because while some truths lend themselves to equations, others are best described in verse


this morning, the weather is cooler,
and there is threat
of snow again in the midwest.

there are
heart-shaped messages
in my inbox that aren’t
really hearts, just
numerical symbols
that vaguely remind
of my struggles with multi-
variable calculus.

that was a long time ago. this
morning, the cat
won’t let me work.

he sits on my hip
as i type, scrutinizing
every last alphanumeric

there are
fast-moving clouds
of i-don’t know-what
kind; they make his tail
twitch and my eyes

i am thinking
about storms (about you),
about dancing (about me),
about how they ought
to make a good poem

a story of spirals and dervishes,
the solution
to some deceptively
simple equation
that explains the mysteries
of mathematics,
or metaphysics,
or something.

the cat
is a terrible spell-

34 responses

  1. ❤ ❤ ❤

    April 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm


    Awesome!!! I love it!

    I posted that movie on Facebook, it is a 1.5 hour u-tube of the whole movie.


    April 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    • thanks, Mark. re: the movie– cool. i’ll look for it. 🙂

      April 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm

  3. Always trust the cat. My first cat was a white domestic shorthair with one green and one blue eye. Her name was Laurie, and when I used to play the piano and sing, she’d sit between my legs on the piano bench looking up at me, purring. It was only later that I learned that cats with one blue eye were also deaf in the corresponding ear. She was my most faithful fan of mine. Loved this poem, because it flows and is not tethered to this prosaic Earth – even though there were no words I had to look up in a thesaurus. Exquisite, my friend.

    April 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    • trust the cat, eh? he and i are on rocky footing these days in general. thanks for dropping in, Mosk. *hug*

      April 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm

  4. I love how the cat intrudes into and yet enlivens this poem! Very nicely done.

    April 23, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    • thank you, marilyn. he does get into everything! 😉

      April 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm

  5. This is such a a wonderful mixture of poet, woman, lover, artist and scientist, Joanna. I see you in every line. ~ j 🙂 xo

    April 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    • *smile.* thank you, Joe. *hug*

      April 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

  6. Lovely, as usual. I laughed at the cat as anti-Muse. Storms and dancing as solutions to an equation? Ah, yes. Dancing in a storm, dancing up a storm, storm-dancing – I love the images you weave.

    April 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    • anti-Muse! or something. 🙂 thanks, Denise! always happy you stop by.

      April 24, 2013 at 8:15 am

  7. I really thought this poem very good. I can’t help saying that I would ask you if you might not think dropping the last two stanzas which draw away from the punch it has. Hell you could even leave the last stanza and just lose the one above it. Hope I didn’t step on any toes. >KB

    April 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    • well, i am kinda tied to the cat-as-spell-checker idea. thank you for the feedback! no crushed toes here.

      April 24, 2013 at 8:17 am

  8. smiles…darn cat not letting you work…but then again maybe the cat is onto something you know…except the spelling…i could use some help at times…smiles…it is a dervish and i dont know we ever find the solution…surely it will be something simple…dance on…dont just think of it…smiles.

    April 23, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    • yes, the cat does seem to be involved in the poetry more often than not these days, for good or bad. dervish indeed! one can never do enough dancing, you know. smiles. thanks, b.

      April 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

  9. Love that close. Love it so much.

    Awesome writing.

    April 23, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    • i’m rather partial to it myself. the cat always makes for a good ending. thanks, wanderer.

      April 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

  10. A very fine poem IMHO…must admit I don’t miss those spring snowfalls. 🙂

    April 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    • why, thank you. i think few of us would.

      April 25, 2013 at 3:47 pm

  11. The cat is a terrible spell checker…this is so cool.

    April 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    • ha. he really is. i hate it when he gets his paws on the keyboard! thanks, ayala. 🙂

      April 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

  12. Two things that make life bearable …cats and music…sweet poem!

    April 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    • indeed! 🙂 thanks for stopping by, Cressida.

      April 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm

  13. A day in your life…and an interesting poem…

    April 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    • …makes for a kinda interesting life. 😀 😉

      April 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm

  14. I think you bested the cat. Great work! Actually, you made me miss having a cat…ha 🙂

    April 23, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    • everyone should have one, i think! mine keeps me on my toes. 🙂 thanks for reading and sharing!

      April 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

  15. 1emeraldcity

    Love that last line…lol! Perhaps he/she was thinking of eating the calculus….leaving no stone unturned….O, gawd, forgive me! Loved this write :))

    April 24, 2013 at 6:51 am

    • i actually have a book called “Calculus for Cats,” which is intended as a (fairly) serious math book, believe it or not. 🙂

      April 25, 2013 at 4:22 pm

  16. I like how I keep seeing clouds and numbers while reading this.
    Cats are geniuses, by the way. ; )

    April 24, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    • indeed, they are. 😉 thanks for stopping by, Lila.

      April 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

  17. Anonymous

    The clouds set the mood for this pondering piece. Seems where heart leads, mind follows, unchecked but for cat’s distraction to bring us back to simple reality again. Nice capture.

    April 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    • succinctly put. thank you for reading.

      April 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm


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