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Fickle Muses an online journal of myth and legend

“The Silent Witness” by Clyde Grauke

“The Silent Witness” by Clyde Grauke

Purchase Clyde Grauke’s artwork at http://clydegrauke.imagekind.com

 

Cartesian Kangaroos
by James C. Burbank

We have to stop thinking
of ourselves as
any different from marsupials.

There never has been
a Cartesian plane, an infinite,
two-dimensional surface.

There never has been a
line that has only one dimension
connecting points A and B.

If you think these thingies exist,
I have a two-dimensional bridge
in two-dimensional Brooklyn

I can sell you for an imaginary
fifty billion two-dimensional dollars.

This is where being a kangaroo
provides great advantage.

One can hop from point A to B.
Hopping gives us conceptual
echolocation in our two dimensional minds.

Achilles shoots an arrow at a two-dimensional
portrait of Rene Descartes. The arrow never
arrives because two-dimensional Descartes

keeps halving the distance of its two-dimensional
flight between points A and B. 

The ghost of Descartes, which hovers
over us, has become infinitely heavy
and infinitely compressed into a
single non-dimensional point.

That’s a good thing for the
kangaroos who are hopping
around like crazy making
dodecahedrons all over the place.

It’s a good thing they are two-dimensional
kangaroos.

We can observe them through
our reticulating goggles. We can write
about them in passive voice.

We can dream about them.
We can make up stories about
them the next day based on our dreams.

Achilles has materialized
out of thin air on the front porch
with our lattes and cheese danishes.

But we wait and wait.
Achilles never makes it to the
living room, where we are chanting,
“I am, therefore I think,” as our mantra.

We will never drink the coffee.
We will never savor the cheese danishes.

We should have asked our fellow
kangaroos who have been reduced
to hopping out polygons. We should

have known better than to trust
Achilles with our two-dimensional order.