Calculations (Winner of the 2004 NYC College of Technology Literary Arts Festival Prize in Poetry)

Photo by Deepak Gautam on

Allow me to add my two cents to the situation.
In return, I would like you to subtract the rhetoric that exits your lips
And assist me in keeping divisions from multiplying.
Before I go off on a tangent,
Let me tell you about the problem I have evaluated.
You see, it seems as if every move you make is calculated.

I have tried to mind my P’s and Q’s regarding this issue,
But I cannot help myself from arriving at the solution
That your ego induced pollution is planned out like a logic proof
Or an algebraic matrix
Or a quadratic equation
Or a manic locomotive.

From Day 1, I was able to graph the main points in my brain
To the axes labeled X and Y
X signifies your attempts to censor others
Y, because you can.
My rage is the product of your strategy to further an agenda.
It is merely a fraction of this anger being portrayed.
That’s right, just a percentage.
Your position on the number scale of aggravation cannot be located with mortal eyes.
It stretches out to an infinite number of miles.
There is no final integer.

You see, a range of things bother and depress me,
And my mood not only swings like a pendulum in a grandfather clock
But also descends and ascends like a parabola.
Therefore, I must dig within my brain and use prior knowledge obtained
To plot a path across the map
On the way to a poem marked with a black X.
For the most part, I think I do a damn good job at getting from A to B
WITHOUT the help of a tutor.
I am comfortable with what I know
And I embrace it
Whatever “knowledge” I may lack is on me,
But I know
That you don’t know squat
If you think you know
What little I know.
Do you think I care.

I mean not for this writing to encompass a circular argument
But like a 180 degree angle,
Let’s get something straight
And settle this score.
I am neither a letter
Nor a number
Nor a remedial student.
I am just a man with a voice that some may consider noise
That triggers violent waves.

Aren’t we supposed to be equal?
Shouldn’t symbols resembling more than and less than
Not be applied or be crossed out?
Can’t we eliminate:
All unnecessary variables?
All unnecessary formulas?
All unnecessary postulates?
All unnecessary theorems?
All unnecessary programs?
Cross multiples?

This long division has gone on for too long.
Repeating multiple times like 1/3 written as a decimal.
Statistics do not reject this claim,
Although some want it to be a syntax error
Or want to believe that I forgot to carry the 2 in my calculation
But the remainder of my tolerance hangs by an unraveling thread
I proudly sign my name on this thesis
And my colleagues would proudly cosign
Given that they possess research on this behavior.
So we pooled our data together.
We share a very reciprocal relationship

However, it does not take
Or Maimonides
To deduce this verbal dilemma.

Your calculations are wrong.
The atmosphere provided is negative.
The agenda cannot be defined,
For it
does not
Not by any means.
Not by any modes.
Not by any standard deviations.
So tell me,
How do you like them applications?

-Jack M. Freedman (Jacob Moses)

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