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Michael Helsem

. . . Bourbaki

“If Bourbaki did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” — Language Hat


If there had never burbled a Bourbaki,
still by logic’s rigor, math’s design,
there would have had to be invented, fake Bourbaki.

Among the garden’s frozen poses jockey
flutters of viridian, and shine
tender theorems redolent of Bourbaki.

By order of the King, official hockey
takes three teams, five pucks, and goalies nine.
This never would have happened under Bourbaki.

I call you on a tiny walkie-talkie.
Your absence and its silence now combine
to prove more trines than dreamt of by Bourbaki.

. . . out of print

Surely this Eric Ambler is out of print.
A vivified megalith, a wind of plenty
casts upon us here a gout of print.

The dumpster waits its share of bardic spiel,
i dare not say it nay. The heart grows flinty
in those whose ravings lack the clout of print.

A broken-concrete-scattered, bare dirt field
lit with lamenting winds; its cognoscenti
whisper dull threats, at peace with the rout of print.

Gasohol shudders, this gray morn: the Veil
runs thin. I grind grim lenses. Four and twenty
blackbirds fly when i put my doubt in print.

About Michael Helsem

M. H. was born in Dallas in 1958. Shortly afterwards, fish fell from the sky.

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