Poems by Alvaro Rodriguez

Someone asked me not long ago about the source of my inspiration and I couldn’t answer that question until I sat down and reflected on my poetry. Poetry has many shapes and forms. We give the gift of poetry to the world after we release our words. My inspiration for poetry changes day after day. It is fueled by the interaction with the world. My journey is my inspiration because I talk about my experiences in life, but the real muse is love, passion and admiration.

In April this year I was invited to read during the open mic section of the Salem Poetry Project at Barrel & Keg on Thursdays. The girl that invited me was the muse for many of my poems. I found the voice inside me to give my poetry to the world. I am sharing my favorite poem below.             


I still don’t know who you are

I have many questions

I ask and wonder

Why is not Wednesday, the day I can see you?

Fiction and reality collide

Are you a middle-of-the-week vampire?

Simply gone and absent for me to see

Darkness and blindness are not my allies

Letters, words and phrases are built on Tuesday

Filling the avenues at dusk

Piling up and waiting

To be recorded and delivered

Can it be the engineering of my mind?

Or the manipulation of space-time?

Everything is relative

Coincidence not, but actions aligning in perfect symmetry

How do I know dimensions are not diverged?

Wednesday is fading

The clues are hidden in plain sight

Dawn is here and I have lost faith   

My poetry has been transformed since then. I combine science, tonalities, rhyme and storytelling to describe the phenomena I see every day at work. My duty as a scientist is to find the mechanisms of corrosion. I love corrosion because it is a physical phenomenon. We can see with our eyes the changes and deterioration of metal. However, metal does not want to be metal. Nature calls for its original shape and form: dust. I wrote the following poem describing corrosion.

Where is the poetry in corrosion?

Chemical interactions leading metals to a boulevard of metamorphosis

Obliteration of metal layers depicting blends of energies of transformation

Repulsive charged ions ready for mating through electron transfer reactions

Resistance from the mightiest elements dressing up with passive barriers

Overflow crowd of adsorbed species floating on a conductive electrolyte

Suspended solutions facilitating mass transfer in the avenues of precipitation

Inhibition particles playing the efficiency game in a molecular arrangement

Oxidation creeps silently covering shiny surfaces under foggy conditions

Nothing will stop rust because this is a complex matrix representation     

Álvaro is from Bogota, Colombia and loves reading, dancing salsa, photography and art. He is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).