ROUND

have evolved
into a
thing

that can
split atoms
write
poetry

just wish
if had been
the
o t h

er

w
a
y

r
o u
n

d

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IN THEORY

my friend,
the Mathematician
(how he loves
the very
sound of
that word — all
six sexy
syllables)

is solving
a jigsaw puzzle
using differential equations

comes to
the conclusion
as the picture
takes the
strangest shape

that we are all
derivatives, his
son
the chief
derivative about
to steal
a piece

everything about that
father son equation pure
catastrophe theory

AT MOSUL

I know those
academic quibbles well

to my shame
I have been
a part of them

but what when
the battle at the university
is like at Mosul?

real life-and-
death matter

matter of tanks and planes
rockets, mortars and
heavy machine guns

snipers holed
up in the library
needing
to be taken out.

TWO SCRIPTWRITERS

two scriptwriters
they cannot agree on
the genre
of this story

the one thinks classic tragedy
a family destroyed by desire
to be something, elevate
themselves above
the ordinary

the other cannot shake it
out of her head that this is
dark comedy

this is life
the joker playing a
losing deck of
brutal cards

nothing noble here, no talk of
mortal hubris leaping
beyond its station
no
this is
gross, absurd
lowest common denominator

as they drink their coffee
realize that
they do both agree on
the terrible sadness
of it all, the
death of trust, rejection
of tending
betrayal as deep
as you might care
to imagine

and (not that either would notice
but in their own
story someone else
is no doubt writing)
they are
slowly, begrudgingly,
falling in love

and so
my poem ends with that
reviled, worst of all
cliches

out of
the darkness, seemingly
diabolical darkness

light
is engendered
some good
comes