Beautiful Ashes: Liz Hazen


Presented by Jen Michalski, for PANK. For a description of this guest series, click here.
Four Poems
~by Liz Hazen

Chaos Theory

You’d think disorder, anarchy, but chaotic
systems twist into something like control:
patterns algorithmic, self-replicating,

infinite. All it takes for things to turn
is a blip, a shift minute as the flutter of wings,
the opening of a door, a telephone

unanswered, the clap of voices shouting Wait!
My rage comes out of nowhere— the glass explodes
when it hits the wall, as physics says it must,

but who knew I was capable of this?
I wake each day to an alarm. Each night
I watch the neon time tick by. A person

can disappear from this equation, swift
as the click of a pawnshop trigger. The effect
is vast as tectonic shifts, mountains spewing

ash clouds, a newborn’s blue-faced breath, but how
can we isolate the cause of his departure?
Chaos gives us endless bifurcations,

the path of time from next to next, no chance
of turning back. Instabilities overwhelm
the earth: addiction, population growth,

disease, storms, earthquakes, infidelities,
and a simple pendulum with its routine
tick-tock, tick-tock. Even this sorry heart,

aperiodic after all, pounds wildly
at entrances, exits, the memory of his touch,
try as it will to keep a steady beat. Continue reading