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2nd Draft of Vandegraff

I was expecting this poem to bomb at our poetry group meeting last Wednesday, but it actually went over really well. It also got a lot of suggestions and this is a rewrite to present this Wednesday. I'm curious to see what they like/don't like and if they have any other suggestions.


* A Van de Graaff generator is a device for producing high electrostatic potentials.
* A Jacob's ladder (a high voltage traveling arc) is a device for producing a continuous train of large sparks which rise upwards.

While in the theatre a storm raged outside.
Now we stand in the puddle parking lot
inhaling ionized air thick with the smell of still-wet asphalt
and laughing as I become a dandelion, long hair gone to seed.
I run my fingers through copper colored hair,
my head a brass ball on my body’s pedestal.
Loose strands crackle and pop.
I imagine my mane casting flickering sparks
and arcing like a Jacob’s ladder in some mad scientist’s lab,
tiny blue lightning bolts calling to their older brothers
who are busy bullying the clouds.

If your hair were pink you’d be a troll doll.
I conduct your curls with a wave of my hand;
they bow and rise as my palm passes above your head.
You grin and make silly faces to counterpart your dancing do,
humoring my mad giggling over these unexpected super-powers
We finish our game, not realizing the danger.
The car door opens with a zap of pain
from current sent shooting through my fingertips.
Then, safely seated atop rubber wheels,
our hair falls down.

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