Adventures with E.D.M.
by allen mahan
Sunday, November 24, 2002
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(Author's note: The Electro-discharge Machine [viz: E.D.M.]
is an erosion process that uses electro-energy contained in
an electric-spark discharge occurring betwixt an electrode
and a work-piece to cut _any_ material that is a conductor of
electricity. E.D.M. is comparable to lightening striking the
Earth: the "cloud" is the _electrode_; the "air" is the
_dielectric_; the "earth" is the _work-piece_. The heat
generated by this spark discharge is between 14,000*F--to--
This is comparable to the temperture of the surface of the Sun, times two. Steel vaporizes at a mere 3,000*F.)
Dexter is a scientist, in every sense of the world;
An evil-genius motherfucker with a hard-on
For all things mechanical. Over days sorting his
Dull-pennies, I got him to open up and disclose intimate
Details regarding his Life and his Work.
He caught me staring at the machine and
Timidly approached with an open book in hand
He explained it all to me in twenty minutes.
I had one, simple question (for i was a mere
"Penny-shiner Boy," and new, too boot)
"What does it do?" I asked. Dex showed me perfect
Pennies he had traced from former shiny steel.
He showed me a stainless hunk with an elephant
Carved on one side and a mustang on its obverse
(The elephant's trunk was the horse's tail; its
Legs the others' hooves, et. al., things)
"Notice this chunk of seamless junk," he held
It forth, "Note no curved lines, not one,
"All straight and perfectly cut clean; notice . . ."
I'd never--ever!--seen anything quite like it, before--
It was . . . it was . . . it was "magical!" in a way.
"How long did it take to make?" I asked.
"Seventy-eight hours and twenty-two minutes
"With fifty-six K magebits power-keyed in
"Totality," he explained to me. "Is that a lot?"
I wondered. Dexter examined me like an evil-genius.
I returned to my pennies and tried to contain my
Next thought. I could not: "We could make silver Dollars!"
No answer. I returned to my toils. "I could do that,"
Dex affirmed, "And more; Ooo, so much more . . ."
I let that sink in for a moment. He was preparing, now;
Said he was "Cutting tomorrow," and, that I could go.
"Let's call it a day, hey, son?" Fine. I left the shop.
"Do you believe in God, Mr. Dexter?" Dex nodded
And pushed his glasses back into place, again.
"The existence of a god will be proven through
"Science," Dex said, "Even the Pope admits it,"
Dex said, "I think, I don't know. Somebody
"Said that," Dex said, not turning from his work.
(He had his "special, dark-green glasses" on)
"But I seriously doubt that He ever, really will; I mean . . ."
I waited. Soon Dex had completed his tedious
Programming. "Can we make some more of those
"Coins, today?" I asked, hopefully, with great expectation.
Dex wiped his brow with the black & white checkered
Handkerchief, then, waving it, first, returned
The silk cloth into its rear-sleeve on his oily,
Well-worn and holey denim trousers.
Our eyes locked and I got the distinct impression
That Dex was prepared to commit something impulsive;
An act out of the norm and ridiculous, like, attempt to
"Kiss Me," Or some godawfull thing such as that!
I became quite frightened. Suddenly, with no audible
Sounds from Dexter, my mind "eased" as his arms
Shot out, straight, meeting my own that had
Outstretched, palms upturned, without my consent, or
Command, nor control! "Sans fear," he whispered wetly.
Into my ear while his eyes peared, then rolled back,
Skyward: "Trust the invisables," Dex proclaimed, but,
Not with his "mouth" and not with "words": he spoke
To my "inner-voice" and as I was beginning to completely
Comprehend his meaning Dex slowly rose upward
Off his feet; my palms following his palms.
My arms perpendicular with his arms! When Dex
Became completely vertical, I glanced up: our skin
Was no longer "touching," yet he supported
Himself, somehow. He must have heard me:
"Through the dielectric!" he yelled (there was a very
Loud noise in my ears; they were going to pop, curtainly!)
Dex was reading my mind and it seemed natural.
In seconds we resembled a "cosmic circus": he
Hovering above me, balanced perfectly, hand-
Standing like a Chinese acrobat! I thought I'd heard
The steel door opening and I imagined someone
Walking into Dex's shop and discovering us!
Dexter immediately fell off, dunking his right-foot
Into the kerosene contained steel container, thus
Contaminating the complex filtration system so
Critical for the E.D.M. "O, damn!" Dex cried.
I'd never known him to curse, but, then again,
I hadn't "known him" very long, at all. "Do you
"Realize what this means?" he was shouting and
Jumping and laughing like a lunitic: "Now,
"Then: we must begin again!" And, yes, i did.
I knew exactly what that meant.
A similar version of this poem was first published in Arizona State University's "little magazine" _Journal 500_, Fall 1993, and is included in my self-published 1998 book, _Grand Portrait: The Experiments & The Adventures_.
The E.D.M. is a real machine. It is used at Motorola and other like-companies where "electronics" are conceived, well made, then mass-marketed . . .
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|Reviewed by Melissa H.
|Reviewed by elizabeth bissette
|I like it - alot. I want to hear more about Dexter too, I agree with Erin.|
|Reviewed by Erin Kelly-Moen
|How enthralling, I could have read on and on, what a character this Dexter is! Did it mean you and he would be floating, in the end? Anymore pieces on the mad genius of Mr. Dexter?|
|Reviewed by na na (Reader)
|A very creative poem. Demostrates an outstanding skill level. I enjoyed the twists and turns and the nonsensical approach to writing. Great if you can pull it off, and you did. Bill|
|Reviewed by Ted Sheridan (Reader)
|I liked this and it is very good.|