Thursday, March 26, 2015

The problem of time

Californian Brenda Hillman is a poet whose work I like and admire.  In "Time Problem" she weaves prime numbers into a deft description of the dilemma of not enough time.

       Time Problem     by Brenda Hillman

       The problem
       of time.      Of there not being 
       enough of it.

       My girl came to the study
       and said Help me;
       I told her I had a time problem 
       which meant:
       I would die for you but I don’t have ten minutes. 
       Numbers hung in the math book 
       like motel coathangers. The Lean 
       Cuisine was burning
       like an ancient city: black at the edges, 
       bubbly earth tones in the center. 
       The latest thing they’re saying is lack 
       of time might be
       a “woman’s problem.” She sat there 
       with her math book sobbing—
       (turned out to be prime factoring: whole numbers 
       dangle in little nooses)
       Hawking says if you back up far enough 
       it’s not even
       an issue, time falls away into
       'the curve' which is finite,
       boundaryless. Appointment book, 
       soprano telephone—
       (beep End beep went the microwave) 
            .   .   .

Read the rest of Hillman's poem here at -- and proceed to the fourth dimension.

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