A pair of two. A dimer of two science-inspired songs. Adapted for a Poetry Slam. The event took place on November 20, 2019, at the BeerBazaar Levinsky in Tel Aviv, Israel, and it was themed “Rise & Shine”. I decided for two central motives: Meiosis. Mitochondria. To make the lyrics more accessible to the lay public, I’ll not only link to the Wikipedia entries of the technical terms, but I’ll also provide some explanation about the artistic process. A video of the performance can be found here.

The first piece is about meiosis, which is a process required for seed generation and sexual reproduction. It requires, however that the genetic material (“chromosomes”) in our cells is reduced by half. Pairs of chromosomes are separated generating haploid daughter cells with a single copy of all genetic information. This set is incomplete, given that all our cells usually contain a pair (i.e. two copies) of every chromosome.

The second piece is about mitochondria, the powerhouses in our cells, which generate energy. I got inspired by the tower of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Divide and conquer

Replicating loneliness leaves nothing to confess.
A nucleus is slumbering until the shofar’s morning.
Turning to stochastic bursts makes lingering the worst.

Relationships with premisses inhibit oogenesis
A vision blurred, pinching alert.
Division post insertion, despite the germ-aversion.

Uncertainty not compromised since this pain was fertilised.
How can we survive tonight as long as ghouls divide?
Ancient anxiety revived in me.
Two loners meet and then recede.
Without repeat. Incomplete.

Forces teared their chromosomes apart,
right in two, right from the start.
Metaphase caused dissonance.
Meiosis shatters cohesins,
it puts the shackles right back on.
Haploid upon routines,
and all the seeds are one.

The Tower of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Original (left), edited (right).

Impermeable membranes surrounding me in that… cell.
I’m permanently caught in vain, with no way to excel. 
The organelles will never work, they lost their energy,
and so did I lose all what makes me, all that let me… be.
Catabolism, breaking down the macromolecules,
the factory has long shut down, no process that it fuels.
Millions of those atoms forming bonds for ATP.
If proton pumps will not expel the toxin, there’s no need.
Eating myself alive is dying, necrosis at extremities.
Mitochondria concede defeat to all their enemies.
Suddenly, there is a spark that lights up a great fire.
Flames diffuse through cytoplasm, temperatures climb higher.
My desire for that torch was expanding infinitely.
Rise & Shine, the torch as torture hurting me thus intimately.
I am burning, inflammation, smoke becomes the cloud.
The torch brings light into the darkness while I’m fading out.

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