3 Experiments That Prove The World Is Flat Poetically

My car is jealous of poetry
because it fills the garage.

Rickety card tables and milk crates
are covered with beakers, books
and Bunsen burners bubbling
away useless words.

My hands shake as I pour reagents,
mixing the smoothest line
and with mortar and pestle
compounding a slanty rhyme.

But some nights, after my white lab coat
is stained purple, the place explodes
in a brilliance that blows open the doors
of perception
— and I sigh.

I’ve always wondered how many of you, my dear readers, actually read my poetry as opposed to just pressing the Like button in hopes of reciprocation. So consider this my experiment. If you’ve read the poem, do not Like this post. Feel free to leave a comment, if you feel so moved, but do not click Like.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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60 Responses to 3 Experiments That Prove The World Is Flat Poetically

  1. No one really does that, do they?? Besides, who could bypass your poetic musings Bartholomew!! 🖋🖋🖋

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I really enjoyed this. Great title and the poem-experiment did not disappoint

    Liked by 2 people

  3. rothpoetry says:

    Very well done. You are right, when the inspiration is right it is so gratifying!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. trE says:

    But, what if I really like the poem?! Because, I really do, especially these lines:

    “Rickety card tables and milk crates
    are covered with beakers, books
    and Bunsen burners bubbling
    away useless words.

    My hands shake as I pour reagents,
    mixing the smoothest line
    and with mortar and pestle
    compounding a slanty rhyme.”

    This is why I keep the number of people I follow to a decent number and nothing overwhelming.

    I like to be able to consume the writing I read with intention and actually “Like” what I like because I like it.


    Liked by 3 people

  5. 9erick says:

    I read blogs all day. Not into books or tv that much.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sarah E Barker says:

    I really like reading your poems. This one maybe not as much as some of the others, but still very good.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. JeanMarie says:

    My years of fluviology
    have done nothing
    to help me understand
    this river of tears

    The vibrational frequency
    of the orange salvation
    soothes the savage soul
    of this beast.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Michele Lee says:

    Seems a gratifying way to end the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jsimpsonpoet says:

    Very tricky Bartolomew!
    I liked the poem and your concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. berniebell1955 says:

    That’s just it – when it happens – doors of perception flying open can be heaven or hell – just – what’s there – life.
    You’ve hit the nail on the head – again. I don’t see myself as a poet, or even as a writer as such – I’m not all that sure what I am, apart from being human – but sometimes I write something, then I look at it and I think – “Where the hell did that come from? How did I do that?”
    The lab coat can end up as a filthy rag sometimes – then sometimes – a glowing robe.
    Goodness, you set me off on one there.

    And as to ‘likes’ and all that – yes – I recognize that too. As I’m not on Social Media I don’t think I can do ‘likes’ – though somehow one turned up on a comment to one of your poems – no idea how.

    I like responses, I like interaction – but only when they are real and mean something. Sometimes I suspect that folk just go ‘ooo’ and ‘aaaa’ while not quite getting the point. I also suspect that sometimes they are seeking approval – by giving ‘approval’.
    I’m a bit of a narky old bat and have been known to accuse people of encouraging others to live vicariously through them – as folk are all too willing to do with those who are full of LIFE.

    A most excellent piece of writing. The whole idea and how you work it through. Oh aye.

    Thing is…I’m not sure I’d say I ‘like’ that poem – I appreciate it, I catch what you’re saying – I think it’s ace. I’m not sure if I’d use the word ‘like’. I’ve noticed folk putting ‘likes’ on items about quite horrid things – I think they mean that they appreciate what the writer is saying – but to actually ‘like’ what that particular piece of writing is about, would be a bit sick (not how young persons use that word – or do they still do that?)

    Words – tricksy things.

    One thing for sure – it’s going in m’blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. berniebell1955 says:

    When we visited the Hotel Biron ( Rodin Museum) we saw his ‘Doors of Perception’. I hope you don’t mind if I replace the image you used, with my pic of Rodin’s perception – as Rodin is another one who was/is full of LIFE.

    The time difference makes this a bit iffy – if you do mind, I’ll take it away.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. brittabenson says:

    ‘My car is jealous of poetry because it fills the garage’ – that’s the best line I’ve read in a long, long while! I love your experiment, by the way. I have the same suspicions about ‘likes’. So while I did like your poem and loved that first line in particular, I did not press like, to prove a point.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. berniebell1955 says:

    A bit of a witter….I’m not tech minded – Mike set up my blog for me. Folk have asked to have the posts sent to them as they come out – also have asked to be able to do ‘likes’. Neither Mike nor I can figure out how to set it up to do either of those things. I decided – if people are interested, they’ll look at it. If they do like/appreciate/whatever what they see – good.
    There are some blogs/Twitter pages that I look at because they consistently have interesting things on them – though they either aren’t sent out to me, or I can’t access them because I’m not on Social Media. I think it’s worth making the (very slight ) effort to look them up.

    The other thing is – I can’t work out how to see how many folk actually follow m’blog and I decided, well, as long as some look at it – the incremental number goes up steadily – well, that’ll do for me.
    If the incremental number stops going up I suppose that will mean that folk have lost interest, so – I’ll probably stop doing it – tho’ I do enjoy jibber-jabbering and putting ideas together.

    Basically – I do it because I enjoy doing it and if it is of interest to people or if what I say helps in some way – all well and good.

    The rest is ego.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since you’re not using WordPress, you’re missing out on some of the built-in methods for getting feedback from other WordPress users. It is very social media-y.


      • berniebell1955 says:

        Aye – I’ve been told that WordPress would work better for those things – but….that would mean spending precious time wandering the maze of t’Internet to sort out changing from Spengely fish.
        Also – I get the impression that WordPress can be a bit random and dictatorial in its approach to those who use it. Maybe – sometime when we have time, we’ll consider it, meanwhile, I’ll bumble along. Bumbling along is my Modus Operandi.

        Meanwhile….here it is….. http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16011

        Liked by 1 person

  14. luvgoodcarp says:

    That’s a great opening line, and a really effective introduction to a wonderful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Julydase says:

    I love the imagery your poem creates. You paint with words. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Stacey C. Johnson says:

    I like this one very much, Bartholomew. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Cassa Bassa says:

    Great experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Regardless of your intent, I still LIKE what you wrote…!


  19. berniebell1955 says:

    48 responses….definitely an interesting experiment.

    Re. the creative impulse. Friend Andrew is on the fifth in his series of ‘Skara’ books http://www.spanglefish.com/berniesblog/blog.asp?blogid=16010 . I asked when I’m likely to be reading it….he answered…..

    “I’ve started editing the 5th Wave so when I get to the end, I will have an ending. Doubtless there will be a tectonic, nail pulling cliff hanger! The whole story is in my head. It just needs to get out of my body.”

    I responded with your poem…which is when I saw that there have been 48 responses……

    Liked by 1 person

    • 48 comments is artificially inflated because of my dear readers who honored my request not to Like the post and still wanted to show their appreciation.

      What’s more interesting to me is that this poem has more views in less than a week than most of my work gets in a year. That might be because of the click-bait title. I’ll run another experiment on that soon.


  20. berniebell1955 says:

    Keep stirring the pot oh Warlock of Words……

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ali Grimshaw says:

    This was a fun read. Keep experimenting. I especially like the ending. The brilliant light feels hopeful to me even though there is a sigh.
    “But some nights, after my white lab coat
    is stained purple, the place explodes
    in a brilliance that blows open the doors
    of perception — and I sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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