Thursday, February 2, 2023

Raspberry Shakes of Cultural Noise

Fully five thousand years it was,
Or more, the anonymous flesh
Stayed anonymous in the ice,

No importance to its death, no
Importance to its life. Once found,
Stories sprang into existence,

And what was nothing made profound.
The stories of how it was found.
The stories of studying it.

The tales reconstructing its death,
Final few days and hours of life,
The anonymous made famous,

A global cloud of aftershocks
Following the discovery
Of what is now called The Ice Man.

You can purchase a monitor
For amateur seismography
At home, called a Raspberry Shake.

People around the world plant these
In their classrooms, homes, and gardens,
And they form a community

Of Shakers (not to be confused
With the community of faith),
And they can track the way earthquakes

Race around continental plates,
But since their devices are small
And shallow or on the surface,

They pick up on the vibrations,
As well, of local disruptions
And cycles of activity—

Stadium concerts, passing trains,
Nocturnal underground mammals,
Whatever makes some small plot shake—

And these they enjoy telling tales
About to share with each other,
Events they call Cultural Noise.

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