It's All In The Game
by A. Charles Corotis


It's All In The Game: A selected Collection of Gay Essays
on Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Mnemosyne,
Assayed from the Provocative Pages of
New Jersey's Literate Review Weekly, The Argus

By A. Charles Corotis



Remember back in 1905
(Millions of men are still alive)
You showed a marked proclivity
For Quantum Relativity;
'Twas then you stupefied the sages
With the discovery of the ages,
Unveiling for posterity
Your celebrated Theory
That changed the philosophic notion
Of time and space and mass and motion,
Demolishing in one fell swoop
Ike Newton and the ether group;
A stroke of genius bold and sheer
That set all Science on its ear,
Gave birth to the atomic age,
Made electronics all the rage,
Solved the Mercurial ellipse,
Doppler effect, the sun's eclipse;
Velocity, energization
Owe to you their elucidation;
Defying custom and convention,
You introduced a fourth dimension;
What fundamental change you wrought
In every physicist's deep thought!
But tell us, with no ifs or buts,
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How did you keep from going nuts?

Billions, trillions, aeons, and such,
Such enormity's just too much;
Much as I've a questing brain,
Brains can stand just so much strain;
Strain in excess makes minds pop;
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein,

How did you keep from blowing your top?

A mathematic matter, you say, 
Starlight bending a certain way; 
Cosmologists with telescopes 
Corroborate your youthful hopes; 
Two billion light years is their sphere 
(Six trillion miles make one light year), 
How far then are the farthest isles
When measured in terrestrial miles? 
Into your mighty mind you delve:
"Twenty-one zeroes after twelve." 
Simple as that, but tell us, do, 
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein, 
How do you keep from throwing a shoe?

A million earths make up one sun, 
But saying that, you've just begun; 
A billion suns make one great star 
Like billions in that pearly bar, 
Our luminescent Milky Way, 
Girdling the sky in bright array, 
But least of galaxies that race 
A trillion strong through outer space, 
Andromeda, the rest, all gyral: 
Elliptical, spheroid, and spiral, 
Dense nuclei that seem to merge
Into one while contiguous splurge, 
Yet trillions of miles separate 
Each from its nearest cosmic mate; 
Tell me, though I may seem quite hazy, Confidentially, Dr. Einstein, 
How do you keep from going crazy?

With solemn verve you threw a curve 
Deflected by light's rays; observe 
How 4-dimensional space-time 
Continuum is warped by clime; 
Oh, you're, a cutie, that's a fact, 
But confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How do you keep from getting cracked?

Cloud-veiled Venus, Martian dunes, 
Banded Jupiter's dozen moons,
Saturn's slight concentric rings 
Drenched in dense ammonia stings, 
Hapless, frozen Pluto strays 
Four billion miles from solar rays, 
Poor tiny Mercury, top-side seared 
By quenchless fires fierce and weird 
But bottom caught in deepest freeze, 
Sub-zero thousands of degrees; 
A comet called 1910-A 
Comes each four million years this way; 
All this and more a stunted ray 
In that great disk, the Milky Way; 
We laymen hardly grasp it, do we? 
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein, 
How do you keep from going screwy?

The solar system's but a speck In our great constellation's trek, And yet the Way itself is just, In all of space, a dot of dust; Epsilon Aurigae, I'm wise, Exceeds 3000 suns in size; Multiple stars: Persei, Mizaró Sand grains compared to those afar; The purple Pleione, Bet Lyrae, Sirius and his faithful Tray, Polaris's trio, Castor's six Adorn like jeiuels our visual styx; Still all are nothing measured by The whole illimitable sky; I realize my gray stuffs fatty, But confidentially, Dr. Einstein, How do you keep from going batty?

Ether is fluid, we were told,
Or else elastic solid; hold,
It isn't so, you postulate,
And all new rules you formulate;
Our old beliefs you've sure impinged,
But confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How have you kept from getting unhinged?

Centauri Alpha's our first star,
Trillions of miles from Palomar;
Blue Rigel on Orion's knee
Takes us a thousand years to see;
Betelgeuse too, yon sparkler red,
Up closer to the giant's head,
Floats in astronomy's domain;
But what of sur-celestial reign
Far out beyond the billions bright
Caught in the telescopic sight?
Are nebulae and spectrum sure?
Which plus or minus curvature?
Does other life besides ours grace
The vast drained depths of time and space?
Nobody knows, but you're at work;
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How do you keep from going berserk?

Cosmos, orbits, satellites, 
Asteroids' eccentric flights, 
Magellanic Clouds, of course, 
Centrifugally held by force; 
Incandescent hydrogen 
Blazing ceaselessly since when?
Self-consuming Phoenix fire 
Raging through its gaseous pyre 
'Til, in fifty billion years
All's burnt out, and disappears, 
Prey to flaming capers orgial, 
Back we'll be in times primordial,
Darkness' inchoative mass, 
Unregenerated gas, 
Raw protoplast of creation, 
Swirling 'round in wild gyration; 
Doesn't the prospect make you sad? 
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein, 
How do you keep from going mad?

Many are the aid beliefs
Shattered on your mental reefs;
Mass is changeable, you found;
|Light's velocity is sound;
Oh, you've made a lustrous way, sire,
But confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How have you kept from going haywire?

Pythagoras, Ptolemy 
(His Almagest is there to see);
Copernicus and Kepler too, 
Galileo plagued like you,
Gamov with his ylem (grand, that), 
Michelson and Morley stand pat; 
Do you find Euclid abusive,
His geometric rules delusive? 
Then what of Hubble, Humason, 
Building their Law in unison? 
Gravitational field: old hat? 
Interferometer, wrong bat? 
Is space indefinite or finite? 
What's the velocity of skylight?
Who is right? Who's to say? 
Who on earth can call the play? 
In scientific hands I'm putty;
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein, 
How do you keep from going nutty?

How'd it happen? When'd it start?
Are we splitting far apart?
Where's it end, the universe?
Is it round or flat or, luorse,
Saddle-shaped, curved wrong way out?
What's the temperature, about?
In the billions, so they say;
What's the farthest point away?
Does it take five billion years
For light to reach us from some spheres?
Do unreplenished gases doom us,
By 50,000,000,000 will consume us?
Is what we call an hour really
Fifteen degrees of arc moved freely?
When with such knowledge, sir, you're saddled,
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How do you keep from getting addled?

Why can't you view the star-strewn vault 
Without pedantic grains of salt? 
Restrict your after-dark employment
To mere zodiacal enjoyment;
Why seek to strip the mystery 
From life's unfathomable key? 
Mark but the beauty of the bowl's 
Globular clusters' aureoles; 
Let Antares and Aldebaram 
Enjoy their planetary harem, 
Let constellation Monoceros 
Cope with its own destructive Neros;
Must each celestial revolution 
Bring thoughts of stellar evolution? 
Let Nature work, her wondrous way 
Safe from your savant's expose; 
Leave unmolested worlds to divell 
Locked in their gravitating cell; 
Relax; forget your prying craft; 
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein, 
How do you keep from going daft?

Your fame's undying, I suspect,
Thanks to your super intellect;
Of only eight immortals rated
Through history, you're one, 'tis stated;
You've had your heyday, bright and palmy,
Though how you've kept from going balmy
These fifty years of cerebration
Since your report's first publication
Is something far beyond my ken,
Just like the precepts from your pen;
If I were you (Heaven forbid!)
I'd long ago have flipped my lid;
Enjoy life now, don't be a gooney;
Confidentially, Dr. Einstein,
How do you keep from going looney?