cups speed florescent beams
more than could the porcelain from which people used to sip
and jitter idly. Millions of human-cell-sized mirrors, each individually

transistor-adjusted, flip in perfect unison to either the angle that focuses
bulb-light towards the screen or the tilt that feeds the absorber inside
the projector changing enticements in over 1 billion colors every five
microseconds, faster than the eye can discern originals in reflecting canopies
and vaults, where other animals see rivals or friends, but humans ask
and answer, "Do I approach or recede?" "Yes! Yes!" Before and beside
the mind the limit is wide and wilder than the walls of the citadel of Carthage
made of marble and adamant painted a hundred colors to attract armed
attackers toward the mirror-concealed rows of magnets at the top.

Is this a temporal or a spatial structure? A temporary or a palatial problem?
It's time we dial both lines doubly. Neither shape posits without opposites.
Is language the gage? Doubtless we enliven when scried by gold spiders
weaving silver webs, by ore charged to collect ore's sparks. Burning mirrors
were once capable of setting fire to an entire army. Now who's engaged?
Who languishes? In the name of loss and progress, new studies reveal

that dreams do not follow a line between poles, but leap in a field
of simultaneous occurrences. Those who said dreams only mimic life
were right. Micromirror arrays made by spinning thin coats of resists
on wafers, then exposing plots through a stencil mask to light, so when
the resist is washed away, a pattern on the underlying wafer, then etched
into and diffused, matches the pattern on the mask, mimic the sudden
appearance of sympathetic inks, such as magnetic water exposed
to sulfur vapors, which replaced cobalt letters invisible in cold
but green in heat, which replaced script in new milk, legible by coal-dust,

soot, or ash, which I use to fill the unstained troughs my boss secretly
etched on the back of a tide-pool snapshot from his latest whirlwind tour:
"Painted, are they not? What naturalism!" I've always been able
to reference his preferences: Bonus, if you can pull this mess together. A
a scrutiny-exchanging cure: ground up mirrors switched for magnet amulets.
But how to pick between many similar views? It seems window-shutters

fitted with mirrors brought the wider world in, so the Queen deems
her kingdom attractive, and is flattered in return. It seems giant orbiting
mirrors might manage earth's climate enough to continue manufacture
of poppy-seed-sized thermally deformable micromirrors multiplexing light
from triangular wedges into downstream fibers positioned at adjustable
focal points, helping reduce vulnerability of networks to failure, and allowing
electromagnetic devices to detect the slightest pressure, heat, vibration,
or acceleration, and move their parts accordingly, some parts pierced
with holes for hanging, some parts holes that hang. In perspective-desperation

I crack ice in the microwave. Am I stabilized or spinning invisibly in its frame?
Whether or not the weather changes, from head to foot my bravo-seams
are showing, a trim-system anomaly. Hyphens can't invert how opposition
extends endlessly. On the road from Spilled-Milk to Spider-Silk, I met a tyrant
for opulence and he said best is an O! you can check in and out of, and "isn't
it amazing that the sun tans us whereas fire does not, and that a diamond

does not become hot over fire, and that a magnet attracts during the daytime
whereas at night it attracts less or not at all?" Smart dust, micromirrors
with a red water-seeking side and a green water-avoiding side, can swarm
and stick to target contaminants such as cancer and relay information back to
the mesmerized. This process is observed when the green sides attach to a
of oil in a glass of water, making the drop glitter like a miniscule red disco ball,
though eventually the green facing-in sides absorb oil which seeps through
and ruins the reds, unless we train them to detach and turn their seeking
faces around to face their own invasion, thus repelling themselves away.

Ashley VanDoorn

Read Bio

Author Discusses Poems