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Rhythm of Structure

Mathematics, Art and Poetic Reflection Bowery and Beyond /A John Sims Project Published by Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota Florida, on the occasion of the nine exhibitions of Rhythm of Structure: Mathematics, Art and Poetic Reflection, (September 11, 2009 to August 30, 2010) at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City and subsequent summary exhibitions curated by John Sims. The development of this exhibition and catalogue is funded in part by the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues.

The summary exhibitions: Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design Sarasota, Florida February 25 to April 2, 2011 Herndon Gallery, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio May 18 to November 1, 2011 For more information please visit:

Copyright Š 2011 John Sims Projects No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the copyright holder. Poets and Photographers retain copyright on their work. Bowery and Beyond Š 2011 by John Sims Editor/Artistic Director: John Sims Catalogue Design: Douglas Higgins Special Assistance: Tara Betts, Aaron Blackall, Ian Dean, Dennie Eagleson, Kristin Prevallet, Ella Miller Toy, Alpa Vaghani, Toni Wynn, and Corine Zimmerle Cover Art/Design: John Sims Library of Congress Control Number: 2011908317 ISBN: 978-0-615-48847-9 Printed in the United States of America

Contents 4 7 12 14 15

Foreword by Kevin Dean Introduction by John Sims Squares and Circles: John Hiigli and Vandorn Hinnant Circular Vibration by Christina Schmitt and The Square Transformed by Christina Schmitt The Digital Organic by Alan Gilbert Poemedy Squircular (Excerpt) by Summer Hill Seven

16 18 20 21

Lines and Curves: Paulus Gerdes/John Sims and Ken Hiratsuka

22 24 25 26 27 28

The Cartesian MathArt Hive: John Sims/Hive Artists

30 32 33 34 35

You Lie: Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky and Dread Scott

36 38 39

The Square Root of Love: Karen Finley and John Sims

40 42 43 44 45 46 47

Selected Infinite Extensions Arbitrarily Constrained: Sol LeWitt and Adrian Piper Sociedad Anonima by Mónica de la Torre Two Poems Squared by Bob Holman, Dear Morning Light dear visiwind by Bob Holman Terra Quad by Edwin Torres MathArtPoem: A LeWitt/Piper Response by John Sims/Rhythm of Structure Class/NYU For the Girl Who Was Asked to Write a Poem About Me and, as Usual, Wanted to Write a Poem About Her Heart Instead by Eboni Hogan The Elevator by Mark Strand and Empty by Jon Sands

49 50 51

(20, 21, 29): An Assignment: Students of Brooklyn Academy of Science and Environment 21 Reasons Why I Hate Math by Shappy Seasholtz 29 Solutions For Writers, by People Who Know Better Than Me by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz


Mathematical Graffiti: Fernando Mora, John Sims with Kyle Goen, Mark Turgeon

Quadrants by Kristin Prevallet Images of Devonian Age: Pooh Kaye’s Response to Ken Hiratsuka The Curvature of Green by Shanxing Wang

Our Days are Numbered! by Robert Fitterman Mapping of the Universe by Faybiene Miranda Is Numerology Math by Chris Funkhouser and Where Come Together by Chris Funkhouser Alphabetical Mutability by Tatiana Bonch One by Marcella Durand

Spam A Lot (Viagra for Joe Wilson) by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs Survey by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs Coolant System by Alan Gilbert Count Me In by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

The Square Root of Love: Calculating the HEART of things by JoAnne Growney Learning To Be My Father’s Son or 16 Things I Could Never Tell My Father by Regie Cabico


and the Bowery Poetry Club Patrons Mutually Inverse Operations: Mathematical Poetry on the Occasion of the Mathematical Graffiti Wall by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino Proportional Poems by Kaz Maslanka Graffiti Mathemaku by Bob Grumman 33 Symmetry Axes x 40 Orthogonal Triples; or, Free Will, Revisited by Stephanie Strickland Who Counts, Counts by Stephanie Strickland Notes on Numbers by Richard Kostelanetz


The HyperQuilt: Helen Beamish, Elaine Ellison, Suzanne Gould, John Sims,

59 60 62 63

Ella Toy, Diana Venters, and Paula Wynte The Language of Quilts by Tara Betts The Last Time by Adam Falkner and Jeanann Verlee We Come From Farm People by Kate Rushin The Math Poem by Kate Rushin



54 55 56


A decade ago John Sims and I began having conversations about the relationship between mathematics and art and the philosophical concerns involving aesthetics, truth and beauty. The end result of our discussions was a 2002 exhibition called ArtMath/MathArt at the Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design. The objects chosen were categorized by John based on a system that began with simple counting and proceeded through geometry, proportions, topology, modularity, algorithm, symbolism and visual mathematics that included the use of fractals and fourth dimensional space. Another aspect to this unique exhibition was the inclusion of Paulus Gerdes’ work with ethno–mathematics and traditional patterns from Africa. In subsequent years John Sims continued developing his ideas about the relationship between art and math by curating smaller exhibitions at various locations with the intention of doing a second group show at Selby Gallery that would expand on the original concepts. By 2009, the idea not only expanded, it evolved into something that had never been done before that came to be called Rhythm of Structure: Mathematics, Art and Poetic Reflection. It consisted of nine month-long exhibitions held at poet Bob Holman’s Bowery Poetry Club in New York City that brought together math-based art, documentary film, animation, projections, social issues, music, dance and poets who read their responses to the work shown on the ArtWall at the club. The exhibitions also involved group interactions with the art and concepts presented that included college and high school students as well as the audiences that came to see the closing poetry events. The project was built around three metaphors for social interaction: grids, quilts and hives. It therefore is linked to Sims’ longtime concern with bringing people together to create an atmosphere of cooperation, order and social justice. The next problem John Sims had to solve was how to combine the nine shows into one touring show. The exhibition had to retain the structures, concepts and group dynamics of the original exhibitions at the Bowery Poetry Club, and still invite group participation and additions from venues and communities at the tour sites. After much thought the solutions were found. The new version of Rhythm of Structure opened at the Selby Gallery on February 25, 2011. Rhythm of Structure will live on after its tour, thanks to designer Douglas Higgins’s catalogue. A special thank you goes to Bob Holman for providing the perfect space for the project to begin. And thank you to my assistant director, Laura Avery, gallery assistant, Tim Jaeger, and Ringling College’s preparators, Jordan Kelly-Laviolette, Jeff Miller, Trevor Dienes and John McGaharan. We invite you to contemplate and enjoy the Rhythm of Structure. Kevin Dean Director, Selby Gallery of Art Ringling College of Art and Design


Rhythm of Structure: Bowery and Beyond by John Sims The genesis of this exhibition began with the MathArt/ ArtMath exhibition I co-curated with Kevin Dean at Ringling College of Art and Design in 2002 which aimed to survey the general landscape of mathematics in modern and contemporary art and introduce the visual works of various mathematicians. The shows featured: Josef Albers, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and Max Bill, Mel Bochner, Brent Collins, Agnes Denes, M. C. Escher Helaman Ferguson, Mike Field, Charles Gaines, Paulus Gerdes, John Hiigli, Sol LeWitt, Al Held, Joe Overstreet, Howardena Pindell, Richard Purdy, Tony Robbin, Dorothea Rockburne, Irene Rousseau, Carlo Sequin, Kenneth Snelson, Frank Stella, Roman Verostko, Joan Waltemath and others. To revisit the curatorial tone that was established with that inaugural exhibition I quote myself from the MathArt/ ArtMath brochure: Mathematics, as a parameter of human consciousness is an indispensable conceptual technology, essential in seeing beyond the retinal and knowing beyond the intuitive. The language and process of mathematics, as elements of and foundational for art, inform an analytic-expressive condition that inspires a visual reckoning for a convergence: from the illustrative to the metaphysical to the poetic. And in the dialectic of visual art call and text-performative response, there is an inter–dimensional conversation where the twisting structures of language, vision, and human ways give birth to the spiritual lattice of a social geometry, a community constructivism-- a place of connections, where emotional calculations meet structured abstraction. With the diversity and balance in mind and my desire to investigate and classify the structure of mathematical art, the exhibition was organized into eight categories: Counting/Measurement; Proportions; Geometry; Topology; Algorithmic; Modularity; Symbolism; and Visual Mathematics. This show led to the creation of a series of mathematical art exhibitions, I called the Rhythm of Structure. This series continued with shows in New York at the Fire Patrol No.5 Gallery in Harlem, Wilmer Jennings Gallery in the East Village, a triad of shows in conjunction with Knotting Mathematics and Art: An International Conference of Low Dimensional Topology and Mathematical Art at the University of South Florida, 2007. However it was much earlier that the seeds of the poetic reflection began to germinate. While in graduate school, at Wesleyan University, Carol Wood (then Chair) and I organized a party for the Mathematics Department, where I invited Kate Rushin to write a poem for the occasion. It was her reading and my later confederate flag exhibition, NYC Hanging: The Poetic Responses at Bowery Poetry Club in 2006 that inspired the missing element of poetry in the mathematical-art dynamic.

This confluence of elements brought forth, Rhythm of Structure: Mathematics, Art and Poetic Reflection, a year long series of nine mathematical art exhibitions curated for the ArtWall at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City– September 11, 2009 to August 30, 2010. To stimulate a dialogue around the use of structure and promote reflection via the poetic lens, poets were invited to reflect and respond to the work forming the basis of a documentary film and this catalogue, with most of the poets responding with original works. The responses ranged from former U.S. Laureate Mark Strand, dancer Pooh Kaye to Greg Tate’s Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber. The series of nine shows is divided into three sections: geometry, conceptual and social. Geometry: The first set of shows deals with the use of geometry as visual abstraction, algorithmic process and the basic vocabulary of mathematical art. We opened the series with Squares and Circles as a way to engage the fundamental tension between Art and Mathematics, as illustrated by John Hiigli’s digital version of his transparency painting involving 50 squares and Vandorn Hinnant’s colored pencil drawing of visual root progressions. With Lines and Curves, we explore the idea of the line and the prehistory of human’s capacity to create sculptural rhythms via the line as seen with Ken Hiratsuka’s stone piece space filling never crossing curves and ethnomathematician turned artist Paulus Gerdes whose mirrored celtic, no beginning or ending line curves I interpreted as a rope installation. The desire to examine the space of mathematical art in relation to my piece Square Root of Tree, resulted in The Cartesian MathArt Hive, an installation work featuring: Davide Cervone, Kevin Dean, Agnes Denes, Mike Field, Susan Happersett, John Hiigli, Vandorn Hinnant, Ken Hiratsuka, Howardena Pindell, Dorothea Rockburne, Christina Schmitt, Carlo Sequin, John Sims, Sarah Stengle, Pam Turczyn, Joan Waltemath, Joyce Wellman and Roman Verostko. This installation blurred the boundaries between curator and artist as I sought to invoke the beehive as metaphor for both the complexity of classification and singularity of community. Conceptual: The second set examines mathematics in a conceptual context with themes ranging from visual mathematics as social marketing via polling, language of love and the metaphysics of space. I challenged political artist Dread Scott and conceptual artist Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky to explore and perhaps critique the political dimensions of mathematics as both enabler of post civil rights and vehicle for truth distortion.


In You Lie, Dread Scott explores the polling dynamics while on the other hand Miller uses political posters and bar code images to promote the idea of mathematics literacy as weaponry against analog sophism. I invited the performance artist Karen Finley to join me in thinking about how to connect the mathematical process and language in the emotional space of Love. In our show called Square Root of Love, Finley takes a suite of 8 Andre Kostelanetz’s Many Moods of Love albums, creating an audio vertical summation, while I subverted the language of algebra to make equational expressions using the graphic heart symbol for love. For the final part of this section, it was crucial to have Sol LeWitt, who was a foundational leader in the conceptual art movement and who had been in three of my previous shows. For the other part of the duet show I asked the conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper to respond to a Sol LeWitt piece of her choosing, making way for their show, Selected Infinite Extensions Arbitrarily Constrained. She responded to Lewitt’s Wall Drawing #163 - Two lines in a Square (1973) with her Vanishing Point #1, which resulted in a stunning 6 foot square wall deletion. Though simple in their directions of execution the works powerfully comment on the boundary of surface and sub-surface space and the natural tension of the inside and outside, on and below and the elegant balance of adjacency. Piper also designed a special performance work involving 28 participants, for the opening called, One 16 Minute-Long, Thickly Straight Line Running Parallel with the Bowery Poetry Project Floor. During the time of the LeWitt/Piper show I challenged my NYU Rhythm of Structure Class to create a group response to the show. Each of the 18 students including myself wrote short poetic responses that were mapped into a 2 dimensional binary visualization of Pi as a grid. These poetry embeddings, 19 in all were remapped into the original pi grid, creating the MathArtPoem which was animated and put to music forming a total motion graphic sound piece, which can be seen in the film. Social: The final section explores the social component of structure creation by process of collaborative installation, graffiti and quilting. To introduce this section I wanted to have students involved. Jennifer Lemish of Brooklyn Academy of Science and Environment so graciously invited me into her high school art class, where I challenged the students to create a visual solution of the equation 20 2+212=29 2, the title of their show. Over the course of the semester they came up with individually and eventually collectively some rather beautiful designs. The aim of the next show, the Mathematical Graffiti Wall, was to be a public art piece with the only rule being that the wall markings had to be connected to mathematics. To aid the transition from restroom graffiti aesthetic to more of a mural I worked with Ringling graduate and former student Fernando Mora, whose painting brought the wall to the


next level. Later this piece would be modeled in 3D by Scott Toros and made to be interactive as seen in the film. Working first hand with the Sarasota Amish Community making quilts I developed an appreciation for quilting as an American art practice, mechanism for community organizing and ultimately a palatable metaphor for the mathematics and art. With this in mind, HyperQuilt was slated for the last show to emphasize the idea of all of the nine shows forming a mega-nine-patch quilt. This show consisted of seven mathart quilts incorporated into a wall installation. The featured artists: Helen Beamish, Elaine Ellison, Suzanne Gould, John Sims, Ella Toy, Diana Venters and Paula Winter. Conclusion A critical element of this installment of the Rhythm of Structure is the voice and vision of the poet, narrating the landscape of the abstract, the personal, the lofty, the metaphysical and comical. And it was at the Bowery Poetry Club where something beautiful happened, something special and historic, where over 30 artists and 40 poets/performers responded to the work, to the essence of a mathematics-art dialectic and its various manifestations, leading us through the field of the Mind, Hand and Heart via the language of Mathematics, Art and Poetry. Master drummer Brother Num, with numerous guest appearances by flutist Yael Acher Mordiano, provided the rhythmic thread that follows through each of the shows. Most of the poets and musicians responded from the heart with new works adding to the freshness and connection as captured both here in the catalogue and in the documentary film. In summary or perhaps in birth, the spirit of these shows comes together as a single conceptually quilted community of exhibitions that dare to travel beyond the Bowery to other spaces and venues. And it is at the Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design that it all comes together for the very first time preparing for national travel. As the show moves into the beyond, it will expand or contract making way for new works, connecting to the new environments, new artists and new poets, creating an opportunity for cross-cultural conversations, interdisciplinary dialogue and poetic reflection. So it is with great honor I invite you to join me, Kevin Dean, Bob Holman and the Rhythm of Structure artists, poets, dancers and musicians on this magical journey beginning with this catalogue as a presentation of the art and the responding poetical text. It is my hope that this project; exhibitions, poetry, film and music may demonstrate and inspire a furtherance of mathematics – art – poetry – music collaborations and the reflection upon the universal voice of nature and its great emissary, The Rhythm of Structure.


The SquareRoots: Rhythm of Structure by John Sims

In the beginning there was the breath of Nature Creating a mixing of all things mixable Connecting all things possible that connects To the advent of cycles, patterns and organic geometries Whose role is to map the structure And console the lost soul of randomness And all of its entropic desire for chaos and diffusion In this cosmic, atomic soup is a probabilistic opportunity For a togetherness that defies logic and intuition For an evolution that promotes success and security For a story with no plot, no reason and no meaning For a stage To be, to see, to hear, to feel, to think About all that is and was And could be And on this fluxing stage is the scriptless performance Of our inverted future and reciprocal past Nature comes with its own sense of confusion, deliverance and beauty An articulation to be revealed through the brackets and form of energy And cryptic languages And treasure and horror maps That guide our senses, motions and thoughts That sermonize a message of magic and mysteries For the Connections and Patterns That speak to the evolving rhythm of structure That structures our reality with the Infinite and Finite Circles and Squares Blacks and Whites Trees and Roots And in the desire to Master Plan, Master Build, Master Mind There is a War of Colors, Shapes and Systems Of Soul and Spirit Where Roots run wild, Trees sway down Circles get squared, and Squares lose their corners

In this place The mind alienates And the senses disconnect From the winds of reason And expression Creating hollow storms Of silent cries for empty skies For empty minds In search of entertaining tales Of the empty set However Nature The parent of all that is beautiful and ugly Real and Abstract Ordered and Disordered Gigantic and Microscopic Living and Dead And all that is in between Expands and contracts On the downbeat of atomic ticking Cycling for survival and resurrection In a quilted Space of objects and ideas We find the Square Roots of Nature Tree of Life Circle of Time Where the Irrational communes with the Rational Where the Analog dances with the Digital Where holy Beliefs shares ancient Secrets With counter-intuitive Theorems In this Space Where the sanctity of balance Predicates The Holy Alliance between Time and Motion Circles and Squares Trees and Roots Mathematics and Art We bring the great gift of poetic reflection To Celebrate and Honor The magnificent voice of Nature – And its greatest emissary The Rhythm of Structure

* This is text from the theme song for this exhibition.



Squares and Circles

John Hiigli, Chrome 163, Transparent Oil on Canvas, 56” x 64”


Vandorn Hinnant, Five Concentric Circles aka “What Euclid intended for us to know”, 2009, Prismacolor/graphite on layered cotton paper, 38” x 38”


Circular Vibration For Vandorn Hinnant by Christina L. Schmitt

The Square Transformed For John Hiigli’s ‘Chrome 163’ by Christina L. Schmitt

See here, centered, a first point imagined.

This “you” you think you know you are, you too are only (near though far)

Exploding, ever outward -from one are born many.

the universe itself expressing (itself), bursting into and out of being.

Explore fourfold symmetry: Each point’s four petals

What is the difference between what is

blossom open, then settle at the next intersection.

inside the mind and what is “out there”?

Point’s circle echoes itself in four directions.

Only an idea (blind, fair). Only space and time.

Each echo echoes again

These too, in turn, shall disappear.

in fourfold fashion. This vision has rhythm.

All disparity is born of being.

Everywhere, over and over,

Consciousness is contained within unity.

the same proportion makes itself known.

Dissolve, now, like this circle, back into its first point .

An atom becomes an eye, universal, expanding -- vast sky -rippling outward, a drum birthing light’s spectrum. Upon a latticework of spheres, orbs vibrate, radiate. Look here: The point becomes wave, energy flickers into form. The center is everywhere and nowhere. Who is the watcher, who the watched? This self-same self is all pervading.

Out of something seeming flat, a multicolored square, space unfolds, unfolds again in layer after layer. Inwards first, but outwards too, side unfolds to side, one shape yields another shape, and structure is implied. A tetrahedron yields a cube, then octahedron forms, Somewhere Icosohedron’s drape reveals Platonic norms. So an image here inscribed with color and with line initiates the infinite, reverberates through time.

The Digital Organic by Alan Gilbert A landscape without animals is a stainless steel room hosed down by a trucker pausing during a long-distance haul. Turpentine in the eye-shadow remover makes me feel woozy after stumbling over pill bottles scattered across the floor in a drunk driving test for combing the crumbs from your beard. But the armies will stomp on that too, guided through the desert by an irreconcilable angel. We shoot cobwebs from a spray can and lean on horns stuck in traffic. The only roadside attractions are the rose sellers, the kids forced to trick or treat between the yellow tape on TV. No wonder you crashed a tattered hang glider into a beach house knocking wet towels off a drying rack and generally ruining the upholstery. Green ivy circles the supplicants, trembling slightly to be released of their burdens, heads bowed low to nothing except love softly massaging neurons around the heart. Thought is their false reflection. It seems like autumn again every time we turn around— the end of rain and beginning of snow, with lines extending past a makeshift horizon. So call this a one-page hug. The forms might seem cold, but the colors are warm. The forms are closer to music. Even silence vibrates in the pinks and blues.


Poemedy Squircular (Excerpt) by Summer Hill Seven

I. We needn’t be reminded That public speeches needn’t Have musical accompaniment; Instead they want content, form: With delivery not norm; I promise: you know not I & versa-visa.

VI. Lark St. – on my arrival Becomes the new point A & 274 Livingston Ave. becomes the new point B My life is growing straighter I have been on the Siral Tal Mustaqueem the whole time.

XIII. Won’t see me on Def Poetry Cuz I don’t write much poetry Generally write Poemedy Similar – but so are me And my sister? I don’t want you to kiss me Just cuz maybe you kissed her.

II. I prefer my words lifted From a page when I’m onstage. Otherwise you mightn’t get The best and worst of The words for us to engage. Reciting don’t mean you read; Reading don’t mean you can write.

VII. My existence: mortal. And now even in my dream State - we return to the first Address I remember that I would ever remember. I hear Grampa’s laughter as We float up the street and turn.

XIV. ‘Lest you ain’t a him – you’re her Ain’t told me all ‘bout her past Ain’t gonna put her on blast Here to talk Poemedy Funny: born of poverty Flows best to a melody Too bad I can’t sing real well.

III. Writing don’t mean you recite But if Ish is good - fools will Be like “aight, aight”-ting; Whether you are reading or Reciting. Aight, aight! Then: Let us not forget to remember when Shakespeare kicked it squircular:

VIII. The corner into the door – I peek over & see Tex & Torro – twin black labs - dogs Each with a single white mark Marked upon both breast. I’m not One single day older than When I last saw Grampa smile.

XV. Yet, I’m livin proof that blues Still will sell real well today Every word’a Poemedy’s From personal tragedy Flipped to public comedy When I say Poemedy Please feel free to laugh with me.

IV. Grampa’s squircular quincunx Not a lark & not larking Walking up Lark Street’s dark streets On the steep incline partly Responsible for the name. Arbor Hill: Never ran nor Never will forget that Sun.

IX. Oh, Grampa, Gramp – I cry: Then dive into his warm eyes, Great big ol’ lap. I’m my age At my death and Grampa is His age at his death: In eternity time bends Toward irrelevancy:

XVI. POEMEDY SQUIRCULAR Even when it’s tragedy Your laughter makes comedy. Sometimes when shit gets absurd It’s the necessity that Mother’s invention of wordz Inventing a word’s easy:

V. Irritating quincunx on Our bronze & un-bathed backs; We move, not connecting with Earth floating, not turning – not Drifting – straight in a line to Connect point A – my location & point B – my streets corner.

X. He holds me until he stops. The living don’t understand How to experience this: When he speaks to me – finally He laughs through tears in his eyes He says: I see you one of Those squircular niggas – huh?

XVII. Easiest thing you ever heard Just open your mouth and go POEMEDY SQUIRCULAR No results found for squircle: Dictionary Suggestions Surcle, squirrel, Squirely, Squiggly, Sicle, squigglier.

XI. I laugh – I know then what I Know now. He is here. Right here. He is my point A and my Point B around which I pass Through or pivot. I’m still here. “I’ve been scarred and battered My hopes the wind done scattered

XVIII. Squillae, squirrely, Sarcle, Squiggol, Circle, squill, squiggled, Squiggles, squilla, Squilgee, Squiggle’s. Squircle: no results found.

XII. Albany’s snow has frizzed me Miami’s sun has baked me Between ‘em they’ve tried t’make me Stop laughing stop loving stop Living; but I don’t care I’m Like Langston Hughes I’m STILL HERE.

The above is an excerpt from SQUIRCULAR: An Actor’s Tale by Summer Hill Seven



Lines and Curves

Left: Paulus Gerdes/John Sims, A Roped Mirrored Curve, 2007 rope and graphite, 84”x 66” Right: Ken Hiratsuka, Chained Universe, 2002, Stone, 29.5” x 24.5”


Quadrants by Kristin Prevallet

Because there are patterns that repeat in this poem because poem equals patterns that are conscious of movement, this means this poem loops like patterns you mirror in thinking. It’s in thinking that your mind will repeat in patterns, movements repeat, remind you you’re awake, that mirror patterns already mapped that your thoughts are patterns compelled by ocean to repeat patterns like tides are to orbit, drift, or ebb they are universe there because ecosystems and shorelines are mirrored in there because patterns of life and death are movement are because of patterns that appear, connect, and repeat forever, because because the patterns you hear mirror those already mapped in there, poem in here, where you have been before you are in this loop where your mind is looking for patterns seen before in real life, everyday since the moment that you became conscious, repeat conscious repeat conscious over again repeat over and over again that seeing makes thinking happen in patterns that repeat like dust patterns in light make this turning and falling, blowing the movements are alive this poem like your mind moves, no other meaning there nothing because there are patters that repeat in this poem, because


because poem this in repeat that patterns are there because means this, movement of conscious are that patterns equals poem it’s thinking in mirror you patterns like loops poem this movements, patterns in repeat will mind your that thinking in mapped already patterns mirror that, awake you’re you remind, repeat repeat to ocean by compelled patterns are thoughts your that they ebb or, drift, orbit to are tides like patterns in mirrored are shorelines and ecosystems because there universe are this movement are death and life of patterns because there because, forever repeat and connect, appear, that patterns of because in mapped already those mirror hear you patterns the because you before been have you where, here in poem, there for looking is mind your where loop this in are moment the since everyday, life real in before seen patterns again over conscious repeat conscious repeat, conscious became you that happen thinking makes seeing that again over and over repeat make light in patterns dust like repeat that patterns in this alive are movements the blowing, falling and turning this nothing there meaning other no, moves mind your like poem because, poem this in repeat that patterns are there because


Images of Devonian Age: Pooh Kaye’s Response to Ken Hiratsuka


The Curvature of Green by Shanxing Wang

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5,000 branches. You never lose your money. You are the first one to ask. Longer hours. Coin machine. Personal loan after three-month relationship. Checking plus. Ready credit. You can find all that information on our website.


Cartesian MathArt Hive

The Cartesian MathArt Hive: Left by John Sims Top left to right featuring: 1. Dorothea Rockburne, Haloed Angel Study: Spark, (1983), water color, 11.5” x 12.5” 2. Joyce Wellman, Esau on Globe Crossing, (2009), acrylic on canvass, 18” x 18” 3. John Hiigli, Chrome 151: 3 Spheres, (2001), digital print, 18” x 18” 4. Agnes Denes, Isometric Systems in Isotropic Space-Map Projection: The Cube, (1980)digital print, 18” x 18” 5. John Sims, Square Roots of a Tree, (1999), digital print, 18” x 18” 6. Pam Tuczyn, Squaring the Circle: Heaven in Earth, (2009), oil, 18” x 18” 7. Roman Verostko, Drawing 13, (2009), digital print, 18” x 18” 8. Carlo Sequin, Poincare-double lace, (2009), digital print, 18” x 18” 9. Mike Field, Iterations, (2006), digital print, 18” x 18”


The Cartesian MathArt Hive: by John Sims Top left to right featuring: 1. Christina Schmitt, Enlightened Vision #10, (2009), acrylic on canvas, 18” x 18” 2. Davide Cervone, Kelien-Fountain, 2009, digital print, 18” x 18” 3. Vandorn Hinnant, Root Three Fractal SpiralGram (15), 2009, colored pencil, 18” x 18” 4. Kevin Dean, Zero, (2010), chalk on board, 18” x 18” 5. John Sims, Tree Root of a Fractal, 1999, digital print, 18” x 18” 6. Sol LeWitt, All the Combination of Arcs from the Corners and Straight Lines in Fours Direction, 2002 pencil and ink on paper, 8.5” x 11” 7. Susan Happersett, Spheres, 2008, ink on paper, 18” x 18” 8. Ken Hiratsuka, Fish, 2002, stone carving, 8”x13” 9. Howardena Pindell, Drawn with a Compass, Chopstick and a Pen, 2009, 18” x 18”


Our Days Are Numbered! by Robert Fitterman

0. Four over four minus four over four = 0 1. Four over four plus four minus four = 1 2. Four over four plus four over four = 2 3. Parenthesis four plus four plus four close parenthesis divided by four = 3 4. Parenthesis square root of four plus square root of four close parenthesis divided by four = 4 5. Brackets parenthesis four times four close parenthesis close brackets = 5 6. Four factorial times four divided four divided by four = 6 7. Forty-four divided by four minus four = 7 8. Four to the four over fourth power plus four = 8 9. Parenthesis four divided by four close parenthesis plus four plus four = 9 10. Square root of four bracket parenthesis four divided by four end parenthesis plus four close bracket = 10 11. Four factorial over the square root of four minus four over four = 11 12. Parenthesis four factorial divided by the square root of four close parenthesis times four divided by four = 12 13. Parenthesis four factorial times the square root of four plus four divided by four = 13 14. The square root of four plus parenthesis the square root of four times four close parenthesis plus four = 14 15. Forty four divided by four plus four = 15 16. Four plus four plus four plus four = 16 17. Parenthesis four times four close parenthesis plus parenthesis four divided by four close parenthesis = 17 18. Parenthesis Factorial four minus four close parenthesis minus four plus the square root of four = 18 19. Four factorial minus four minus four over four = 19 20. The square root of four factorial times the square root of four factorial times four plus four = 20


Mapping of the Universe by Faybiene Miranda

We are not in danger of obsessing with the over mapping of the universe Where we were many We become as one Where we are one We become a variegated chorus Harmonized, sampled in symphonic euphony Congruent with the sum of all its branches So many swollen thoughts explode in still reflections Niagara in its force harvesting our eyes to reap horizons in lucidity of day Awakened by the elemental beauty Intrinsic in the sacred hive of mortal contemplation While graphite dissertations point us toward Infinite parade of prismatic dancing light There is equity here shoe laced amid revolving spheres Evidence engraved for all to perceive Precision in the phases of a Lunar cornucopia of promises Veracity reduced from macro staged conceptions Illuminated in convergence 9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9 Benign endorsements From fractal friends seeking kinship in a world of imperfect human beings daring to be kissed by Nature I kiss you Nature Imprint me Goddess of the Fertile Grid Feed me I am famished for the honey of completion Alarming how we gather for this sweetness Evoking memories ancestral in soliloquy Remembering our transcendental journeys Through photonic corridors of corrugated folds and hemispheric alcoves In figure 8 pursuit of visionary dreams Between the silhouette of spatial geo discs and man Enchanted by the choreography of revelation We seek sacred ground Where Eshu grants permission for the traveler to pass freely on condition of obedience to the captivating Source Let’s strip ourselves of borrowed suppositions and step into a world religion of mad men and women who gamble with the tongues of frequency to speak their truth against conspiracy that squanders Quantum timelessness In this continuum Find safe haven and a map to free your minds To those in conflict with a pregnant disposition To deny your place among the moon and stars Throw caution to the wind and toss your reservation Defeating garrisons of conquer and divide You do not deserve perimeters that frame you Or detain you from the portion of your dreams Prepare to feed upon this

fractured road called destiny Find refuge in the spreading square root of a tree Beneath a canopy of permutations nourished By arithmetical fluency So confident in left brain think So right brain and divinely linked So effortlessly So reckless and random in design So perfectly endowed in vortex congregation Like Fibonacci coded pathways to origins I climb the stairs to find equation for my heart In you I see Intention of each fabricated line Unique in every spiral spinning web Casting shadowed threads oblique In every exhalation of galactic breath Infusing architected form of shell and stone In every factored invisibility transonically attuned To you and me I see you in reverie against the Calibrated stop watch of prevailed belief The clock is ticking The clock is ticking Tic toc tic toc Tic toc tic toc The clock is ticking and it’s raining cosmic showers through my roof Atomic particles give way to living proof Within the chambered segments of refraction That we are bound one to another Siblings of an alien Primal Binary Mother Asi en el cielo Asi en la tierra As it is in heaven So it is on earth Cosmogony unfolding spirit consciousness into Rhythmic contractions delivering Spiritual Metaphors For creation’s birth We are not in danger of obsessing with the over mapping of the universe We have only just arrived to map surveillance


Is Numerology Math? by Chris Funkhouser

Where Come Together! by Chris Funkhouser

People populate the hive Arithmetic requires, missing letter x Maraca Natter Thievish Shaman Chart Iterative Batch Anion Baton Chain Deviance Drove Cavern Videoed

Where come together! Online and gallery of tessellation, polyhedra, fractals, anamorphic kaleidoscopes, Origami. Showcasing hyperbolic spaces. As long as it has

Sedan Genes Senna Edges Mallard Durance

Principal - Top Level image, a paper on tactile geometry, virtual reality diversions.

Milked Fie Miked File Batter Inform Hooch Furthers Turnpikes Hitches Hunker Rustproof Perhaps Tautness Heat Suppressant Jig Hi Ho Nil And Van Ninth Nor Rand Nova Nth Inn Rankest Haiku Natures Khaki


for the feedback. Report the offensive image.

Exploding! Exploding! explore. What do the sliders do? For all of the sliders, you can change their width as well as their position. To change Welcome Connections Connections designed to introduce Cool

Banana Edify Mire Mania Brainy Feed Headpin Lowlander Bard Crook Hereunto Tabooed Chunk Error

lessons, help and practice fractals, polyhedra, tessellations and Projects

Arts Chic Tinsmith Transmit Chi Chits

Activities Ford Singularity knots.

Oral Quinces Lacquer Ions Johnisms Areas Lengths Sages Enthral Czar My Punt Mar Trove Nooks Oar Movers Knot Manta Heat Jowl Wheat Jam Tonal

Animations generated surface, 2 surface Format Acrobat[ic] Graphics Visualization introduces a series of Sites

Cyan Jell Meow Man Cloy Jewel Free Viewers Latest


Update to newest version

Alphabetical Mutability by Tatiana Bonch

Transmutable Computable Inscrutable Suitable

Relativity Sensitivity Subjectivity Impassivity

Canonical Harmonical Iconical Synchronical

Curiosity Generosity Preciosity Virtuosity

Dramatical Emblematical Mathematical Enigmatical

Eccentricity Multiplicity Plasticity Periodicity

Repetitional Traditional Transpositional Definitional

Mutability Availability Desirability Equability

Numerous Multifarious

Obscurity Security

Laborious Victorious

Festivity Activity

(4!)10 x (2!)2 = 253 613 523 861 504 variants


One by Marcella Durand

the first bird sings and the dark sky becomes less so imperfect impersonalities everywhere I look immediately the person I need to program exists no more You can’t use the word “you” when negotiating keep arms and legs uncrossed and emit “huh” and “uh-huh” at appropriate intervals determined by online mechanicals speech balloons appear and pop but the person I am hating keeps talking where is the schism between what I think and what I want to say? I want to say what I want to say and when I want to say it you can take my right to want to say when to say it not to say it here’s my gun I’d like to either put it all in or take it all out and apologies John I meant the river was drained and what they found was extruded conglomerate in a matrix of lime--with, oh yeah, two feet and ten toes the composition of asphalt is closely correlated with petroleum products the doctor prescribed it all wrong it’s getting worse bricks pop out opening to the sky raining raining on the computer I now understand corrosion pigeons get to it red feet and all Tesla was never distracted his laboratory coiled on wheels and swinging lightbulbs turbines and patchwork and row of pamphlets vaulted ceilings formed by massive balloons under concrete fine rain and finer details specific views and perspectives reading and distracted from time how a day seems like an hour how a day doesn’t correspond to an hour how time that seemed long seems afterward quite short time is movement “place is security” and “space is freedom” projects continue people trying to contact me and people not trying to contact me loneliness company geography space time and place does if and how this relates to ecology if geography is about me and space is about me and time is about me but ecology is about everything else distracted because that’s not really true or could be very true but then how am I supposed to be in space time place and “concerned” concerned about the not-me and depriving, or adding


to myself and everything around me, creating a landscape that is yet not myself and in which I inhabit pressured and obliged indecisive over direction and action I can’t pay attention right now focus is missing concentration dilute what “should” be and what I “want” if you want me to shut the window the wind has picked up thinking about the meeting on time management the obligation to submit a project brief describing a project before the project is done stakeholders, objective, goal and mission, a timeline when will the project be done? just as you hand me a book just as she hands him a book just as they hand her a book the only copy of a book “copy” isn’t correct; this is one book the one and only book how was this one copy of one book printed? was it a “print” instead of a “print job”? this book is not reproducible because what I hold is vulnerable yet indivisible there are initials and names on the back and several pages on which people have written comments as to what they think of this book, and some have written the towns and countries they were in when they received and read the book and sometimes even the circumstances the paper is from trees or recycled post-consumer should it be zero-emission? is it justified in form, content, and effect? Did I have to drive to find it? It was driven to me? What sort of factory pulped it, peeled it, glued its pages to its backing? chimneys post smoke and workers file in and out to have their tickets chomped plasticine or not, and certainly rust-resistant on that conveyor belt, the book was completed and rubber-ink scent steals over the pins and rollers. the copy editors take a break to check the news. they link to link and link and link, scroll down, then verify AP style and break again, news is refreshed and reflected upon, a status update: my focus is broken, a factory prism, a prism of foci. A fracture of light: from window to white. Spot of rainbow high above cloud chills above air: water crystallizes into the forms of God: yes, each one unique, irreproducible--vulnerable? Wounded. And when land again on earth, warmth convinces crystal back to liquid vacillation.

You Lie

Paul D. Miller, You Lie, 2010, Four digital prints, 48”x32” each 30

Dread Scott, Poll Dance, 2010, Interactive installation 31

Spam A Lot (Viagra for Joe Wilson)

by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

Spam A Lot (Viagra for Joe Wilson)


After DJ Spooky’s You Lie

The Meany Potion is highly contested. The bar codes an icy rum with pixilated text messages. This Icy Urn is a cookie monster. No Mane in every possible format. The running man came and From time to time No Op for wireless Runny Acme. Cry Ann; go no now, shed a tear for my networks. the street’s a visual dish Bombarded, Yin Man laughs at the human voice: “Op Nip we are and even in cyan mire nu cyan� too pinned down the cellular relays a basic print information that is too poi. Now what I did just say? and what about redeemed paranormal flatware – what one might investigate is wretched acne. a nun in this creamy era of ubiquity: incur ye man runic ye man uric numbers can be made to say almost anything urine is fill with mixed messages, vitamin efficient cry Ann, go on now ion top ion pot ion opt an iron lion simply put my can cranny cranium my nun miss ann won’t you take me home bama lama an ital landscape, mum ac bridge between rune yin. ruined numeric are left as traces to synthesize the runny mace rubric, cause mi yin came to a joint session and the ruins aids in my yin. the use of a sound bite in nuance; a miry cranium. Representative Wilson ye run manic and the runny acme sings incur and outbursts and runic yearning impressions ice my rice on thee. rye on my dye sugar exchanged on top of pot and cut through Mr. Nu ya rec mi nun ya rec cumin yuan inn. Cur me in any cur en in any car men; smells like Ensure Amen Mac yen numeracy. Ton poi not in Iran. I ton mercy. Mine the nine in ya inna text. It’s freely available. Yearn any inane miner cause rainy cum is at a cross-roads. Slap the ream. Inure my nu congressional manix. Ruined cane. The art word’s a mean cream. The racey nacre mirrors and you lied so dang good.


Survey by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

Survey –after Dread Scott What is your age? a. Under 21 b. 21-30 c. 31-40 d. 41-50 e. over 50 What is your gender? a. Male b. Female c. Transgender If you live in a rental apartment, what is your monthly rent? a. Less than $1,000 b. $1,000-$1,500 c. $2,000-$3,000 d. $3,500-$4,000 What do you consider yourself? a. Full-time Artist b. Part-time Artist c. Hobbyist Do you have health insurance? a. Yes b. No Do you have student loans? If so, how much are you in debt for? a. 1,000 to 5,000 b. 5,000 to 10,000 c. 11,000 to 20,000 d. 21,000 to 40,000 e. 41,000 to 60,000 Do you have hope for the future? a. I do not have hope for the future. b. I have hope for the future. Do you support Obama’s Health Care Plan? a. I do support Obama’s Health Care Plan. b. I do not support Obama’s Health Care Plan.

Which comes closer to your views? a. I am a professional artist who has accomplished great success and has received an ample amount of grants and commissions frequent enough to live on and pay off my student loans b. I am a professional artist who has managed to supplement my income with a handful of grants and residencies. c. I am a professional artist living below the poverty level. d. I am professional teaching artist without health insurance. e. I fear getting sick. How many benefits for a fellow artist to raise money for their hospital costs did you attended or were aware of between 2008 and 2009? a. 3 or more b. 2 c. 1 d. none Which comes closer to your views? a. Artists have no interest in topics like health insurance, housing, social security. b. Artists have great interest in topics like health insurance, housing, social security. Do you ever get a sense that polls are used to reinforce mainstream views in society? a. I feel that polls greatly reinforce mainstream views. b. I do not feel that polls reinforce mainstream views. Do you think your views are reflective of the views of country as a whole? a. My views are in the majority. b. My views are in the minority. c. No opinion. Does the government value your life? a. The government values my life. b. The government does not value my life

Have you ever received financial support for a state or city welfare program? a. Yes b. No In a recent New York Times interactive chart, New York was shown to have 391,110 welfare recipients as of January 2009 and 2,025,853 New Yorkers receiving Food Stamps due to the rise in unemployment. 18 states have already cut their cash assistance to people in need. Should New York follow their lead? a. Yes b. No


Coolant System by Alan Gilbert

It’s not heroic, it’s broken. It’s the silent trip between unspokens. We recognize the architecture but don’t name it. We take a place amid the holes resembling pink dots inside our fathers’ hearts. All the little words don’t even reach the doorbell. Some people are awake in the middle of the night. Some are at the bathroom sink rinsing and spitting. There’s a PowerPoint presentation for just about anything, and a personalized ringtone to alert us when the war is calling—it’s the sound of beds being dragged across an orphanage floor. The next ice age will fill the rivers with antifreeze. It’s the midway point of a sugar packet’s half-life, spoonfed in timelapse with porn made to order. I still briefly pause when I hear an airplane flying low. The police helicopters I’m more used to, as an ebbing river of concrete reveals a beach strewn with Mardi Gras necklaces hurled at the Superdome. We change the sheets for the next set of guests. We live with contradictions. At a benefit for eating off of plasma TVs, my gift bag contained a woman’s razor and chocolate-covered pretzels; yours was filled with Play-Doh and a snorkel. Initial programming includes episodes of Pimp My Ride for self-propelled cyborgs randomly chosen for modifications after fending off drunks swinging gravy ladles and discounted wife-beater 3-packs. Donkeys do well in semi-arid desert. Manny or Mandy? Who will heal the healers? Someone smeared a label warning Do Not Ingest. Clouds move quickly ahead of the front and a rush to close the windows. Normally, I’d say it was a good thing we were home, where worn-out shoes are left curbside with the other paper and plastic recycling.

Originally published in First Proof: BOMB’s Literary Supplement, No. 108 (Summer 2009) and Late in the Antenna Fields (Futurepoem, 2011).


Count Me In by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai the summer after my senior year in college was a summer that i barely remember. a summer of numbers and letters. i had one damn class left: micro-economics. i don’t remember anything about this class, except that it was at 8 in the morning, and i frequently showed up in pajamas. i thought i liked microeconomics. i thought i wanted to learn more about money, supply, and demand. the class was full of great big white charts with great big blocks of color. even distributions that didn’t look anything like the drug dealers hanging out in north champaign or the factory workers leaving the kraft plant beyond campustown or the women at the domestic violence shelter where i worked who applied for WIC cards and public transportation stipends. great big white charts. great big blocks of color. each morning, i spent that hour slightly hung over in my pajamas. skin thirsting for sun outside, green outside, for concrete sidewalks, soft-serve ice cream, and tongue kisses from boys i didn’t know. all until the hour was up. my father got laid off that spring, so i had four jobs that summer: one as a waste management library assistant, one as a tutor for the bridge transition program, one as a third-shift waitress at perkins, one as a temporary part-time worker for the u.s. census. at the waste management library, i made $5.50 an hour. at the bridge transition program, i made $6.00 an hour. at the perkins, i made about $8.00 or $9.00 an hour in greasy dollars and syrup-sticky quarters. i probably ended up working for the u.s. census the same way i ended up in army rotc for my first year and a half in college – avid bulletin board reading plus curiosity plus sense of civic interest (or was it duty?), and loot that would support my own personal social experiment in this arena. it started out with a training video in a fluorescent-lit room filled with all ages, races, types of people. i remember the feel of golf pencils in my hand, the scratch of ovals. my boss was a 24-year-old army vet, a new dad, who lived in a house in champaign. his sandy blonde hair fell crooked over his face. he wore plaid button-down shirts (even though it was summer) with the top buttons undone (scant chest hair poking out). at our first meeting at his house, he pointed out the bullet hole at the top of the stairs. he killed a man who came into rob him earlier that summer. he said he felt sorry for the guy (i guess this guy’s family also lived in champaign), and it spooked him. but i couldn’t shake the feeling that he was a little proud of it. the bullet hole in the wall remained unpatched. just a perforation between two picture frames absent of blood stains and the slumped body on the floor. “now, what you’ve got to do,” he said, “is fill out the forms, and return them back to me, and based on the number of forms, that’s how many hours i’ll clock for you.” “all the forms that i fill out in my own hand?”

“yes,” he said. “the u.s. census estimates that you can finish about 15 forms or so an hour, so for every 15 you get an hour’s worth of pay. so like $12.50.” “and all i have to do is fill them out and give them to you?” “yes.” as per the girl scout in me, i actually went to every address on my list. i knocked doors, rang doorbells, tapped windows. i carried my clipboards of surveys, my handful of golf pencils, and inched through every apartment complex, cul de sac, intersection. i left flyers under storm doors, on lawn ornaments, over unhinged gates. i marked each response or lack of response diligently in my notes. there’s a short form and a long form. uh, your household has actually been selected for the long form census. how many people were living here on april 1, 2000? starting with the first person in your household, are they of hispanic, latino or spanish origin? okay, yes, then would that be mexican, cuban, puerto rican... anyone black. anyone latino. anyone asian. would not answer the door. or would answer the door, stretch back, and laugh, “i don’t trust the government” or “i can’t answer those questions” with a shake of the head. one family let me in, mostly, i think, because they felt sorry for me. i sat on a wooden stool eating food from the bowls that they offered me, as they stared at me in a perplexed yet sympathetic way. i remember back in the fluorescent-lit room. the training video voice said, “assure people that no matter what their immigration status is, the u.s. census will be used just for informational purposes, so there is nothing left to fear.” overall, the census-taking was less than four weeks of work. the census takers moved to the next section of central illinois hiring more temporary part-time staff. leaving us locals high and dry and looking for something else to fill the gap. most of my friends were making ends meet by tossing pizza dough, cocktailing at the malibu bay lounge strip club, hocking apartmentfor-rent flyers on the street dressed in leprachaun costumes, dumping rotten garbage out at the dairy queen, or selling weed from parked cars at the few summer parties around. after that summer, i could never look at stats the same way again. all the government programs, the “authoritative” findings, the demographic modeling based on brief utterances gleaned from between heavy silences of weariness and distrust. great big white charts. great big blocks of color. any claim to a national comprehensive knowledge rings false (or at the least foolish) to me – any expectation that the census is more than an aggregate of human mistakes, pencil marks scratching $12.50 an hour in rural areas and $17.00 an hour in urban areas. a kind of reverse lottery ticket in an attempt to buck the arbitrariness of affixing a numerical value on labor, of calculating how much each person’s position is worth.


The Square Root of Love

Karen Finley, Many Moods of Love, LP installation- with sound collage, 66” x 66”


John Sims, Square Root of Love, Installation-vinyl on acrylic, 66” x 66”


The Square Root of Love: Calculating the HEART of things by JoAnne Growney

LOVE THE SQUARE ROOT OF LOVE: Calculating the HEART of things JoAnne Growney – 2010 The square root of love is a roof over love with shelter for the heart of love . . . To those who say, LOVE is just a word, I add, LOVE counts -When we start from A, we find that L is the 12th letter and O is the 15th letter, V is the 22nd letter and E is the 5th letter. Some say LOVE is just a word, but the word becomes a number— if we add 12 + 15 + 22 + 5 we have LOVE’s number -- 54. LOVE’s more than a word, -- LOVE is 54. To get to the heart of LOVE, to the self-multiplying center of LOVE we will find the Square Root of LOVE. LOVE is not a simple number. If LOVE were 4, its square root would be 2. If LOVE were 16, its root would be 4. If LOVE were 25, its root would be 5. But LOVE’s Square Root is an infinite irregular display. (Still, with the help of we can calculate 54 to any precision we choose.) Math people say the Square Root of LOVE is irrational—but who in LOVE admits the loss of reason? LOVE is reason’s ideal!

The Square Root of LOVE begins with 7-- but 7 squared is only 49 so next to 7 we place a decimal point and seek more digits.


The next digit is 3 which is the number of a crowd, then 4 which is the number of my children, next 8 which rhymes with “mate” then 4 which counts the seasons, and 6 which is perfect.

3 4

Then we have 9 which is like a coconut and double 2 to bond the lovers. We have 8 which has just eaten and 3 which counts the little kittens or the Billy Goats Gruff.

9 22 8 3

Next comes 4 for the compass points and 9 for the circles of hell and 5 for one hand’s fingers and 3—which, in a row, wins Tic-Tac-Toe— then 4 for the number of Gospels.

4 9 5 3 4

The next four digits are 2945 — then next comes 9, the number of planets before Pluto became too small.

2945 9

We then find 1 and 8 and 5 and a pair of 2s -we know 1 is the number of God, 8 is the sides to an octagon, 5 is the points to a star 2 is how many opposites, 2 is the number of magnetic poles.

18522 . . . . . .

8 4 6

Weary though we are, so far we have only twenty-six digits of the Square Root of LOVE which goes on forever. We could spend our lives on its digits—we must stop, find time for LOVE.

54  7.

34846 92283 49534 29459 18522 24117 67417 58978 42441 97001 03852 98077 70175 28811 32371 94507 96195 78299 31392 07044 .

. .

source: www


Learning To Be My Father’s Son Or 16 Things I Could Never Tell My Father by Regie Cabico

1. you were a carabao lifting rice sacks under the Pangasinan sun a handsome sailor on his way to Greece instead found a Filipino nurse who hummed Elvis tunes she thought America would be a Technicolor beach but arrived during the coldest Baltimore winter surprised by foods like pizza 2. you bought a house with a fireplace it was romantic mom said 3. while mom worked late shifts taking care of crack babies in south east DC you watched basketball the bounce of your belt breaking me when I was three for twisting the controls of the portable tv called me destroyer 4. you fed me the finest adobo, stews of blood garlic, chili peppers when driving me to piano lessons you said you could never eat a piano 5. you could turn so red & jelly you convinced all the neighbors that you should play Santa Claus when you were really hiding a temper that fists thru doors 6. the house you bought is boarded up with too many holes to be sold your belongings strung outside a yard sale for the damned 7. the gorgeous cherry tree you killed with insecticides gone too

9. I want to know if you ever saw me dad you hiding behind a hammock and sunglasses saw the boy you made rub your back for a nickel 10. I am tired of growing fat like you know that you’ve become that apathetic sack of rice buried in the fields 11. what can I do to make it worth the miles 12. I want to play a sonata of love for you arpeggios of anger scaling 13. thirty-two years of tears for you metronome clicks for disappointment in you my hands reach out to lift you higher than the volcanoes where gods gave men rice 14. and from the altitudes of angels I am not afraid to say I’ve come home 15. thirty-two years of tears for you metronome clicks for disappointment in you 16. my hands reach out to lift you higher thanthe volcanoes where gods gave men rice and from the altitudes of angels, I am not afraid to say I’ve come home

8. did you even know what you were doing pisces man lover of seas whose hot spit I felt on my cheek the way my head spilt bloody beaten by the boy across the street you lifted me by the neck told me how you were slapped by Japanese bayonets don’t cry it doesn’t hurt shaking me like a wet umbrella


Selected Infinite Extensions Arbitrarily Constrained: Sol LeWitt and Adrian Piper

Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #163, (1973), Red and black crayon, 6’x 6’ 40

Adrian Piper, Vanishing Point #1, (2009), Wall deletion, 6’x 6’ 41

Sociedad Anonima by Mónica de la Torre

A reading in response to Adrian Piper’s Vanishing Point #1 (2009) Remove the 6’ square section of wall itself, so that whatever is behind it (bricks, wooden supports, whatever) is revealed. Itself a response to Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #163—Two Lines in a Square (1973). Black outlined square with a red horizontal line from the left side and a red vertical line touching at the end of the horizontal line. Lately I’ve been trying something new, to live without illusions and cherish what remains [...] The sacred remains: The assault of the real, the dissection of fact, the mystery of unmeaning, the dwindling of self, the release into motion. —Adrian Piper, from Decide Who You Are #11: Remains, 1992 Now I see them in their second-hand Ford. Someone else sees me seeing them. Someone else sees that guy seeing all the rest. Set County, nestled within all these acts of observation, three theses of seeing.” —Mac Wellman, from Linda Perdido SELF = WALL Remove your self. What do you find? SOCIEDAD ANONIMA Dear friend, I’d love for you to consider contributing a few pieces for a book I’m doing with a poetry press in Mexico City. The book gathers verbal snapshots or sketches of people, if you will, and is titled Sociedad Anónima. Although the title literally translates into “anonymous society,” it’s a legal term for a type of shareholder-owned corporation. I’ve written many of these sketches already, but in keeping with the nature of the project, I’d like open it up to other people’s voices. I don’t want my voice or perspective to prevail and become the one identifiable subject in the midst of an assembly of anonymous ones. I thought of you because you’re observant; other people’s personhood seems to intrigue you and, in turn, I’m intrigued by what you perceive. If you were to participate, I’d ask you to send me 1 to 3 portraits of people by Friday, April 9th. I ask that you jot down impressions and not make these artsy or poetic. You can choose to depict people you know or complete strangers, just don’t include their names in the pieces you send to me. Go about portraying them anyway you please. A snippet of dialogue, a fragment of a text message or email, a clothing item—all will suffice. Anything from one word to a whole page per portrait is welcome. You should know too that in the spirit of the project, I’ll credit everyone in the book’s acknowledgments, but names won’t be attached to individual pieces. I’ll be translating the pieces into Spanish, but I’ll hold on to the originals in case I ever do the book in English as well. I hope you want to do this! I’d be thrilled. As ever, Mónica


Two poems Squared by Bob Holman







Two lines don’t make a square Unless two are right angles And connect up on all sides. Two red lines one square you can't

make a square out of two lines unless right angles connect.

Two black lines, black half lines and Squeezed rectangles make a square, two black fours make six, six Rectangles, one square. A square as in a whole hole in the canvas A hole in the wall A hole that reveals the wall is a square. A square Whole in a square wall. It’s a square Adrian Piper! Geometry rhymes Poetry, John







Not square in art and poetry cut a hole in the roof the square sky Stares at your square eyes and all along the square the squire stares At the storage container the orange container open the square can And you get a square lid perhaps you put the square sandwich into that Square can or the sandwich itself is square into a box did I say box?

Dear Morning Light dear visiwind by Bob Holman

dear skin singular enveloping us into hello what are am I doing you are here hello and when and when and then and then and when again again let’s just say, in terms of saying, that someone is you one and beneath layers of dust music and gargoyle lint little bits of you hello hello keeps calling world in a footprint hello arm around bod pulled close hello all the above below and below above (hello? hello!) indefatigability-lanced breath all teeth and a light Dear Morning Light and visiwind Dear You who spins and spanning The me to you factor hug and wait a second lip lips Plurality theme song, reciprocal love absolute I can hear you humming somewhere deep within Pulling the covers over and call it skin


Terra Quad by Edwin Torres … what do you do … when cataclysm takes its time for you — … terra non grata … with molten being … drilled into my dna I waited — invisible kingdom, embedded to invisible side with all of us, there waiting, from the bordered before … show yourself … through the wall — our people … stranded in that square … all of you looking back … all the same … at the edge — terra sin mecca the salt in my beard the bees throughout — all the same underneath a ground — ten thousand times bigger than the one I stand on spitting up dirty tornados in a direct fault-line to who I am a century’s blind telegram injects into your soil … there’s only so much a planet can take … only so much — I thought I would have … by now the mouth disappears empty as a painting a body a bone … is this, for anyone who wants it … a frame, a day … grounded in prehistoric terrapins … thank you web … but I don’t really need erection pills orbit sage, omnipresent calliope jesters in funeral gear poets, poets, poets … easy to invent a room … if language is what follows you … if all I am … is something to admire … something to step through … come on planet, your mouth — a smoke of contradictions releasing debate as healthy spillover our only travel an undercurrent of hidden language redefining condition as human telegraphic collisions — terra cum voca tremendous flow of faith, of carnage … and where to put that … the answer — too private, paleontific 44

… angular somewhere in my daily commute once I have nowhere to go — the birds and burns that invigorate my step will be the small crimes that stand out once the big ones have gone … waiting to be heard … on the other side — this is not … screaming for help … that happened already a long time ago … in the words, the work … that’s — where it happens dressed in glyphics secrets take on long tales imagined — as language and line … breaks — see, I’m not … asking you about the asking … just asking the teller to be quiet … so I can hear … the structure of my output … and glance inside … using you, dear planet — as … a guide, to just … let go little orb. terror snort. spooner devil. tempter port. thistle brush. invasion wing. leader wing. my boy, asleep on the living room couch a tape recording of my voice telling him stories my love, asleep on our bed a recurring dream of us when we were flying me, asleep in words a poem’s invasion of flight why now — to feel active in the walk to stir up the filtering capacity of the stranded to celebrate the work that does the work the molecules aligned for the gulp … the air doesn’t warn anymore … just looks me in the eye and says … I’m here — are you? … show me how your day … moves you moves … through you — takes so much … to get through a day … to put words into something, approaching … thought what you must be going through, dearest planet your process your disruption — aligned with mine what can I give you when the ground won’t stop when a poem functions as both remedy and opening

MathArtPoem: A LeWitt/Piper Response by John Sims/Rhythm of Structure Class ( NYU)

MathArtPoem: A LeWitt/Piper Response by John Sims/Rhythm of Structure Class ( NYU): Adrienne Cahill, Audrey Hailes, Allison Semenza, Brittany Beyer, Charley Damski, Daniel Jones, Dorothy Ahoova Jiji, Daniel Swartz, Ellpetha Tsivicos, Erin Rioux, Iemi Hernandez-Kim, Natalie Peyton, Oliver Lanzenberg, Rachel Naar, Ryan Mellinger, Samuel Wilkes, Steffi Graffis and William Sullivan


For the Girl Who Was Asked to Write a Poem About Me and, as Usual, Wanted to Write a Poem About Her Heart Instead by Eboni Hogan

I’ll riddle you this. There is a hole, but nothing is missing. Quit shrugging your shoulders. You’re not even trying. The bricks have always been here. The bricks are not in question. Seriously, lay off the bricks. Just look at you. Your silly head, a storm tossed buoy, bobbing left, right, searching for some law that regulates my empty, sends the red ants marching in flawless formation out, up. You look like one of those NYU types that spent your first semester defending the artistic merit of a toilet seat. I can tell by the way you laugh like “why is nobody else laughing?” I can tell by the way you pour yourself into everything, blame it on your parent’s divorce when you spill. You get me. You’ve just stopped believing in silence. In smooth lines and sharp corners. I’m a simple sort of wonder. Oh, now you’re frustrated? I’ve had to stare at your unkempt eyebrows for 12 minutes. How do you think that makes me feel? You’ve written 12 words, mostly ones you can’t define, taken 4 cell phone pictures, contemplated grabbing a beer at the barIt’s noon, kid. You’re life ain’t that bad. Quit sassin’ me. I didn’t ask to be here anymore than you did. I’m 37 years old. I know what defeat smells like. I know what it is to stand before the flocks as they stare and stare and stare and talk about how it makes them feel to stare. I am everything you don’t want to understand these days. You look like the lonely type. Like you live in an echo. Carve a chunk out of your sternum. Don’t mind the fluttering thing beneath it. It’s overrated. Witness the wondrous acrobatics you are made of. What does your empty look like? Is it anything like mine? Do your angles ever dare you, dare you to stand up straight? 46

The Elevator by Mark Strand 1 The elevator went to the basement. The doors opened. A man stepped in and asked if I was going up. “I’m going down,” I said, “I won’t be going up.”

2 The elevator went to the basement. The doors opened. A man stepped in and asked if I was going up. “I’m going down,” I said, “I won’t be going up.”

Empty by Jon Sands Someone just put their Diet Coke on me. Actually they put it on my absence. I am made of a tunnel. I am made of a window. Today, Mr. Poet, you are made of a turquoise sweatshirt. Today, you are made of a headache because last night you were made of three tequila shots. Today, I’m made of a Diet Coke bottle. I call it my little nutrasweetheart. I’m made of brick in here. Sometimes Mr. Turquoise Poet, I wish your outsides were made of nothingness so I could see more clearly what you’ve named your bricks. One is the blue your nephew keeps in his new eyes. One, the curl your body becomes around your second pillow on the mornings you no longer enjoy being single. One, the night your best friends spoke the language of karaoke and back-flipped laughter into the walls of each bar in Ft. Greene. My promise to you is to never stop naming. Move me outside, I’ll name my skyscrapers. Point me skyward, I’ll name my planets. Point me at yourself. Please, point me at yourself.


20, 21, 29: A Classroom Assignment, 2010, Cotton rope and crayon, Students from Brooklyn Academy of Science and Environment: NaomiBeaubrun, Krystal Duckett, Chidi Duke, Augustine Fordjourd, Sheneil Johnson, Jackie Jones, Eunice Joseph, Rashawn Lenzy Korabo Mtomboti, Sherika Powell, Brittany St. Rose and Jennifer Lemish – instructor


21 Reasons Why I Hate Math by Shappy Seasholtz

1- It’s my worst subject. 2- I failed Algebra in high school. 3- When I retook Algebra in high school during the final exam the principal announced that the space shuttle had just blown up. 4- The space shuttle probably blew up because of a mathematical error. 5- I got terrible scores in math on my ACT’s and my SAT’s thus dooming me to a lifetime of liberal arts. 6- A right angle is 90 degrees. It is 90 degrees outside as I write this and it is hot and miserable. I hate 90 degrees. 7- If a train leaves Philadelphia at 1:45 PM at 55MPH and another train leaves NYC at 1:55PM at 65MPH, then why do I always end up sitting next to a bunch of drunk businessmen drinking 40 ounce cans of Lite Beer talking too loudly about sports? 8- Men from ancient times who created Mathematics slept with little boys. 9- Subtraction means you take something away from someone and nobody likes having their stuff taken unless you are having a tumor removed. 10- Addition means you put something into something and that is why this planet is overpopulated. 11- Money is just a bunch of numbers written on paper and we all pretend it means something. 12- Most people don’t know how to calculate a 15 to 20 percent tip on a credit card tab and just round up to the next highest number. These people should be rounded up and then shot. 13- Math was somehow used to invent computers and the internet which despite how advanced that seems it seems to have somehow made people stupider. 14- Even people who are good at math can’t figure out why their paychecks are so small and their cell phone bills are so big. 15- My girlfriend understands the concept of compound interest when it applies to her 401K but not how it applies to my comic book collection. 16- When you are born, the government assigns you a number. This seems evil to me somehow. 17- There is a lot of talk about how many apples someone has in math problems and it makes me hungry for apples. 18- The same thing happens when someone discusses the concept of “PI”. 19- Math made Russell Crowe go crazy in that one movie. 20- A trapezoid sounds like a really cool monster that Godzilla might fight but it’s really just a stupid looking rectangle thingy. 21- Because 7 ate 9!


29 Solutions For Writers, By People Who Know Better Than Me by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz 1.) “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” —Ernest Hemingway

18.) “Humor is laughing at what you’ve haven’t got, when you ought to have it.” —Langston Hughes

2.) “Poetry is mostly hunches.” —John Ashberry

20) “This autonomy crap? That means you’re off working alone. If you want autonomy, be a poet.” —Michael Eisner (CEO of Disney)

3.) “The process of writing will always be trying to repair something that doesn’t exist with tools you have to invent on the spot.” —George Saunders 4.) “Write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.” —Ernest Hemingway 5.) “I always write from my own experiences whether I’ve had them or not.” —Ron Carlson 6.) “You owe reality nothing and the truth about your feelings everything.”—Richard Hugo 7.) “Writing isn’t about applause. It’s about humiliation.” —Steve Almond 8.) “Art hurts. Art urges voyages when it’s easier to stay home.” —Gwendolyn Brooks 9.) “…you can kill characters only once, but you can hurt them everyday.” —Neil LaBute 10.) “When one is highly alert to language, then nearly everything begs to be a poem...” —James Tate 11.) “Remember the old adage about how an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually type something beautiful? Well, the Internet disproves that.” —Kurt Vonnegut

21.) “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.” —Robert Graves 22.) “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant.” —Winston Churchill 23.) “Perhaps there is another kind of writing, I only know this one: in the night, when fear does not let me sleep.” —Franz Kafka 24.) “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anaïs Nin 25.) “Once your life is organized so beautifully that there’s a table, and a chair, and a typewriter, that already is an incredible triumph.” —Leonard Cohen 26.) “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” —Charles Bukowski 27.) “Poets think they are pitchers, but they are really catchers.” —Jack Spicer 28.) “The end of all our exploring will be to arrive when we started and know the place for the first time.” —T.S. Eliot 29.) “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” —Isaac Asimov

13.) “Always pull back—and see how silly we must look to God.” —Jack Kerouac 14.) “I write for myself and strangers.” —Gertrude Stein 15) “Any writer who knows what he’s doing isn’t doing very much.” —Nelson Algren 16.) “Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like paté.” —Margaret Atwood 17) “If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” —Hunter S. Thompson


Mutually Inverse Operations: Mathematical Poetry on the Occasion of the Mathematical Graffiti Wall by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino

So I set myself a task — to work by way of the analogy between the grammatical and the mathematical — and I formulated a definition — the “mathematical poem,” if it is to be, or to contain, poetry, must have some poetic elements, as well as some formal symbols and operations of math — and I named my mathematical poetry “mutually inverse operations,” and then on the occasion of the Mathematical Graffiti Event at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, I posted a set of examples of my mathematical poetry on the Mathematical Graffiti Wall.

Mutually Inverse Operations:

Change + purse = church. kite + propeller = wing. to + to = too. am = be + I secrets = ? + whispers

Previous page: Mathematical Graffiti, 2010, Mixed media, 12’ x 16’, Featuring Fernando Mora, John Sims with Kyle Goen, Mark Turgeon and the Bowery Poetry Club Patrons


Graffiti Mathemaku by Bob Grumman

Proportional Poems by Kaz Maslanka


33 Symmetry Axes x 40 Orthogonal Triples; or, Free Will, Revisited by Stephanie Strickland

Who Counts, Counts by Stephanie Strickland

Are you kidding? Quarks, too, can choose? Conway and Kochen, old dragons, well vetted, claim—no—prove, if given a free hand to choose

Baby and you —and me, we will make three,

their gear direction while quizzing quarks with questions, taking their measure, then, too, whim-

driven & not determined, a particle’s response. To be precise—the universe’s response near the particle undetermined by the Whole prior history of World Time & Space. In fairness, it’s the theory’s “strong” (min, spin, twin) form—could they claim more?

Imagine haranguing electrons, just say no— Imagine addressing zoomers sans apparatus. Up and at it, again, are you, pairs of them grumble, maybe even hiss; gauging us, too, in their stinging way.

but baby-and-me are different: we’re twowho-are-one. So, together, five—or we were, when I-was-two-in-one, but wishing, it was so hot that summer, I was wishing we were two. You and me, we’ve been two who were one as well, but nobody thinks that’s the same, or a problem. How many of us were there really, when I-was-two-who-were-one? Was it five: us-two + we-three? Or three?

from Vlak 1 no. 1, 2010

Or two. You said, “If it came —God forbid—to that, well then, just two.” You meant, should it come, Godsent, to some crux, should push come to knife, just Baby and you.

from True North, U. Notre Dame Press, 1997


Notes on Numbers by Richard Kostelanetz

Life is full of numbers that are continually speaking to us in their own language--the language of numerals. Unless we learn how to read them--how to perceive order and meaning behind numerical relationships--we are, in certain respects, functionally illiterate. The arithmetic of whole numbers includes six operations: addition, multiplication, and involution (also known as “Squaring”), as well as their opposites, which are subtraction, division and devolution (or extracting the “square root”), all of which are procedures available to numerical art. Every piece of mine has both a visual form and a numerical form. §Some numerical structures are simple and instantly understood, while others can be quite complex and opaque. My own art tends to favor symmetrical and sequential kinds of order over more obscure forms, as the numerical sets in these works usually articulate an arithmetic pattern. §Numerical art requires numeracy to be understood, much as poetry depends upon “literacy”; this is an art for people are are numerate. §My Numbers are primarily about properties peculiar to numbers; rarely do they attempt to refer to anything outside of numbers. Nonetheless, they reflect a world that is full of numbers and thus hopefully enhance our experience of numerable life. §Poetry composed of numbers differs from numerical fictions, the crucial distinction being that poetry aims to concentrate both image and effect, while stories create a world of related activity. Thus, most multi-page sequences are fictional, while one-pagers are usually closer to poetry; yet into a single page can be compressed material that is essentially more fictional than poetic. §The Pythagoreans assumed that only through number and form could Man grasp the nature of the universe. §Numbers, unlike verbal language, can be read both vertically and horizontally; they are also internationally understood. §Algebraic symbols comprise another mathematical language, consisting largely of numerical paraphrases, whose grammar often resembles that of numbers. Though more powerful mathematically, such symbols strike me as less useful artistically, only in part because the vocabulary of algebra is more esoteric than that of numbers. §It could be said that arithmetic investigates the mysterious properties and mutual relationships of common numbers; and so, in its own ways, does ‘numerical ‘art. §Much contemporary art reveals a concern with the essences of a medium which is, in this case, the language of numerals. It was my intention to use nothing but numbers, in all their purity. §For all of my life I have enjoyed the numbers encountered in everyday life. In New York State, where I live, license plates frequently have a single number followed by a letter and then four more numerals - something like “5W4925.” Even today, I instinctively divide the four right-hand digits by the left-hand integer, in addition to noting that the numbers contain the sums of 7 and 5 squared. I hope this art reflects that kind of concern and pleasure. §Though recent artists have tried to incorporate into their works a wealth of material and. imagery previously considered sub-artistic, Art has scarcely assimilated the language of numbers; for few of the numerals appearing in contemporary art (other than my own) are numerically articulate.


The HyperQuilt

The HyperQuilt, 2010, Fiber, Featuring Helen Beamish, Elaine Ellison, Suzanne Gould, John Sims, Ella Miller Toy, Diana Venters, and Paula Wynte 58

The Language of Quilts by Tara Betts

Ogotomelli spoke this language written in a small circle in the dust the trajectories and angles of life played out in predictable cycles that still looked familiar in the captive South. It is no wonder how Amish women and the mothers in Gee’s Bend could capture this life with needle and thread. The cosine and sine of waves undulates in the shaking of quilts laid on beds to heal, promote conception, swaddle newborns and the dying, or even as maps telling ancestors to grab the Monkey Wrench and throw, turn them Wagon Wheels round as a Dresden Dinner Plate, run to the church and put on Bow Ties, but walk a Drunken Path so you can’t be found Look for the Flying Geese, the Log Cabin and always look for Stars like Frederick Douglass peering at the North Star after the whip weighed its heavy redemption against Covey’s back, after the swell of hymns rose into the peaked beams of churches where stolen people received dictation on civilization and heard the fable of the infant and his parents following a bright star to a reluctant innkeeper. The stolen ones lost languages— Hausa, Igbo, Bambara, Lingala, Kikongo, Sangha, Bateke, Yoruba, but no one in the territory of thieves knew that the stolen people carried the tongue of stars in their mouth brighter than their teeth in ugly pictures. But the fabric tells tales often washed away by sunbleaching, lye soap, its transformation as batting for new quilts, and other sorts of everyday use. Each thread soaked like indigo in the quiet proofs and loud fractals that echo cells and villages, and the idea that evil cannot travel in straight lines or at least evil is obsessed with them and counting them to the end, so the stolen ones offered stitches, and the wives offered comfort, steadfast as flesh cradling constellations knitting limbs in their wombs and minds. A comforter holds secrets that must be kept warm and sometimes set free.


The Last Time by Adam Falkner and Jeanann Verlee*

The year is 1984. Thriller has the world on padlock. It is the year of the Rat. March 30, 1974. The Ramones play their first New York City show. You are 11 days old. It is the year of the Tiger. It is the last time the Tigers win the world series. The last time your mother can see with solid 20/20 before a single line drive up the third base line kisses her right eye goodnight forever. It is the last time your father shares a room with your mother. The last time your grandmother visits. The last time your brother will be an only child. You are born in a year of last times.

Add 14 years: South Broadway thrift store. Blue hair, blue boots, a spiked leather jacket. You buy your first Ramones tee shirt, used. You are tit-flash and Maddog. Crooked-tooth wild. You are gun powder. A smiling minefield. Add 11 years, 1995. The first time you really kiss a girl is the summer before sixth grade. Subtract seven years. 1981. You steal your first kiss from Cheeseman Academy’s first-grade math champ, Jonathan Marks. A cluster of nervous tics and finger-twirl, twitch and chatter, his wizardry with numbers has you in awe. Brenna Mulholland and you disappear into a closet in Russell Petran’s basement while your friends outside eat stale chips, talk shit and pretend to be comfortable. Add 10 years, Jonathan is valedictorian at a private high school and slated for early graduation from Harvard. You sell pot out of your book bag. Spend the money on acid. You’ve seen Rocky Horror Picture Show fifty-seven times. You fumble around in the wonderful, sober darkness, guess where your mouths should land until something clicks. Emerge from that closet like you’ve landed on the moon. You have a secret crush on Adam Loranger. Valedictorian. Mathematical genius. Multiply teen angst. Adam will never speak to you. Adam is terrified. This equation has a last time buried in it. Subtract half a decade, 1990. You are kneeling on the shag carpet


in your best friend’s basement arguing about cardboard bricks and other premium fort-building materials. His fort is twice the size of yours. You tell him you don’t like him. He tells you that you should be nicer to him because, after all, you are in his house playing with his things. You call him a dirty Mexican. Somehow, your mother’s van is in the driveway and she is in the kitchen with her work clothes on. This is the last time you visit Sebastian’s house. Multiply by two. August 10, 2010. The George Washington Bridge calls to you like a ready lover. You’ve reached the bottom of a bottle of Jamesons and the man you’ve loved for the last eight years has left. You’ve always been afraid of drowning. Subtract 46 days. June. He promised you a family. A houseful of living. Add barren. Add rebound. Add stranger-fuck. Add bar hag. Add smoker’s cough. Add spit bath. Add wrinkles. Add sag. You are now. You are old. It is August. It is the Hudson. Your body is a burning building. In 2001, you slouch at the back of your math class, your hand stays locked in your pocket like an unloaded weapon. Numbers float across the page like acrobats. You pretend math is for kids who can’t write. You pretend you write well. You pretend you’d rather be so high you can’t stand up, so high you throw up in a trash can in A Hall during 6th period. Divide by seven. You are five years old. Your father is a hunting knife. A ball-peen hammer. He is dusty work boots and thirty-four of your favorite flavors of ice cream. He’s an engineer. A maker of math. Maker of machines. Bender of steel. He is a mouthful of bourbon on a mountain range; he is stoking a campfire. He is building something new. He is in the shop. Always, the shop. Only your mother knows how numbers drift like they do when you look at them, trade places like a changing of the guard. Add nineteen years. Your father called. He misses you. It is your 36th birthday and he is in New York City. For you. It may be the last time. Add six months. He is in the shop. Building something for the Cannoneers. Your father called. Learned to text. Writes that he misses you. That he built something for the Air Force. Writes, don’t go get yourself depressed. Only your mother tells you, too bad. Just go slow. Figure it out. 26 absences. 14 tardies. 4 meetings with the class principal. $300.00 for tutoring that doesn’t work. This is the last time you are asked to make sense of arithmetic. The last time you step foot in a math class. Not the last time you pretend to be something you’re not. Divide by now. Find the square root of first time. Last time. Pretend. It’s not the last time. 1974 1982 2003 1991 2007 1984 2010 This is not the last time.

(*underlined phrases are shared lines in live readings)


We Come From Farm People by Kate Rushin


We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Grow Things

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Take Care

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make Do

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make Things

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Hold On

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make A Way

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Raise Things

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make Do

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make Art

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Fix Things

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Hold Out

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make Beauty

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Save Things

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make Up

We Come From Farm People Our People are Farm People Our People Make A Way Out Of No Way

The Math Poem: Along The Learning Curve by Kate Rushin

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Muriel Rukeyser mathematics < Greek, mathema, to learn I was never good at math. Words, Stories, English was my territory. Dawn was the smart one in Science. Merwin had the corner on Math. Knowledge was a fixed quantity in our universe. We had the proof. There was plenty of fear, not enough intelligence to go around. I was never good at Math. It was a fate I accepted as fact, gender genetics. I ducked, wrenched B’s from my brain. Our teacher cursed us, proclaimed we’d do better, just for spite, up at the good high school rumored to guarantee our future, that infinitely advancing point on a disappearing horizon. The new teachers netted us in the reticules of their eyes. I was never good at Math. It wasn’t until years later, living a future I couldn’t have imagined, in a tiny Massachusetts apartment with sloping wooden floors, I found myself watching a show about a clerk named Ramanujan. He had traveled from India to England, Madras to Cambridge, in 1913 to claim his mathematical destiny. There were his scores of notebooks brimming with calculations that had taken him months to do by hand.

Theorems aren’t handed down by some god who favors particular hair, particular skin, private schools, and orthodontia. How were we supposed to remember what we’d never seen or imagined? I scribbled the address to send for a pamphlet summing up the life of an Indian mathematician. I want to reverse the clock, demand a refund a clean slate. I reach back, grab my teachers by their collars pummel them by rote hold them upside down by their ankles shake until the privileged information slips loose from their pockets clatters at my feet. I was never good at Math, until one day I saw it was all about power, patterns, stories, the world in another tongue. It was all about my actual heart pumping my actual blood through my actual veins. I ride a diesel engine bus, cover these miles, cross this suspension bridge, arrive at land’s end 4:23 pm precisely, sunset, low tide, this season, this hemisphere, this earth. I never believed I could be good at Math until one day I saw. I could see it was just one more awestruck made-up, imaginary language.

This poem was written on the occasion of the Carol Wood/John Sims birthday party hosted by the Mathematics Department at Wesleyan University in the Winter of 1996.

I jumped up and yelled at the television. So that’s how you get a formula. That’s what p stands for. Why didn’t anybody let us in on the secret?


Acknowledgments This project became an unfolding mass of math-art-poetry magic, none of which was possible without the rich probabilities of New York City–a musical instrument humming the physics of a human hive. Starting with a blank wall and hundreds of buzzing conversations we made some history on the Bowery bringing together unlikely allies, telling hidden stories and conspiring to spread the inspiration. Thank you Bowery. Thank you New York City! I would like to thank all the Artists and Poets/Performers for their precious time and voice. I am indebted to Kevin Dean/Selby Gallery and a decade of stimulating discussions starting with our MathArt-ArtMath in 2002; and Bob Holman/Bowery Poetry Club for the opportunity for making this become more than an academic fantasy but an experiential lesson in linking spaces: classroom, studio and art. And much gratitude to Karen Finley/Art and Public Policy Program at NYU and my Rhythm of Structure course for being an important part of LeWitt/Piper response. Jennifer Lemish and her class at Brooklyn Academy of Science and Environment for meeting the challenge. Also Sofie LeWitt for supporting the Sol LeWitt presence in the project. And Adrian Piper for being so giving. Brother Num and Yael Acher-Mordiano for keeping the music flowing. John Hiigli and Vandorn Hinnant for going the extra mile. And the iconic Taylor Meade, my Monday night bar mate, who saw all the shows and whose honest running commentary was a blessing. I must thank Tara Betts, Bob Holman, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz and Kristin Prevallet for recommending great poets and Latasha N. Nevada Diggs for the wonderful insight. Special attention to both Summer Hill Seven and Bob Grumman for coming up to NYC from Florida, Tatiana Bonch from Australia and Kaz Maslanka from San Diego, all at their own expense. I want also to thank all those who worked on the film, especially Michele Friedline, Steve Grisé, Ian Dean, Scott Toros, and Nino Pinelli/Jessica Pinelli for collaborating with me on the theme song. Special thanks to Douglas Higgins and his extreme patience for working on the catalogue and Aaron Blackall for the great graphic support. And again Carol Wood for the party that spawned some of this and Ethan M. Coven for his guidance. And special thanks to Ella Miller Toy. I must acknowledge the tech and all around support of Kathy Littman, Tara and Kristin for the proofreading. Also I appreciate the many special people who came out to the events: Naomi Beckwith, Ruth Blake, Carlton Cartwright and Paula Cartwright, Ethan M. Coven, Jennifer Lemish, Mei Li, Donna Harkavy, Karen Hung, Erin McCandless, Aaron Tyson Sims, Kara E. Walker, Flavia Zuniga-West, Pat Kaufman, Marilyn Frankenstein, Kimberli Gant, Marisa Joelson, Nick Katranis, Steven Thrasher, Amy Sherald, and Toni Wynn. Thanks to Sam Lux and Scott Toros for their art assistance. Again I would like to acknowledge the following: Featured Artists: Karen Finley, Paulus Gerdes, Sol LeWitt, John Hiigli, Vandorn Hinnant, and Ken Hiratsuka, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Dread Scott, and John Sims, Cartesian Hive Artists: Davide Cervone, Kevin Dean, Agnes Denes, Mike Field, Susan Happersett, John Hiigli, Vandorn Hinnant, Ken Hiratsuka, Dorothea Rockburne, Christina Schmitt, Carlo Sequin, John Sims, Sarah Stengle, Pam Turczyn, Joyce Wellman and Roman Verostko. HyperQuilt Artists: Helen Beamish, Elaine Ellison, Suzanne Gould, John Sims and Ella Miller Toy, Diana Venters and Paula Wynte. Mathematical Graffiti Wall Artists: Fernando Mora, Kyle Goen, John Sims and Mark Turgeon Poets/Performers: Derrick Adams, M. Liz Andrews, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Tara Betts, Tatiana Bonch, Regie Cabico, Chang, Latasha Diggs, Marcella Durand, Adam Falkner, Robert Fitterman, Chris Funkhouser, Alan Gilbert, JoAnne Growney, Bob Grumman, Eboni Hogan, Bob Holman, Nina Ingemann, Pooh Kaye, Richard Kostelanetz, Kaz Maslanka, Faybiene Miranda, Kristin Prevallet, Kate Rushin, Jon Sands, Christina Schmitt, Summer Hill Seven, Shappy Seasholtz, Stephanie Todd, Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Mark Strand, Stephanie Strickland, Greg Tate, Monica de la Torre, Edwin Torres, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, Jeanann Verlee, and Shanxing Wang. Bowery Poetry Club: Calvin Alden, Matt Bronshvag, Wendy Cobb, Michael Fabian, Ed Farrell, Scott Hart, Bob Holman, Diane O’Debra Langan, Eliel Lucero, Dave Miller, Nick Nace, Steph Sabelli, Shappy Seasholtz, Diane Wade, and Jonathan Zaragoza and The Lower Eastside Girls Club. Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design: Great performances by Bob Holman and Jawole Zollar, Francis Schwartz; and Laura Avery, Kevin Dean, Trevor Dienes, Dari Goggans, Tim Jaeger, John McGaharan, Kristen McGuigan, Jeff Miller, and Jordan Kelly-Laviolette. Herndon Gallery, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio: Sara Black, Anne Bohlen, Michael Casselli, Willis Bing Davis, Migiwa Orimo and Wayne Russell. Film Support: Chango Bi, Ian Dean, Michele Friedline, Alysha Grevious, Steve Grisé, Steve Hopkins, Ash Miller, Damen Shaqiri, Toccarra Thomas, Scott Toros, and Robin Laverne Wilson, Photography Credits: Page 12, Cully McGill; Page 13, Ian Dean; Page 16, Ian Dean; Page 17, Cully McGill; Page 20, Cully McGill; Page 22-23, Ian Dean; Page 30, Ian Dean; Page 31, Dread Scott; Page 40-41, Stephen Smith; page 49, Ian Dean; Page 52-53, Christine Austin; page 58, Jennifer Lemish; Page 65, Ian Dean/John Sims, for Sebly Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design Website: 64

Rhythm of Structure Catalogue - A John Sims Project