I’ve done an occasional Poetry Post-Mortem on my own poetry, and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve invited other poets to send me their own. This Poetry Post-Mortem comes from Jake Tringali.  


Note: This poem was first published in Poetry for the Neon Apocalypse, Jake Tringali, Transcendent Zero Press, 2018

all the way down

she felt the weight of the world upon her shoulders
she was only waking up

she stuck her head out of her shelljake
she stretched out
she yawned
she opened her eyes
she yet remained in darkness

she heard a voice gurgle above her
she swiveled her head upwards
she asked, “who is that? where are we?”
she heard, “stop moving. i am on top of you.”
she asked, “why are you on top of me?”
she heard, “where else can I go? besides, there is something on top of me.”
she asked, “why is it dark?”
she heard, “what else would it be?”

she let time pass
she observed no improvement

she heard a distant planet, high, high above her
she swiveled her head even more upward
she panicked
she swiveled her head downwards

she saw her place in the transfinite cosmos
she tucked her head back in her shell, and cursed the fool gods

Autopsy Report
When I wrote this piece in Los Angeles in 2015, I was interested in writing an anaphora, and using repetition to bring focus back upon a single entity, over and over. I don’t normally use such repetition in my writing, and I’ve never written a poem like this one since. Admittedly, it’s an odd bit.

I like science fiction, and I once read through my local library’s sci-fi stacks in a teenage summer. I ‘ve also studied physics, especially cosmology, and have always been fascinated by the book The First Three Minutes by physicist Steven Weinberg.

jakebookA lot of my recent poems are about the apocalypse, but this poem is my fresh take on the birth of the universe.

Stephen Hawking, and others before him, tell a tale about an alternate cosmology, which I will relay briefly here. There was a scientist lecturing about gravity, and how the earth revolves around the sun, and how everything exists within the galaxies and the universe. At lecture’s end, a little old lady stands and defies the scientist, stating: “This is all poppycock. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist is perplexed by this question, but says, “Well, what is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

Why not?

So I placed myself into the mind of one of these turtles, and wrote a poem about the perception of futility and randomness in a universe we can never understand.

A quick note. The lines “she let time pass / she observed no improvement” were probably clipped from writer Douglas Adams somewhere. Perhaps from one of his text adventure games, but I cannot be sure.

And you, dear reader, whenever you possibly can, should also curse the fool gods.

Author Bio
After living in Los Angeles for many years, Jake is now back in his home city of Boston. Runs rad restaurants. Thrives in a habitat of bars, punk rock shows, and late-night adventures.

Jake writes about the edges of society, and frequently about the things we no longer see, such as the hidden letters of the alphabet. With a strong background in cyberpunk and the hard sciences, he has a focus on the intersection of technology and human interaction. The reader will find him equally comfortable inside a mosh pit, or enjoying a 12-course dinner service.

Links and Photos
Twitter: @jakethepoet

Book sales link: https://amzn.to/2MXEBZ2


I’m always thrilled to add to the Poetry Post-Mortem collection. If you’re a poet and would like to play along, contact me at mattbetts@mattbetts.com. I’m looking for published poems that you’d like to post and do a little bit of analysis on. Thanks!