Carnegie

If I knew
where nowhere is,
I’d wander
to hear what’s there
listen anywhere music charms
be lost
be found out

She lives to arrive
at places that matter
to see a scene
be a decoration
place a mark
on a souvenir

For hours we wandered lost
seeking Carnegie Hall

As her anger trumpeted
I heard an echo of ah’s
voices savoring delights
taxis arriving with honks like geese
that made me chase a mirage
see a sign: Carnegie

I dragged us in to hear
the singers calling for chicken livers

When I saw no oboes
I knew we
had arrived
at the Carnegie Deli

I ordered hot pastrami. She
told me I was in a pickle, while
the bells of doom
pealed in my head, and
I looked for a native New Yorker
to calm her rage
tell her the address for
Carnegie Hall

While I wandered away
through chicken liver
trying to peel the onion
of my tears, to
find an appropriate tongue,
she opened her purse
reached into her anger
pulled out a jar of ultra-hot
jalapeño peppers
stuffed it in my sandwich

She waited to sting me, but
I was lost in gourmet ecstasy
awry in rye
like a cole slaw
waiting for slaughter

She waited to flatten my dignity
as flat as a potato pancake

By the time I returned
her hunger overwhelmed her
and she bit into my sandwich
tears streaming down her cheeks

I inquired
why she cried

Her poor deceased Mother
would have loved New York

She pushed the sandwich in my face. I ate.

She asked about my tears.

I cried too that
her Mother in heaven
left her daughter behind
with the character of
a hot pepper

The pain focused my attention
on a ragged stranger. In payment
I offered him my sandwich, a plea:
please tell my dear wife
how to get to Carnegie Hall

Breathing like a dragon
he gasped, the address
has two 7’s and a 5

Swallowing a gallon of water
he pointed to a street musician
on the corner

I threw a sandwich
in the musician’s case
asked how I get to
Carnegie Hall

With a Knish and ambition, he said– she
ran off with him
I stayed to order a corned beef
and kept my tongue on
the best day of my life

Today she plays the violin.
I stand outside with a sax.

I’m not chopped liver though
’cause the chicks dig me

Pentatonic

I told you
not heavy, just
kiss the blue notes. The buzz is

flying in bumble bee blues,
don’t smack that bee flat
if you’re waiting on
blue E honey music. Rush
that nectar through B flat
down to A,
G whiz saying
jump slow soul
or I will
C you to your
flat-seven Flat
downstairs stung, ’cause
I’m missing your kissing, and
your blue note already

Blubber

The psychic woman
had showed her
rough seas ahead,
said beware the tides
and flowing kisses,
but that seemed like
shallow waters to her

She had a fifth
her thick handkerchief
mopping up her eyes
highly high on her trumpeted mope
slipped on her poor spilled
cocktail of his love kisses
lost crawling
across the stage
where she was to sing beige
before a sea of mahogany tables
over drunks and hecklers
sticky stinky beckoning
bass strings plucking her heart
blubbering
woe tale wagging about him
the bragging whale
who blew his spout
and left her high and dry.

Seeing her collapsing,
I could not bear her despair,
rose to say,
“I have always loved you,”
and we all stood,
hecklers and all,
to beg the last song

She knew me at last–
kissed me, the little one

Turning from beige to blue
caressing the mike,
she rasped in weeping harmonies
“Stand for me
the stood-up one;
harpoon my love and
sail me to the Port,
wine me down mellow,
me, a cello solo
singing this tale of prophecy:
the big ones get away, and
the little ones stay.”

    Books by Douglas Gilbert
      on Amazon™

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Thought Experiment: Standard Meter

    Extraterrestrials from a far distant planet visit Earth. They are given a standard length to take back to their home. After examination, they claim the length is the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/120,000,000 drekts with time measured by a cesium-133 atomic clock. They say it is 1 standard retkt long. A retkt is associated with a rational number. They had to leave in a hurry so they weren’t given the complete story.
    Meanwhile on Earth the setup was this:
The legs of a right triangle are both 1 standard meter long. 1 stand meter is the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 seconds with time measured by a cesium-133 atomic clock. The Extraterrestrials in their rush to attend to urgent business, escaped planet Earth with a sample length derived from the hypotenuse. They assumed the length given was an isolated straight line used as a standard measurement unit like the retkt.

On Earth the length of the hypotenuse is √2 meters which can not be calculated exactly. If you could count the number of wavelengths then it would not be an irrational number.

The E.T.’s have shown that the hypotenuse that they unknowingly measured by mistake is given by a rational number. They are able to calculate its distance.

My π Mistake

I see my mistake: I was using the symbol font — that doesn’t work here. There’s actually a π on the Times New Roman Character Map: It’s all the way down past the tiny superscript & subscript squiggles. They list it as U+03C0 Greek Small Letter Pi

The Hummingbird Sings the π Song


Running in circles
in a dream about π
I traveled to
the hummingbird muse,

she among
banana peels and fruit flies,
3 meters from hiding places
in elm, mulberry, and willow
that she

might indeed feed
on flowers after
our magic hour.

Her fluttering wings
murmured a song for me
an answer to a question
I hadn’t yet asked.

“How big is π ” I asked.

She stood a moment:
convulsed two wings
oddly flat and still like
outstretched hands

Almost like a fisherman bragging:
THIS BIG.

Oh! I said.
But that’s four centimeters.
TOO BIG.

After a flutter
she stood again:
THIS BIG.

Um.
three centimeters.
TOO SMALL.

Well then I’ll
flutter a song
I call:
Too Big Too Small:
it starts loud and fades away, and
you must tell me when to stop
when I’ve shown you what you want.

How will I know?

It’s your dream
so you’ll know.
Hmmmm.

Hurruph gee
I murmur
many times
though the song
is beautiful

Hmmmmm

It’s fading, and then…
Hmm, I say
“STOP!”

THIS BIG!

The wings were stretched
a smidgen over three centimeters.
But how much?

I don’t know, she said.
Look and listen to the song.
When the music is in your heart
you’ll hear it in the silence.

THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS by James Robert Brown and Yiftach Fehige


Brown, James Robert and Fehige, Yiftach, “Thought Experiments”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), plato.standford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/thought-experiment/.
     My Comment:

    Suppose in a thought experiment I imagine a perfect rod that is 1 inch long, and then another one that I attach to it. Now I have a rod that is exactly 2 inches long — not approximately 2 inches but exactly 2 inches. I can create a rod of any rational length that is perfectly known.
    Now suppose I choose any integer. I can represent an arbitrary length. For example, suppose I choose 47 inches as the circumference, C, of Humpty Dumpty at the center of his belly.
    Now I bend this object and join the ends in such a way that it forms a circle of length 47 inches. In this case the diameter would be 47 / π , but I’m not allowed to imagine it because a picture has a rational length.
    π cannot be defined as an exact length but only the limit of a series such as: 4 (1- 1/3 + 1/5 – 1/7…). But I can see the length looking across the circle.
    Next, with Humpty Dumpty’s cousin, Harrumph, I take a different approach. I find an idealized machine to make an X-ray image using computerized axial tomography (Cat Scan). The slice through the center of the belly shows a diameter of 15 inches. The Cat Scan machine is connected to an idealized 3D printer. The printer is assigned to make a belt for Harrumph’s waist size. It would be 15 π inches. But even though it is an idealized and perfect machine with no tolerance for error, it cannot do it because it has no image for π. It is not allowed to use an approximation.
    If I can see a circle, I cannot see a diameter. If I see a straight line length, I’m assuming it’s rational because I can see all of it at once without error. Would it be legitimate to see a length and assume that it is π inches long? If I bend it into a circle, the the diameter is 1 inch. The question then is: what am I looking at when I see the π length? Whatever it is, it’s stable. On the other hand, I can look at a 1 inch length and spin it at its center to draw a circle. Then, I can break it open and lay it flat. In this case, the point where I cut it is undefined, isn’t it? Unless, I define the length of the circle as (π – k) + k and I break the circle within the length k.
    I’m going in circles again. Oh well.

My Poem For Mommy Steno

Mommy, a Lady’s writing
big hand for me with commas.
Did you write me down, and
everything? Ok. Here goes:
No wait a second. Ok, umm

Mommy don’t let me cry too much.

I didn’t mean to be mean
to Daddy when he yelled

Didn’t want to make you
go to jail

Mommy, I’ll let him
touch my breast again
if they’ll let you out
from jail

Has he gone to Heaven?

Foster people say
you’re trash

Mommy, forgive me.
Didn’t want you to kill Dad.

Mommy, don’t let me cry too much.

My poem. Is it good, Mommy?

Lady don’t cry. Make it good? Ok?
Make it pretty on good paper.

Her Pink Camera

[This is technically an old poem but for some reason I didn’t include it in the eBooks. I suppose I didn’t like it at the time.]

Her Pink Camera
(formerly called “Aftermath” in a hard cover book)

Stormy days came just after us;
things washed away
seagulls cry

Gave you a pink camera you’d wanted, and
you said you’d visit the beach to
hear the seagulls cry blue
the ocean roar

Said you’d get batteries for it
after you got a cute pink computer

Stormy day floods on first floors
things washed away, but
weren’t you on the fourth

Don’t know
haven’t heard from you.
Did you get the batteries
and go into the storm surge?

Stormy days
things washed away
and I haven’t seen your pink
but I gave you the pink camera

In Hurricane days
things were washed away
seagulls cried blue
and videos were shown

Maybe it was you in the pink,
who took those anonymous pictures —
I haven’t heard

I miss your pink, had
missed you in the swirls

but, yeah, it’s your style
you could have posted video P1748:
seagulls following your pink camera

Stormy days, dead
things washed away
seagulls cry blue

Bulldozers and sand walls
protection against the waves.
Did you get batteries and a pink dress?

Didn’t you say you’d visit the beach
to hear seagulls cry

Next time you see the seagulls
tell them I love them, ok?

Dreams

Where has she gone?

I knew her in my dreams, and
she often made appointments
though I awoke before I
could get an address
and I wasn’t sure if
I was kind enough or
just lost in savage lust, but

you know how dreams are wonderful
and I am so perfect there and
so is she

Aren’t we great.
I like to think so, because
when I dream of her
it seems so much like paradise that
I imagine it could be true

Oh but
could no one wake me

Oh let me imagine a sunrise
even if I’m in a cave

Beyond a snore
I am certain I could sing if
I could awaken