My father wrote to testify: there are only three Laws of Thermodynamics,
and this, folks, is not going to be number four.
Once there was an order to things, but it is the universal tendency of all systems
to trend towards maximum disorder. The ravens have displaced
the two red-tailed hawks from the white pine over the interstate.
Coffee only gets colder. The dog only becomes a cavitated rock-lined pit
in the yard.
When a light bulb falls in the bathroom, glass goes everywhere. It gets dark.
The evacuated space inside the bulb, that was inside the bulb, is inundated with
a single atmosphere of ordinary breathing air. That’s entropy.
The clotting of blood on my feet, platelets and fibrinogen and factor XIII weaving
a lattice to keep me whole, that is iterative feedback against the second law, life.
What does it look like here and how do I feel? The sun is too bright for blue eyes
adapted for a lid of clouds. The white walls are covered with a fine black soot of
diesel exhaust and abraded tire tread, held in place by the positive charge of the
When the crimp in the exhaust train cracks the engine block, the block will not
heal itself. No Darwin boggling vertebrate clotting cascade, factor XII to XI to IX
to X. Machines only do what they were designed to do, what they are maintained
to do. Metal fails. Oil varnishes. This vanity burns.
What does it look like here and how do I feel? I write this to you from the center
of an expanding sphere sixty-eight light years in diameter. The skin of that
sphere is called the causal horizon, the further possible reach of my influence,
intentional or otherwise.