Westgate: Electrical Engineering (13 Things I Do Not Write About #12)

(Revised 12/4/2017)

Rhythms of Algorithms,
seismic devices, sizing up
aspiring university guys I
partied with in St. Louis,
WashU engineering students.
A thousand times, or more,
I was told what they studied,
a game of slap cup later,
the beer washed away
whatever memory fibers had
reached out and grabbed
their words that was then shoved
through my eardrum, just to
shortly absorb in electric files
out of my mind..
This is also true of my non-beer drinking
years. Anything mechanical,
mathematical, practical, I couldn’t
handle beyond bare minimum
knowledge to make an A, then
that same knowledge forever faded

Complicated concepts, piecing together
words, tectonics of various material,
chemical components, fabric of a laptop,
“Practice, theory, then practice”
the recording tells me,
also emphasized is cognizance, memory,
An explanatory model of traffic in Boston by a bowl-cutted lecturer
on a podcast introducing me to object-oriented programming,
classful of eager minds in a stale earthy toned atmosphere,
Texted my dear Bostonian-migrated friend, Allison, former
roomie from the Lou, to see if I remembered correctly that her
boyfriend, Leo, is indeed an electrical engineer,
turns out, yes, memory is correct.

Shifting information, wheels on light, circuits, modules,
new sensing capabilities,
probability and planning,
systems, smarty-mcfarty ignition of
machines linking even the most monotonous to a stimulated state,
skating through wires, robotic hypnotic sonic
glitters of framed terminology scooting along the prophecy of Tesla,
sensors and dispensers, conventions that cringe through quilted talk on
building blocks sparking images, glimpses searing,
tears materializing and surprising
accumulating via screens,
blueprints, uncertainty,
plenty of numbers, jumping material aplomb,
plum out of unluck,
continuing contingencies,
working resolutions
in a series of equations.

Then practice.

Animal House of the Loop:
The Westgate apartment.
Where in went an engineering student
and out came a new age John Belushi,
Mental exercises, labs devoid of sun,
playground of the intellect, selective programming,
scientific agreement on fleek,
pedagogical reading, voluminous,
frictious situations invoking preposterous calculators
determining, terminating the sulfur smell in the bathroom.
House’s grout, clout coming from a louse,
Couch emanating strange scents most
likely emitted by dried up hops, or vomit,
Anish hopping on some girl who doesn’t
give a fuck whether or not
he’s smart and Indian and horny.
Open-ended, design, declining, rejection, perplexed texts,
instigated conversations dire, mired,
laced with mirthy
clever flirting phrases and emojis,
letting go of methods tried and untrue, falsities, emulsifying,
calcifying, sighing and good-byeing the
copious hookah, deck of cards, sticky textures, poorly tasted jokes,
tearing down that low-income place, optical illusional space,
aside from inebriation’s lens, it didn’t quite have
a fully flat horizon when you looked at it
from one end of the hallway
to the next.
Fizzing shots, after shots,
and yes plural, not “shot,”
the host was sure of that.
Simple, cool, tools, software, context,
Notations hierarchical, circular systems,
tuition speaking figures
structuring a knowledge, pronounced
on the mount of IVY league lecterns,
taciturn, sojourn, running and making fun,
tummies drumming the frothy hypothesis.
Sheets of spilt, shattered, crumbs, napkins,
piling and distributed on the termite-worn wooden planks,
ridiculous and prolifically “anything goes” evenings spent
rooted in our twenties cycling through
theory, then




The topic of this poem started with one of my list of 13 Things I don’t write about- electrical engineering.  Again, I threw this particular topic on the list on a whim.  I don’t know shit about advanced maths/sciences, so I wanted to do some research on it for the sake of learning, and to see where associative thoughts would lead when writing a poem about it.  Within a year after finishing my under grad, I moved up to St. Louis with a few college friends who had also recently graduated.  One of our friends, a short ornery Indian man by the name of Anish, was like the godfather of hosting the most stereotypically satisfying college parties.  We met him during our undergrad years and he moved to STL to attend WashU’s engineering program.  And I always forget which one- mechanical, electrical etc.  In the poem I mention my friend, Allison, who met her current boyfriend through Anish because they were in the same or similar program at WashU.  Allison had lived with Anish for the first couple of years in STL before her and I moved in together.  The apartment they had lived in was given the name nickname Westgate.  And it was the place you went to get stupid.  It was the nucleus for engineering students to go and not care how messy it got because their host, Anish, encouraged the most irresponsible and raucous behavior possible.  It was awesome.  I also incorporated notes I took from a college introductory electrical engineering lecture I watched on a podcast.  It might’ve been the most brutal lecture I’ve ever listened to and reinforced the fact that I am not cut out to understand electric engineering.  But I liked a lot of the vocab the professor used- it helped to refurbish my brain’s current batch of words that have been floating around up there too much.

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