He rose those nights hours before dawn, drove
to the lab, and pulled the guinea pigs out
of their ozone chambers. Then he would close
his eyes and doze until the sun’s stiff shout
jostled him. The purpose: to discover
if ozone influenced asthma in those
rodents. The study failed to uncover,
over many months, anything of note.
Nothing. This is scientific progress:
a beat-up station wagon, my father
at the wheel, moving slowly towards a guess
at two am, rolling from one harbor
of lamplight to the next, asking questions
of pigs as, possibly, the dark lessens.
As a poet, spoken word artist, and educator, Sean Beckett has led workshops for institutions from Greece to Taiwan and Alaska to Germany. He is about to graduate with an MFA from Boston University, where he has received the Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. Sean enjoys providing free poetry workshops and can be reached at PopPopPoetry@gmail.com.
About the featured artist: Kiran Saleem graduated from the College of Art & Design, GC University, Faisalabad in 2009 with a distinction in painting, continuing up with MA Honours in Visual Art from National College of Arts, Lahore in 2013. She has been doing some very experimental site-specific works too, which explains the importance of mundane, and which actually contains the reality. She is mainly concerned with realizing and seeing the truth behind common objects encountered routinely. The nature of regular exposure may play with the perception of these objects, and it is this fractured reality which Saleem investigates. Saleem has been awarded the best young artist award by Alhamra Arts Council Lahore in 2013, was artist-in-residence at the first Sanat Initiative Residency in June 2014 and a participant of the 3rd Mansion Artist Residency in January 2021. She also received the Arjumand Painting Award’s first prize in 2015. She has exhibited her work at solo and group shows in Pakistan, Dubai and Italy. Currently teaching at NCA as permanent faculty, lives and works in Lahore.