J. HOPE STEIN is also the author [Mary]: (Hyacinth Girl Press), forthcoming in
2012. Her chapbook Light’s Golden Jubilee was a finalist in the 2011
Ahsahta Chapbook Contest. Her short film, The Inventor’s Last Breath,
based on her full-length manuscript about Thomas Edison, was screened at the
2011 Cinepoetry Festival at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur.
INVENTION OF THE PHONOGRAPH
& The Inventor has his artists
pencil 60 straight-edge diagrams.
Blueprints—Blueprints to the machine shop
where pulleys of leather belt & oil
hang like film strip from the ceiling.
Sound wave shakes
the stylus & sound groove
rocks the wax diaphragm.
& The Inventor says, we are here to testify
on the concreteness of flesh—
Rodin lets every part of the body speak
by using only his thumb.
& The Inventor has his breath experts
mold 30 different breeds of diaphragm.
& The Inventor says, we are here
to facilitate experiments of the flesh—
Darwin’s variation on horns, knobs & ornaments
in five different species of beetles
& an endlessly improvising sea.
& The Inventor & his brass metal philosophers
sculpt 30 different class of horn.
& the Inventor says, the motivation
for evolution is dollars & problems—
An ear is just a mouth
you can listen from. & love,
love is the great antelope
we make of each other.