Janet Yandik and
KJ Hannah Greenberg

Janet Yandik

An Adolescent’s Didactic Lament: Round Pegs, Square Holes
By KJ Hannah Greenberg

Inspiration piece

You teach no circles, explain no diameters, work radii-free,

While my growth’s never a quadrilateral, ever all right angles;

By no means, will I form ninety degrees at every corner.

On no account, can I learn sides, or supplementary comprehensions

Concerning standard coordinates. Realize, please, I’m rendered helpless

By vertices, as well as loathe norms which automatically spew postulates.

Responding with yelps, demanding length squared, makes probable nothing.

My answers require circumferences, additional centers, cones,

Alternatively, metric tensors, Gaussian curves. In fact, I might spit

If authorities bring reprimands, castigations, chastisements, or

Take away my garden shears, exclusive of providing crayons,

Modeling clay, stuffed bears, ancient Aramaic, hyperbolic conventions.

Necessarily, I sneer through bites of cake, despise your carrots, silly diets, also

Euclidean rules. Too bad on such foodstuff.  Regrets regarding the menu.

Fixed inconsistencies seem puree; teens feed on plausible deconstructions.

So, when you show no rounds, I’ll draw no squares. Plate those incommensurabilities.

My geometry remains “elliptic,” or, on alternate Tuesdays, “parallel.”

Your contradictions linger inexplicably, persist as wearyingly low in provisions.


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  1. Posted September 11, 2010 at 8:52 am | #

    Wow, that nonchalant teenager in the picture, hiding all that turbulence seething below the surface. Exactly how it is. The intelligence, the remnants of childhood, the need to be adult and make sense of the world…

  2. Posted September 14, 2010 at 3:59 am | #

    This was brilliant.