Wednesday, May 31, 2006

For every problem, there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong.


I was talking to Hugh Thomas the other night about the alphabet and math in regard to such things as the square root of minus J, irrational letters, or the lowest prime letter.

There are relationships between numbers: 2 + 2= 4, at least when it is dark and the one –armed man is smiling. I always have the sense of impending relationships and patterns that I might not have discerned, vast numerical territories that I need a mathematical Heraclitus to chart for me, to mythologize.

And of course there are associations with numbers. I once lived at 1756 Eglinton Ave. W. Mozart was born in 1756. And 7, 5, and 6 have a two step backward, one step forward relation. My cell phone number is 531-0681. The first three digits are descending odd numbers. 0681 is 1860 backwards. Didn’t something important happen in 1860? At any rate, it seems historical. My number on Eglinton was 789-3456. It took my dad ages to phone me. He’d forget which number to start the reordered ascending sequence and have to try every beginning digit.

This kind of number play reminds me of bpNichol’s letter play in the Martyrology.

Is grammar the mathematics of the alphabet? Semantics advanced math? Spelling arithmetic? When I was a kid, I learned my L times tables, but could never get the hang of S.

Metaphors are some kind of equation, or maybe calculus. A trig is just a sonnet with angles. All of human writing is Pi, going on forever, just broken into segments. With it we can calculate a circle that isn’t unbroken.

7 9

4 3

0 0 0

n

1 comment:

gary barwin said...

"The Torah is just a long string of numbers. Some say that it's a code sent to us from God."

- Lenny Meyer, in Pi