“The Age of Enlightenment” by Michael Harmon

The machine I call myself.
The mechanism known as me.
The clock or timer that I am.
Running down and always was.

Music in a garbage truck’s
Thud of a dumpster in the morning,
Or the way another wakes me,
Makes far better matter to consider.

Sculptures of meaning’s cumulus,
Graffiti flashing from side streets,
The blueprints to love’s architecture,
Or its rubble, gains more attention.

Despite prevailing fashion’s fabrics,
Or any particular mix
Of spirits in Regression’s glass,
Progress will be made.

This too will be what it was:
no more than particles of light,
no less than heavy rolling waves out far.
That atoms in the stones endure.

Democritus would not deny.
But I don’t believe Rousseau
Will introduce himself,
Or Spinoza is making ready nothing.

What was part chosen and part chance,
What I called myself, won’t matter.
Only to some,
And only for awhile.


Michael Harmon holds a B.A. in English Literature from Long Island University and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University. Some of his work has appeared in North American Review, The Raintown Review, The Adirondack Review, Gravel Literary Journal, and Stoneboat.


New Plains Review
New Plains Review
New Plains Review is published semiannually in the spring and fall by the University of Central Oklahoma and is staffed by faculty and students. We are committed to publishing high quality poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction by established and emerging writers. New Plains Review started in 1986 as a student publication of the Liberal Arts College of Central State University. They solicited and published manuscripts from students of the humanities. Over the years, New Plains Review has expanded its range to invite writers beyond the university community. We receive hundreds of submissions from all over the country, and the authors we publish range from well-known to the soon-to-be-discovered.
Alec Whetsel
Alec Whetsel
Contributing Editor for New Plains Review.

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