Every Atom | No. 166

Joe Klemczewski

Introduction to Every Atom by project curator Brian Clements

ea logo


I wrote a suicide note last year. A forbidden apple of my imagination. From a place of darkness? I don’t think so. Reflection, perhaps gratitude, maybe a longing to know what I never will. To hold what I must let go. The final draft of an epitaph, finally eloquent enough to define my finality. What would you say? Like Whitman or Einstein or Hawking searching for a theory of everything, I found myself trying to pull every string into a bow.



a young boy marked all over with lipstick

Today I turn fifty, a point of symmetry and a lifetime beyond Whitman’s thirty-seven. A pause for more reflection, more dangling strings to grasp. Is half a century enough time to stitch all the chaos into a goodbye?

Whitman wrote, “Born here of parents born here of parents the same, and their parents the same…

In my farewell letter, the song of myself, I whispered family melodies to my children, for their children the same:


Your passion for life

Your pursuit of a just world

A mirror to my youth.


Your strength serves you

Others borrow it as freely as you give

Your resilience is water.


You understand

More than all the gods

You already know how to live.


You want it all

And you take it

Only to share your masterpiece.

You are my last thoughts.

You are me.

A symphony of chaos. 

placeholder width 225px height 300px

Joe Klemczewski is a health scientist and fitness entrepreneur. He has followed an academic trail through physical medicine, nutrition science, and into the social sciences with no end in sight. Klemczewski has littered his path with hundreds of magazine articles, a few books, and a gazillion unsung songs and unpublished poems. He graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 2015 with an MFA in Literary Journalism.


Cover art by Maddie Bonthuis