Weekly Poem: Word Problems

March 28, 2014

Voices, Art / Culture, Poetry

One man, who is an artist, has two dreams and four children. The first dream of the artist is the multiplication of their dreams by an exponential factor of infinity. If each of these children are a brush and the artist has only one canvas, how much paint will he need to pigment a sky big enough

for them to believe in? The second dream of the artist is to find a love to replace the one lost in the first part of the equation. His oldest child, the only girl, has three brothers from him. By account of the blood, he is not her father, but he has spent 6,200 days teaching her the words she uses to describe her dreams, which number more than two. Each of her brothers have two dreams of their own, which are a function of living under the normal curve. The mother, who had children with two men, has disappeared into the complicated math of her addiction, the way her skin reacts to liquids. Alcoholism alters the algorithm of her ability to bond with them. The man has been divided by the loss of his wife, leaving him an irrational number. The square root of two. His heart is a train leaving two stations at ninety-five miles an hour. Calculate the force of friction it will take to slow his collision. How fast must he accelerate in another direction to avoid the collision altogether?


(Image credit: Train tunnel by Jonathan Choe, math problem by Peter Rosbjerg)

This piece was written by:

Zachary Kluckman's photo

Zachary Kluckman

A performance poet since 2006, Zachary Kluckman has been writing poetry for 25 years. He is a member of two consecutive Albuquerque National Poetry Slam Teams and has represented the city at the Individual World Poetry Slam. A Pushcart Prize nominee, and recipient of the Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize, his work appears in print globally in such publications as the New York Quarterly and Cutthroat, as well as numerous anthologies. Featured on over 500 radio stations, with appearances on many of the nation’s most notorious stages, he is an accomplished spoken word artist. He serves as the Spoken Word Editor of the Pedestal. Twice recognized for making world history, he is the creator of the Slam Poet Laureate Program and an organizer for the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program, the largest poetry reading in history. His first collection of poems, Animals In Our Flesh, was published in 2012 by Red Mountain Press. He has a collection titled, The Curious Circus, from Uncola Press. An activist and youth advocate, he lives in New Mexico with his four children. His new book, Some of it is Muscle has just been released from Swimming with Elephants Publications. Currently the book is available through Createspace and Amazon.com with more information at swimmingwithelephants.wordpress.com.

Contact Zachary Kluckman

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