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gramps's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 years 10 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12/16/2010


Drunk couple, you join
rail-less roller coaster cars –
elements of water, air
(one plays only for fire, Zeus' bolt)
lie flat, but
your very flatness spins
the gyre, straightens the sheet, crazes
the loop.

Link of bi-polar confusion:
your N end C's donated proton
caught in your C end N, they shed a tear;
now what's between
not single, not double,
but just enough for … life.

phi16's picture
User offline. Last seen 15 hours 21 min ago. Offline
Joined: 12/23/2008
Thank you, gramps! What a treat to find your poem, this poem.

What a wonderful treat to find your poem in the morning. Great stuff. Thank you.


gramps's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 years 10 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 12/16/2010
And thank you phi ...

plus other team members for their support and encouragement. As well, my friends at the Dublin Street Poets club provided valuable insight, especially with regards to lines 9-11, where the updated version explores the joining of the two AAs releasing a water molecule. The version I workshopped with them included an explanatory footnote I'll reproduce below. One last thing, thanks to the early folder who posted a prose-poem about "nature" back in '08 :-)

(footnote to the title) This is the planar four atom construction that connects consecutive alpha carbons in a protein. Each one of these nearly identical units of the protein's “backbone” consists of four atoms: carbon(C), oxygen(O), nitrogen(N) and hydrogen(H). Molecular nitrogen in the air is almost inert, so lightning has to disrupt the N2 molecules before the N atoms can be incorporated into organic material. An alpha carbon of an amino acid in a protein (where the sidechains live) attaches to a backbone carbon, which attaches to a backbone nitrogen which attaches to the next alpha carbon. The oxygen goes off from the backbone carbon and the hydrogen goes off from the backbone nitrogen. The carbon-nitrogen bond of the backbone (called the “peptide bond”) gets stiffness through resonance with the double bond to the oxygen, making the whole four atom system a flat approximate rectangle. This means the two alpha carbons are connected by a rather unsymmetrical mess, and helps proteins take on all kinds of different shapes.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons