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Saturday, August 25, 2007


by James Penha

Astronomers observing a distant region of space say they have discovered something truly remarkable: a whole lot of nothing. The enormous void, nearly a billion light years across, is empty of normal matter ... "What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the universe," [co-discoverer Liliya] Williams said. "It looks like something to be taken seriously,” said Brent Tully, a University of Hawaii astronomer.
--CBC News, August 24, 2007

A vast starless, spherical silence
emptied of gravity,
matter, reason,

galactic articles, amendments,
justices, bills,
and rights
(balanced so infinitely before in orbits)

spreads astronomically across this universe—
a great nothing—
from Washington to Baghdad,
Afghanistan to Guantanamo.

James Penha edits The New Verse News. A new collection of his expatriate poems, No Bones to Carry, is due out from New Sins Press this summer. Info at