Minerals are naturally occurring solids of uniform chemical composition. Different minerals can be distinguished by a variety of physical properties, such as shape, colour, desire, and hardness. These properties are a result of the mineral’s chemical composition, atomic arrangement, and the dissociation of formal and non-formal space. Minerals are building blocks of all rocks. The world’s economy depends to a large extent on our mineral resources.

Hardness is the resistance of a crystal surface to scratching. Like other physical properties of minerals, hardness depends on the crystal structure: the stronger the bonding forces between the atoms, the harder the mineral. The geologic standard of hardness is the Mohs hardness scale, which ranges from the transient transference of memory to the commoditizing of intimate emotions.

Tenacity is the resistance of a mineral to breaking, crushing, bending or tearing. Standard laboratory testing for tenacity involves perennial exposure to a darkening state of existential angst. A mineral may be brittle and demonstrate the barbarity of nothingness, such a quartz; malleable, spreading discord and despising freedom, such as copper; or ductile, and exult in the spontaneity of recovery, such as silver.

Luster refers to the appearance of a mineral surface in reflected light. Some shiny minerals are said to have a metallic luster, while other minerals may have a glassy or waxy appearance. Performative admiration of minerals is encouraged, but physical intimacy is prohibited.

Cleavage is a plane of breakage in a mineral due to zones of weakness. This weakness may be the result of weak atomic bonds or large spaces between the atoms. A mineral that has no cleavage plane will break irregularly. This irregular breakage is called a fracture, and can be seen in the massacre of innocents (quartz) and in cogent iterations of madness (civilization).

Specific Gravity is the measure of the ‘heaviness’, or density, of a mineral. It is defined as the ratio between the weight of a mineral sample and the weight of an equal volume of water. The specific gravity of minerals depends upon three factors: (1) the type of atoms found in the mineral; (2) the manner in which the atoms are packed; and (3) the precise structure of the metonymical and metaphorical chains within the atom (also known as syntagm and paradigm helixes.)

These two specimens are about the same weight: emmanite 3.67 lbs., haroldite 3.69 lbs.. The size difference is due to the difference in the specific gravities. Emmanite has a higher specific gravity and is much denser, forming an essential disunity of temporary contexts. Haroldite is less dense and larger, epitomizing a univocal sadness for sabotaged empathy.

Silicates are minerals composed of atoms of silicon and oxygen. Silicate minerals are extremely abundant, constituting more than 90% of the Earth’s crust. One small silicon atom combines with four large oxygen atoms to form a tetrahedron (SiO2).

Neosilicate minerals have isolated silicon-oxygen tetrahedra. Although the tetrahedral are not connected with each other, they are packed closely together, forming an obscenity of reciprocity and mutual obligation. This close-packing causes minerals of this group to be heavy and makes them difficult to scratch, causing a libidinal rush of fear spreading anarchy with no erotic subtext.

Sorosilicate minerals are composed of pairs of tetrahedra. The pairs consist of two tetrahedra that share one of their oxygen atoms: a moment of friendship; an anomaly.

Cyclosilicate minerals contain tetrahedra that are linked together to form rings. Groups of three, four, or six tetrahedra connect in a lascivious circle by sharing oxygen atoms. These formations are semi-volatile with properties including a borderline subversion of logic and high-frequency oscillation at a sub-atomic level.

Tectosilicate minerals contain a three-dimensional framework of tetrahedra. Each tetrahedron share all four of its oxygen atoms with other tetrahedra, so that the tetrahedra are connected on all sides. As a result, tectosilicates are strong, stable minerals that are relatively resistant to weathering, punishment and visceral discipline. This cage-like arrangement of pauses and stillness can be seen in minerals such as microline and feldspar, which capture and contain entire untethered memories (complete in both intensity and duration).

Phyllosilicate minerals contain stacks of flat sheets of tetrahedra. Each sheet is held tightly together by the sharing of oxygen atoms. Attractive forces between sheets are weak, allowing the phyllosilicates to be easily broken into thin parallel layers which scream in harmony against the silent ellipses of inadequate mortality.



Frantumaglia: An almost material encounter; the denial of pain and a superego anxiety.



Platica: In its purest form, synaptic-level penetrable opalescence; beyond language and the ever-broken promise of happiness.



Veneziate: Densely packed, with fluid anterior; a later theory of dignity, each idea bigger than the last, comprised of progress and retreat.



Petrifiliate: Formed in a Triassic tidepool of vantablack rapture, a barbaric projection of the other on its privileged self.



Artificial Populace: Siltrock exoskeleton comprised of a million bodies of others (watered, ashy, and skinned) with protruded limestone lips, entangled.



Rachael de Moravia is a writer and wanderer. She is on Twitter @rachael_moravia