Have your Pi and read it, too

      No Comments on Have your Pi and read it, too

I just learned that today is International Pi Day and thought I’d share this poem I wrote a while back:

Formulae

I. e πi – 1 = 0

Shadow cast by the flight
of goose populations
and the spread of moss, eternal
circumferential constancy.
The unreal i. Terms
so unlike as to appear
animate with intention, old
mismatched friends posing,
defiant – unity
pointedly leaving room for
(oft-invented) vacancy – arms
around one another’s
shoulders: ONE,
TWO, THREE,
smile.

II. A2 + B2 = C2

Any lean into that
second dimension (body
raised off the bed, fall
of sunlight angling just past
the perpendicular, a sudden
realization) and they
obtain: cornered sides
and taut diagonal, bound
forever by their endpoints
and quadratics
they can never outrun, wriggle
how they may (sprinters’
feet in the blocks) by
the slightest square root of
a finish line stretch.

III. Φ = 1/Φ + 1

It’s what
we suspect of them all,
the narcissism of
the self-defined, “let
there be light” declared
by light itself. How
is it they should
be allowed to define
what beauty is?

We make
our counterarguments, marshal
observations carefully
qualified and quantified.
Are answered by
tautology.

IV. e = mc2

Call it the scandal of
actuality, when formulae
mushroom into the world.
You can use any
constant, invent
any unit of measure
to express the ratio of
concept to consequence,
but it’s better
if it’s big.

V. man, woman, child

A neat enough trinity, but there
is always some fractional
entity, some cruelly wronged,
abandoned one, some parent
hovering over a shoulder. (They lie
asleep, parallel
to one another, dreaming.)
And the boy, sitting
at the breakfast table
between them, a vertex
from which a second
and opposing angle extends
to encompass
the schoolyard bully, the secret
places of the neighborhood, his
erroneous mental picture
of the solar system obtained
at school the day before which no one
will ever discover and he
will forget, and out
into the world, the circumscriptions
of its orbit, the far from empty
interstellar regions, expanding
at the speed of light
squared.

Formulae


I. e π i – 1 = 0

Shadow cast by the flight

of goose populations

and the spread of moss, eternal

circumferential constancy.

The unreal i. Terms

so unlike as to appear

animate with intention, old

mismatched friends posing,

defiant – unity

pointedly leaving room for

(oft-invented) vacancy – arms

around one another’s

shoulders: ONE,

TWO, THREE,

smile.

II. A2 + B2 = C2

Any lean into that

second dimension (body

raised off the bed, fall

of sunlight angling just past

the perpendicular, a sudden

realization) and they

obtain: cornered sides

and taut diagonal, bound

forever by their endpoints

and quadratics

they can never outrun, wriggle

how they may (sprinters’

feet in the blocks) by

the slightest square root of

a finish line stretch.

III. j = 1/j + 1

It’s what

we suspect of them all,

the narcissism of

the self-defined, “let

there be light” declared

by light itself. How

is it they should

be allowed to define

what beauty is?

We make

our counterarguments, marshal

observations carefully

qualified and quantified.

Are answered by

tautology.

IV. e = mc2

Call it the scandal of

actuality, when formulae

mushroom into the world.

You can use any

constant, invent

any unit of measure

to express the ratio of

concept to consequence,

but it’s better

if it’s big.

V. man, woman, child

A neat enough trinity, but there

is always some fractional

entity, some cruelly wronged,

abandoned one, some parent

hovering over a shoulder. (They lie

asleep, parallel

to one another, dreaming.)

And the boy, sitting

at the breakfast table

between them, a vertex

from which a second

and opposing angle extends

to encompass

the schoolyard bully, the secret

places of the neighborhood, his

erroneous mental picture

of the solar system obtained

at school the day before which no one

will ever discover and he

will forget, and out

into the world, the circumscriptions

of its orbit, the far from empty

interstellar regions, expanding

at the speed of light

squared.