Throughout her career, Gadjanski continued to write poetry — until her father died of heart failure in 2012. “It was very hard,” she said quietly. She put down her pen, refusing to pick it up again for almost two years. When she did, the poems tumbled out uncontrollably. Her poetry today reminds her of her father’s book, Letters to Nothing , a collection of poems addressed to dead 19th-century poets. “Now I’m writing to nothingness, like my father will somehow be able to read this,” she said.   

Citing Edgar Allan Poe among her favorite poets — for his “darkness” and willingness to “deal with tough emotions” — Gadjanski still jots down poems in short, spontaneous bursts whenever that familiar nagging feeling strikes, often but not always about biology. Although they don’t conform to a rigid structure, she thinks her scientific background helps keep them condensed. 

Take a look at some of her original poetry below.

CENTRIFUGE

Like music

Like claws

Like a narrow canyon

It grabs you

It holds you

It takes the best of you

To press you to pellet

To dust and pebbles

To sounds of crickets

In starry night

 

SYMPHONY

Do you want me

To tell you

What it is like

To live in total

Silence

In total darkness

Of the sound

To only remember

Scattered beats

Buzz of the world

To only feel distant pulses

Of your own heart

Your own drum

In bony cage

Collect the bones

Deep from within

Pump up the truth

And dark libido

Mix the marrow of lust

With these meaningless

Words

And wait

Simply wait

For Nature

To take its own course.

 

BUILDING BLOCKS

Sharp words

And soft tissues

Pointy teeth

And tender loins

Deep down

Self-replicating

Always dividing

Mixing and crossing

Selfish and ruthless

Simply existing

Surviving.

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