The kid never obsessed for mathematics: thinks of it as language where everything’s
indefinite pronoun: its blades shear away names, everything from the kid’s to Latin binomial;
got his physics instead from wood and bearing: shuv and kickflip for medial axis theorem,
his one hundred eighty times table; how numbers’ mass irons the lines from space.
No longer ok on uneven terrain, the kid’s given up on old quarries—cuts flushed
with oxidation states of iron: red and black splitting grevillea thickets as sun dews
on the city quilted below. Once, an odd white light on the horizon line: sun-bright,
rain and dust a rug shaken out between the kid and it; a warp of not knowing reflected
sun from artificial: an Airbus beneath him, a swim in black and red cuts in stone:
once somebody’s job and sprayed over with postcodes: 6108, 6071, 6003. Another way
to quantise country, to grid the granite—a good year it pulses green to black: subpixel
that winks out feeding lichen, sundew, grevillea and New Holland Honeyeater; the whole
thing: a loss of productivity. Back then, in the hills, the kid couldn’t figure out the lines of it,
its striation—how that white light might look from a parallax angle and how straight
the 33kVs from flown overhead, missing the misdirection of topography. Reduced
to powers of two: Mersenne primes, perfect numbers, how to use them.
This poem was written with the support of an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.