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Advice from the Robot Scientist’s Daughter

March 19, 2010

by Jeannine Hall Gailey

After all, the moon has fallen asleep and you are alone. Try to see with my vision: the breaking of membrane, the fragile fruit withering, embryos curling within eggs. Living beings so friable, so prone to overgrowth and imbalance. Organic and inorganic: inside the rose petal, a blue skeleton. Remember, after all, that we can incinerate or incubate; that your atoms right now are smashing against the atoms of your chair. What is keeping you together? The pull of the moon, the arms of a lover, the gravity of cherry to cherry stone. Keep from being broken apart. Keep things from being broken apart. Gather together: thyroid, womb, heart. Build a nest. How, right now, can we avoid the rays that seek to destroy at a molecular level? Now I understand the sea, the great embrace, water and light moving in a wave formation. Keeping it all together.

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Poems from Jeannine Hall Gailey’s first book of poetry, Becoming the Villainess, were featured on The Writer’s Almanac and in Verse Daily, and two were included in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for 2007. Her poems have appeared or are upcoming in The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner and Ninth Letter; her essays, reviews and interviews have appeared on Poets & Writers online, the Poetry Foundation web site, and in The American Book Review. She volunteers as an editorial consultant for Crab Creek Review and currently teaches at the MFA program at National University. Visit her website.

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  1. Kitty Jospe (Pacific U)
    March 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks for posting this! Brilliant title and good tone. Love the advice:
    Keep things from breaking apart. Keep things from breaking apart.
    If said twice, maybe the advice is at risk for being broken.

  2. KK
    May 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Cliff Notes for Robot scientists’ students:

    Universal gravitation, ionic or covalent bonding, surface tension all help build bonds but can break over time. Love and Kindness can bond even stronger. Choose to bond than to break.

  3. Caitlyn Pezza
    May 14, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Awesome poem! I love the title, and after I read it once I couldn’t help but keep reading it over and over. I love the message and the way you approached the topic. I am a very young poet, and this was very inspirational to me :)

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