A Tale of Isogonic Far Ago


I WAS born in the algebra night
under the octagon house
squared myself by the time I was six
and oiled the holes in my blouse
At eleven I sheared the steel in the fields
and sucked every silver breast
of Cadillac maidens cantering past
in their progress from whiskey to west
When I was twenty I cast a lass
from a pound of brass in the shop
to end my invasions and cook my equations
while I wrestled with rust for the crop
My son was born from one and one
free as the tables of multiplication
on a truly logarithmic day
that cubed my brazen relation
And all the obsolete models clicked
and ticked their tongue and oh-ed and ah-ed
admired his valves and nipped his nose
and polished his teeth and his rod
I tell you — popped Mom from her kitchen coop
in weekly editions in carbon —
men had more margin when I was a child
back in the plastic vats at Farben
And Dad who was chromed from old Volkswagen stock
and bad married below his class
trimmed his wick in a kerosene wink
and took me gassing for bass
Now television spaniels scratch in the house
under the electronic moon
from up on the shelf I yawn for my bride
who died as a bent spittoon
And watch the nickel lads on the pile
with scarcely a leg to their name
manning their food with rattail files
and rolling new rules for the game
When I was a wet one and flowing
full as the bull in the IBM cow
1 crossed my T’s with tangent tubes
and laid aside rivets for now
And so while the square root ponders
the ultimate point of division
I yawn and swallow a fortnight or two
safe from further revision.