Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

  • Mood:

Poem: "lacquerware"

This poem came out of the April 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by siliconshaman who wanted Edopunk.  I hunted around in the Edo period and its technology, eventually turning up some interesting tidbits about lacquer.  The poem has been sponsored by laffingkat.


an accident in
the chemistry of lacquer
would change everything

urushi lacquer
is quite sensitive to light,
easily damaged

how short a step from
"damage" to "a photoprint"
that was the first change

Edo artisans
developed technology
based upon layers

they traced circuitry
with singular strands of silk
pressed between lacquer

chemical changes --
static electricity
no longer stayed put

they wrote whole programs
with silk and water and char
layered into chips

the first computers
resembled tea bowls and trays:
polished perfection

their meticulous
nature became as famous
as their courtesy

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing

Recent Posts from This Journal

  • American Infrastructure

    The government has released reports on the infrastructure of each state in relation to the recent Jobs Plan. Most states got C or C- grades. None…

  • California Homes

    This newsletter talks about fire vulnerability in California homes. People love California. The problem is, most of it is not a good place to…

  • Deflecting Asteroids

    I'm glad to see that someone is thinking about putting the Umbrella up so we don't get creamed by space rocks. Bear in mind that: 1) The farther…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.