NUMERACY: “(Null hypothesis) hypothesis”, “Under moonlight, winter’s hidden figures broken”, and “As for the moon in its younger years” by Catherine Imbriglio



One temptation, when a thing is countable, is to imagine that instances of it are interchangeable.
-Caleb Crain

(Null hypothesis) hypothesis

It’s as if I’ve been mating rugs, crossing blue ones with green ones, Friar Mendel. In a numerical sequence that has no pattern, there is still a first, second, third. What do you do with the fifth nomadic flap, to say nothing of second day hair. Balance your dead with how they become dead, transascendency. Twenty wall walks a day to stretch the muscles around my shoulder replacement. How do you schedule body odor. Part I apocrine sweat glands. Part II skin flora. I can throw farther than you. I can solve the problem faster than you. Smell more than just a smell, number more than just a number. It means her heart is clocked, moon synching. How do you multiply through adding. Log,drool plus Log,itch. I need to wash more. You can fine me @Pest of the month. (Sub)lime, numeracy.



The displacement of the horizontal plane by the vertical plane, the displacement of the god-term by the masses.
-Ben Lerner

Under moonweight, winter’s hidden figures broken

If a lyric headline is absurd, so is gerrymandering. Once the sky stops rambling, I can tell you how displacement is like probability uninhibited by panting. We are going to mother this out. Go to your room. Go to where the game isn’t flavored by the house and the house isn’t finger licking your players.

Up front mathematics and poetry are manipulative. “Probably deceived” is still a mainstream position. They don’t think harmonic ratios should just lie there on the page. Only for this moment do you need or trust the zebra function. Since voter opinions on prison wear are rapidly changing, it’s time to calculate the spread of information by mass media. It’s time to calculate tarragon and sage.

Gameplay requires more than Smokey the Bear wisdom. Poetic play requires less than bear wisdom and more than transatlantic scales. Tabloids are statistically a better resource for how to be a snowball. I was afraid that in fighting the snow throwers the federal prosecutor might fold. While we were all hurtling crabs, a grandmother was on the table. How can you mend a broken. The moon is coming out with people from whom she was ordering scolds.

I know I have to get off the couch to fend off the heckler’s cultural advances. I understand the need to control my ever expanding reliance on bird samplings. I hope you understand the need for a standard deviation in order to utilize a poetic license. In any license problem, first estimate the number of turtle hatchlings that are supposed to make it to the ocean. Yes of course, those will be the nimble numbers. No, the number of dead are a subset of the quick ones. No, I’m not speaking in code.



Everything we care about lies somewhere in the middle, where pattern and randomness interlace.

-James Gleick

As for the moon in its younger years

Pattern barking matters, code into trees, into air currents matters, where the shoe drops matters, MLK matters, if and only if matters, reception theory matters, what we accuse another of matters, astro-collisions matter, adjusted gross income matters, generosity as withholding judgment matters, I should have gone to you sooner matters, “the mallard thought” matters, it rained all Saturday and Sunday matters, drought matters, voluntary and involuntary numbers matter, shaking it off matters, last numbers matter, what sort of imposition matters, who moves out of whose way matters, the direction you are looking in matters, ghost genitalia matter, how can it ever be without you matters, second guessing matters, if and any if matters, going to town matters, echoes matter, pulling the plug matters, re-fashioning a persona matters, this time the mold is rough, just as for the moon in its younger years.

Notes: “the mallard thought” is taken from Thoreau



Catherine Imbriglio is the author of two books of poetry, Parts of the Mass (Burning Deck, 2007), which received the 2008 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and Intimacy (Center for Literary Publishing, 2013), which received the 2013 Colorado Prize in Poetry. She teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program at Brown University.