“The Dedekind Cut”, “Triangles Reconstructed: Dad’s Last Hospitalization, Son Caught In The Middle” and “Laundromat 1, 2, 3…9”

Three poems by Gerard Sarnat

The Dedekind Cut

Cruelest cut of all for those of us elders who irrationally used to know

something about rational numbers but no longer can remember geometry

to get back home, Dedekind’s about partitioning philosophical arguments

into halves, the 1st being "as I will show," the 2nd being "as I have shown"

-- sometimes (like now) a sleazy or/and stupid writer deceptive/ dementedly

moves onto the 2nd half without really having "shown" (proven) his point.

Triangles Reconstructed: Dad’s Last Hospitalization, Son Caught In The Middle

I always loved Father and thought he loved me

though it’s less clear it was more than toward my sib who says she felt none.

Then there’s Mom.

Sis liked her more than I did, said she’d take care when he’s gone.

Dad almost is, but that doesn’t begin to happen.

Last few years they both were my kids...

Tooth brushing then mental flossing

the bootstrapped self-made man, I paused to ask,

“Pops, how’d I get such a wrong middle name?”

“George after me would’ve been fine but in the end it was David

or what we gave you – Mom thought

Daryl had an awful nice ring.”

“With my razor-sharp personality, at first Daryl

was a millstone.” Bernard pushed back,

“Never knew nuthin’ about that.”

“Too fancy-schmancy for a kid,

Gerard worked when I strived as a poet.”

“And I planned soz your first name rhymes perfect with mine!”

Taking a crack to bring my geometrist PhD sister

in from the cold, I ad-libbed,

“Don’t you wonder if that name was already taken, if you’d marry a David?”

No response while a nurse does Poppy’s blood pressure,

Sis lobbed back, “Not much,” followed by his rapid-fire snipe,

“Listen up, don't conversate when I'm not paying attention.”

Then I faux offhandly countered Daddy,

“How’d you and Mama end up with Jayne

for Sis -- was it after Mansfield -- or someone else?”

Drawn toward and away from my sibling’s flame,

Bernard George punts, “That musta been your mother’s decision

-- I really don’t recall.”

Rolling no-nonsense punches with the lateral movement of moths

circling a lamppost, Jayne’s exasperated sigh comes clean,

“That slip pretty much sums up our unrelational unequilateral triangle.”

Laundromat 1, 2, 3…9


Moorish Creolized

Russian dollars/ sexology tradecraft exoticazation,

coffee croissant crowd meets

up, falls out. Yappy smile mask

snippy disobey, rinse -- push repeat

to put success on a dirty conveyor belt,

withdraw within private ether, make everything from beginning

of cleansing haiku which consist of 5-7-5 syllables.

About the Author

Gerard Sarnat

Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, The Font, BigCityLit, HitchLit Review, Lowestoft, Washington Square Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by NYU, Slippery Rock, Northwestern, Pomona, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago and University of Virginia presses. He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO.Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham To Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King) plus three kids/ six grandsons — and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters.