Primed to Believe
The nurse’s smile, her willingness to chat,
is enough to convince the family that this—
her arm swings out over fountained grounds—
is not a jungle like everywhere else.
How could someone with such cheer
ever steal a quilt from the sick on grounds
that it would have a better home with her,
where it would not get crapped all over?
Poet M. A. Istvan Jr., PhD, born and raised in a functioning ghost town (now turned hipster haven), has a gift for sensing the vibrational frequencies—the earth spirits, if you will—of even the densest flesh: tree, stone, mineral. A certified (but failed) forest-bathing therapist, Istvan writes best—bestial—faded into the backgrounds of brothels, tended to by the ladies for whom his focused presence proves that men can want—can be—something more. Most people stay out of Istvan’s vicinity. His hurried step, fierce expression, and wild hand gestures while speaking (speaking in what is perhaps best described as auditory cursive) set off the insanity-detectors ingrained in us by deep history.
Art can illuminate even the most elusive and difficult to comprehend ideas. Visual rules and tightly codified visual metaphors help scientists communicate complex ideas mostly amongst themselves, but they can also become barriers to new ideas and insights. Dr. Regina Valluzzi’s images are abstracted and diverged from the typical rules and symbols of scientific illustration and visualization; they provide an accessible window into the world of science for both scientists and non-scientists.