Today in a Facebook posting by Susanne Pumpluen
I learned of Discov-her, an online journal
featuring stories about women in Science.
* * *The following poetry offering is by Richard Smyth who has written a parody of an introduction to the mathematics of logic (specifically Laws of Form by G Spencer Brown*, Julian Press, 1972). Smyth founded Anabiosis Press which offers the poetry journal Albatross and which has now evolved into Anabiosis Online.
I invite you to enjoy this play of words and ideas:
AXIOM: A MATHEMATICS OF POETRY by Richard Smyth
It shall be taken as given the idea of infinition. The idea of infinition stands in direct opposition to the idea of definition.
Infinition is the act of making indefinite or unclear. That is to say, while some uses of language attempt to clarify, others attempt to obfuscate.
Make a poem.
Call the poem the only poem.
Call the space of the page a universe to be born.
Call the shape the poem takes on the page a creation.
Axiom 1: The Law of Conception
For any author, conception shall be the planting of a seed in the fertile soil of the divine.
Equally, if the author is truly inspired, conception is a sowing of the divine within the author.
That is to say, sex is a metaphor of linguistic conceptualization.
Thus, the value of a conception is the warmth with which it was conceived.
Axiom 2: The Law of Creation
Every birth requires pain.
Every birth requires passage
a crossing over
as of bridges, distances, rivers,
or the dark rite of the soul,
after carving masks and dancing
in rubber rooms
or the translations of light
into flesh, bone, blood.
First Canon: Convention of Representation
Let the word stand for another word.
Call this language.
The word shall unfold as if a soft cloth.
Language shall unravel like an old blanket.
Second Canon: Convention of Definition
Let a word be broken into other words.
Call these other words phrases and clauses.
In short, clarity is the result of fracture and analysis.
Third Canon: Convention of Equation
Let any juxtaposition of two words be an invitation to compare.
Let the comparison be designated by a copulative.
Let the copulative be represented by a sign
Call this the convention of equation. In general, what is compared is the same.
Fourth Canon: Principle of Occultation
Let there be multiple meanings for each word.
Call these meanings the ambiguities.
Second Infinition of the Darknesses
The darknesses bring light.
They carry it upon their backs
as if a heavy burden.
They are bent and stooped like slaves.
They are the translators.
Fifth Canon: Convention of Generics
Let the ambiguities take up residence
in a house of words.
Call the house a form.
If the boundary between outside and inside is clearly distinguishable call the form a closed form.
If the boundary between outside and inside is indistinguishable call the form an open form.
There is only one open form.
Third Infinition of the Open Door
Every open door is an invitation to enter.
Come, come, please come in,
take all you can,
you are already accused of stealing.
You are already a lost prophet.
Sixth Canon: Hypothesis of the Divinend
In the beginning was the myth
and the myth was necessary
and the myth was archetypal.
Let there be a poet who will make the myth.
Let there be a shaman who will channel the myth.
Let there be a priest who will materialize the myth.
Let there be an anthropologist who will analyze the myth.
Let there be a poet who will live the myth.
Call it all good.
Seventh Canon: Principle of Revelation
This is the coming down off the mountain.
This is the stone tablet and the word of god.
This is the stained glass window the light
shining in prismatic fracture this
is the vatic passion the banshee psalm
the single most important moment
in your life.
*You may enjoy, as I did, this quote from the preface of Brown's book, "Unlike more superficial forms of expertise, mathematics is a way of saying less and less about more and more . . .."