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Visible from the southern areas of Australia, the Aurora Australis, like the Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere, is a display of coloured lights which appears in the night sky around the South Pole. Auroras are caused by sun spots which emit charged particles. These particles stream towards the earth and collide with the molecules in the earth's upper atmosphere. The particles are attracted by the magnetic force of the poles and produce light when they descend into the atmosphere.

I made it. I am alive again.

I am feeling


This is my heart
This is my heart laid bare by historic cold
Four days and ten-thousand miles of
Ice and razor black peaks
Wind-stripped my years erased
And now nothing to no one
All happiness the lost dream of lovers separated
By impossible place
A distance unbelievable
A truth denied
Can geography dissolve love?
Forgotten forever upon
Desolation's plain of white and blue
My heaven's gone missing
And I've lost my way to hell
This miniscule flame fluttering before death's bitter blast
When all is done and everything said
A memory of a kiss keeps the stars apart
Rising luminescent, smoke from the coal black wick
Becomes aurora austrailis
That I pray that you'll look into your winter night sky and see
This is my heart
Without you.

He is a genius, and they are all geniuses.
He is wearing the same dirty t-shirt I saw him wearing
Last November when the passes he made at the visiting poet
Made everyone blush but her.

This is the galley. This is the restaurant of perpetual night
This is the girl at the end of the world
Who wonders aloud, for there are no private thoughts here
Nothing you but only me here
Why I came back. This is so weird.

This is my mind, three hours in a Herc
Ears plugged ass vibrating against the webbing
Scenery beneath a remote ice moon of Neptune
Unnoticed by everyone but the FNGs
Whose cameras flash to illuminate a glacier the size of Cincinatti
Thinking the what am I doings
And what was I thinkings
As the webbing drops out from under me
And we start our descent

This is my mind
This is my mind on ice
Why oh why, or why.
Or how or what
Possessed me?
This is me on thin air.

They are all geniuses here.
They are capturing the spirit essence of things
The neutrinos of us that pass through worlds
They are mapping the aurora
They are measuring the icequakes.
They speak in tongues and worship gods they display
In graven equations
Iconic graphs.
I understand a percentage of their explanations
They make sure I don't understand
It's how we stay smarter than each other
This is my heart amid the geniuses and the cold

I saw Brien yesterday. I saw Stephanie.
They're winter overs. About to spend nine months here
Enduring the darkness. Reaching the core

Of me as winterover Brien says: "you would sink into a deep depression
And write a nobel prize winning novel. And we would all have to keep you
From killing yourself."

Like Hemingway
He says,
Sometimes you write like him.

The winterovers stick tight amid the departing summer people. They gather in cliques and talk about nothing. Nine months ahead of nothing. Establishing relationships and working out the particulars of life together against the elements.

They could die. Someone might die. It's happened.

There are 36 body bags on station, ready for use.
One for everyone
Minus one
Think about it.

Brien said that what he wanted to do last year, when the first plane arrived
Was to fill the body bags with snow and array them next to the skiway
And have two or three disheveled polies standing beside the bags
Next to a drum of burning oil
And as the plane landed shout a warning
You have been voted off the island

In the cold you have to pee
All the time

The geniuses are hunting for companionship
A young woman walks down the hallway wearing only a silk
Kimono. Bright purple
Something to sleep in.
A middle-aged man carries a bottle of wine and two glasses
To somewhere, not far
As if there were a corner he could crawl into
Everyone wouldn't know about
A young couple kisses, lips straining to meet lips
crossing the barrier of layers of down and polypro
Ice covered beards and frosted eyebrows
An older couple kisses professionally
They've been here before
The geniuses are on the prowl
For someone to spend the long winter night
Six months oh be mine
I am so alone in the world I came here to escape
And I will be kind and I will listen
To all of your stories
In the long dark death
We are someone.
The soul proof of absolute zero.
And stand naked at minus one-hundred
Thumbing our noses at the vacuum of space
Stardust that breathes.

All along the watchtower
They're burning off the remaining fuel
The postdocs finish the last of the scotch
And kiss amid the flames of all love gone south
They're touching stars and waiting for the sounds
When the continent divides
We'll be first or last
To know.

- South Pole Station, Feburary 2, 2006

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