If

*x*is made

and

*y*is miss;

bedeviled by

Pythagoras

speed plus you

reflecting me -

a hapless heart’s

velocity

subtracting promise

with a kiss -

the algebra

of lonesomeness

fractals formed

by each percent;

the Weierstrass of

our discontent

algorithmic

imprecision

squarely rooted

long division

slipping slowly

by degrees -

our misaligned

geometries

If

*x*is break

and

*y*is bliss;

I never could

pass calculus.

## 11 comments:

This is so much my thing. I've always harbored a secret affection for math-inspired metaphor and reflection. Not because I'm good at math. But because I know that there is a purity and mysterious meaning to be found in higher mathematics that I just can't grasp in the brambles of all those variables.

I love how you've placed math in the context of a relationship here. The ultimate equation, struggling for a solution that is off by the smallest of fractions. I think my favorite lines were:

speed plus youreflecting me -

a hapless heart’s

velocity

There's something so poingnant and powerful about taking the very precise, the highly rational, inserting the human heart, and coming up with disorder and loss. The spectrum of humanity is contained within this poem--how much we want to explain, and understand, and how much still slips through our fingers.

Wonderful, Joaquin. I loved this one . . . exponentially. :)

I'm not a number person, either (shocking but true), but I do love your words. There's an equilibrium to the lines that feels mathematical, and I'm very impressed by that beat. My favorite stanza is:

"subtracting promise

with a kiss -

the algebra

of lonesomeness"

That is so true. There was a movement of mathematical poets during my old school daze, and I learned to love what they could do with words and formula. Your poem is better than any of those, because it has heart and soul. Beautiful work.

There is a brilliant grip on language, here. Your plays on words are amazing. I find particularly intriguing:

algorithmic

imprecision

squarely rooted

long division

Squarely rooted long division is a complicated concept, but it is real, in the worlds of both general mathematics and the mathematics of human emotion.

I come away from reading this with a metaphysical aftertaste on my palate, something higher than the mere lingering of words upon a tongue or in the mind.

Nevine

This is so cleverly written! I wish I had been able to read it on Thursday. :( Friday morning I gave a math strategies presentation and this would have been a great ice-breaker!!!

Ah, my favorite stanza is Julie's too:

subtracting promise

with a kiss -

the algebra

of lonesomeness

You could write a poem about anything, Joaquin. ;)

Getting here after Sarah, Julie, and Kaye is like coming to the party without my party dress! They've said it all so eloquently that I can only echo them and say that you are incredible!

We all seem to like the same lines, but I'd wager that we like them all nearly equally!

for me this after math thing sounds a little like regrets.

what for? /:)

If you don't follow xkcd already, you must give it a look here:

http://www.xkcd.com/162/

He is an inspiration for all us geeks.

This poem goes right up there in the league.

I suddenly like Math a little bit more.

"f x is break

and y is bliss;

I never could

pass calculus"

Loved those lines. Only you can write like you do. I have to keep inventing ways of telling you you're brilliant I think... This one is just intellectual on so many different levels.

A third commenter here for the algebra of lonesomeness verse. That line, can a line be more indicative of lonesomeness??

You know Joni Mitchell's "Electricity" from her Blue album? This poem of yours speaks as well lyrically.

sarah - i'm with you - i think the nature of math facinates me because i don't understand it. thank you - i realy like "The ultimate equation" - that's what it is, i think. (i'm so glad you used "exponentially" - i wanted it in the poem but it didn't work out.)

julie - me neither - i just admire them. i've never heard of a "movement of mathematical poets" - which sounds interesting and scary - but i always take "heart and soul" as the highest compliment. thank you!

nevine - wow - thank you. i'm glad to know that squarely rooted long division is an actual math concept - i didn't - but love when something inadvertant makes me look smart. or conjures a "metaphysical aftertaste" - which is amazing - thank you again.

k - do you know how great it is that you would even think of kicking off a math presentation with a poem? i love that! thank you.

karen - no dress code here - just glad you dropped in. thank you!

su - hmmmm....gonna make me think this through, huh? ;) i don't think it's regret about anything that happened, but maybe some regret in not being able to say why - maybe it's not so much getting the answer wrong as it is finding out you don't really know how to work the problem.

aniket - thank you for turning me on to this guy! he's awesome! (same leauge? wow - thank you.)

bm - like math a bit more? :) now that is a compliment! thank you.

jannie - probably, but if you can't think of one - and (holy cow) if it made you think of joni mitchell - i'll just say a very humble thanks.

very nice.

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