Noble Metal, Best of Class

RIP Kenneth Arrow, 23 August 1921- 21 February 2017


Bizarrely charged – not unlike Alfred inventing dynamite — often polarizing Noble Laureates taught me at Harvard and Stanford.

The repellant Brit who co-discovered DNA — their shared award had the prestige of a “once in a generation Prize” — was notorious for looking-up skirts bottom of a steep auditorium he always requested as his Harvard undergraduate lecture classroom…

A Stanford Medical student doing a cardiology rotation, I sometimes lunched in the clinic’s empty waiting room with one who’d been honored in both chemistry plus peace; his goofy smile offered strawberries or oranges or capsules of vitamin C…

Handfuls of Laureates invited us to tea; I sensed the Administration required it.

Several belonged to our family’s synagogue.

Two were father and son: the former nearly threw a microscope at me when as a freshman I said the Dean of Admissions told me (a non pre-med) during a recruitment interview I wouldn’t need to use one; the latter was a college classmate then faculty colleague.

None were women though a hematologist-aunt made the short-list, as did a neuroscience asshole uncle.

But the magnetic gentleman I recall most fondly — an “impossibility theorem” was named after him — instead of resting on his laurels remained active “to be of use” developing fundamental theorems of welfare economics that gave ballast to progressive government action.

This kind soul had a seemingly insatiable curiosity.

Although not particularly close, we were friends of the same couple so had infrequent cordial dinners. Once sitting next to him, I explained that because of G6PD deficiency, which led to my red blood cells breaking up if I took the required anti-malarial prophylaxis Primaquine, I couldn’t accompany my son on New Guinea field-work.

Listening intently, he didn’t say a word.

Two years later, he mentioned casually that he’d gotten interested in malaria.  I read his article, “Making Antimalarial Agents Available in Africa.” His accomplishment demonstrated cost effectiveness of artemisinins derived from Chinese wormwoods to treat resistant malaria: that gave ammo to adding it as a benefit to a national HMO I ran.

When his equally substantial wife of seven decades passed, the professor-emeritus shrank from view.

Last night I saw this once straight-as-an-arrow attractive figure at a holiday party — now he hunched over while his caregiver wiped drool. Intimates smothered him with respect and love; those in outer circles like me whom he didn’t remember stopped by for a smile; others figured he was our host’s demented relative, simply gave wide birth.


by Gerard Sarnat

Gerard Sarnat has won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize and been nominated for Pushcarts. Gerry’s authored four collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014) and Melting The Ice King (2016) which included work published in magazines and anthologies including Gargoyle, American Journal of Poetry (Margie), Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, OCHO, Brooklyn Review, Lowestoft, Tishman Review, Tiferet, Fiction Southeast plus was featured in New Verse News, Edify, Poetica, Songs of Eretz, Avocet, LEVELER, tNY, StepAway, Bywords and Floor Plan. Among other publications, Deronda Review, San Francisco Magazine, Radius, Foliate Oak, Dark Run, Scarlet Leaf, Good Men Project, Veterans Writing Project, Anti-Heroin Chic, Aois, Poetry Circle, Tipton Review, Creative Truth, Harbor Village, Indian Ruminations, KYSO, Flagler Review, Poets and War, and Ordinary Madness’ debuted feature sets of new poems. Mount Analogue selected Sarnat’s sequence, KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY, for distribution as a pamphlet in Seattle on Inauguration Day 2017 as well as the next morning as part of the Washington DC and nationwide Women’s Marches. In May “Amber Of Memory” was the single poem chosen for Gerry s 50th college reunion symposium on Bob Dylan; the Harvard Advocate accepted a second plus Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Johns Hopkins accepted concurrent pieces. In August Failed Haiku presented his work first among over a hundred contributors. In January 2018, among other acceptances, six Sarnat poems were featured in True Living Documented Relentlessly [TL;DR], his work was front page in International Journal Of Modern Poetry, and pieces were accepted by Australian, Israeli, Canadian and Indian publications.

Five-Fifty-Five Ball Park, Summer

The Slush-Yo-Mouth truck pulls up

in the magic half-hour between

softball and baseball tournaments

with cobalt blue paint chipping off

as the truck bounces off the potholes

and split-in-half bats left on the dirt

road leading into the park from the

county highway. A Snow Cone in

purple parachute pants, no shirt,

and oversized aviator sunglasses

riding a neon green and burnt

orange skateboard is painted

to the right of the serving window,

using a mini version of itself as

a microphone while Wu Tang Clan

screams they’re nothing to fuck with

from the open back doors, singing

along but quit when the youth pastor

walks by, terrified he’d tell our coach

and we’d have to run laps around

the field. The younger kids pull chunks

of paint off and throw them at each

other when the games start back up

and their parents turn back to watch as

the pitcher panics about the left-handed

batter who just moved to town. We

watch and throw hunks that missed

the intended kid back into the impromptu

fighting pit to see how much more

chaos we could cause. We wait in line

behind the kids who run up with a couple

of dollar bills in one hand and boiled

peanuts in the other even though

they’re still sticky from their morning

moon pies and R.C. colas, covered

in stains from the black sand we called

dirt and clay from the unfished ball field.

We change behind the Port-a-Jons that

smell like weed, Ax body spray, and puked

up corndogs from our cleats into flip flops

and softball pants into cheer-shorts, ignoring

what our mothers said about how girls

who roll their shorts more than once

end up like Glenda the hooker.


by Betsy Rupp


Betsy Rupp’s previous work appears in Emrys Journal and has been accepted for presentation at the Southern Writers Graduate Conference. She is currently working toward completing her MFA in Poetry at Florida State University. Previously, she earned her MA in English Literature, with a concentration in Poetry, from Mississippi State University. She focuses her work on exploring the beautiful strangeness of her small Florida hometown.

Michael Hower

Placed Alone

Placed Alone

Isolation Favors Reflection

Isolation Favors Reflection



— These images were photographed at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA


by Michael Hower

Michael Hower is a photographer from Central Pennsylvania where he resides with his wife and two boys. His experience with digital photography began five years ago. Over that time, he has amassed a resume of over a hundred exhibitions and publications. His work has been featured in shows at the Pennsylvania State Museum, PA; Biggs Museum of Art, DE; Masur Museum of Art, LA; Marshall University, WV; and the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, OH. He had a solo show this past fall at the Rehoboth Art League entitled “Abandoned Places.” This series of photographs examines the abandoned prison cells of Eastern State Penitentiary. The Penitentiary subscribed to a theory of rehabilitation that proscribed confinement and a lack of interaction with other inmates. This ran counter to the prevailing system in the United States at the time where harsh physical punishment was the norm. Ideas of church and religious experience are embodied in the building and served as a guide for how prisoners should be rehabilitated: hallways looked like that of a church; low doorways required one to bow, seek penance from a greater power; a single small skylight lit each cell, a proverbial “eye of God.”


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