Triangles

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

by Gerard Sarnat

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

Boorish

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

Website

Gerard Sarnat is a physician who’s built and staffed homeless clinics as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. He won the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is published in academic-related journals including Stanford, Oberlin, Brown, Columbia, Virginia Commonwealth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan and the University of Edinburgh. Gerry’s writing has also appeared widely including recently in such outlets as A New Ulster, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, MiPOesias, Margie, Blue Mountain Review, Danse Macabre, Canary Eco, Military Experience and the Arts, Cliterature, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, The Los Angeles Review and The New York Times. His piece KADDISH FOR THE COUNTRY was selected for pamphlet distribution nationwide on Inauguration Day 2016. Amber Of Memory was chosen for the 50th Harvard reunion Dylan symposium. He’s also authored the collections Homeless Chronicles (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), and Melting the Ice King (2016). Gerry’s been married since 1969, with three kids plus four grandkids (and more on the way).