Flamenco at the Thirsty Bear. Jim Gunshinan

About Jim Gunshinan

 • The Artificial Heart
 • Heroes
 • Geography Lessons
 • Blue Cornflowers
 • Living by Water
 • Upon This Rock
 • The Man Dad Brought
    Home from the War
 • Physics
 • Black and White
 • Not the Mom We Were
    Used To
 • Nothing Sacred
 • Spring
 • Transformation
 • Please Straighten That Up
 • Up from Depression
 • What the Body Wants
 • Compassion
 • Commute
 • Kiss Me
 • Starter Castles
 • Flamenco at the Thirsty
 • A Nature Poem
 • Portrait of a Woman from
   the Gardens of Egypt in the
   First Century



The Artificial Heart

It was mostly plastic and titanium.
My research involved
an ultrasound transducer

a thin stick, half the diameter
of a cigarette. It made noises
humans can’t hear

aimed into fake blood flowing
around a fake circulatory system.
The sound waves, bat-like, bounced off

tiny plastic blood cells.
There was a piece of quartz glued
to the end of the transducer.

It shook out noise when it was shocked.
A computer listened
and made a map of blood flow

in the pumping chamber
of the artificial heart. When I was done
measuring shear stress and stagnation

could write my master’s thesis
leave the basement of Hammond Building
the little piece of quartz

fell off the stick in front of me.
It lay there, exhausted and silent.
There was nothing to sound out

but the movement of skin, muscle and bone.
I unplugged everything.

I had no idea where I was going.

  © Jim Gunshinan, 2013


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