Sunday, October 18, 2009

What is the Sound of One Ear Partially Listening?

I am definitely going deaf. Although I'm usually frustrated and annoyed by my loss of the ability to hear what's being said, sometimes I find the results rather amusing.

For example, the other day I was driving to my night job, while listening to the radio. I tuned into a piece on NPR, featuring an interview with a few of this year's recipients of the MacArthur Genius Awards. When the speaker said that each recipient was awarded "a no-strings-attached" monetary prize, I heard: "Each will receive a nose string attached."

My imagination launched into over-drive. I pictured the brilliant mathematician, linked nostril-to-nostril, via a (red) cord, to the highly articulate poet. The fruit of this union of great minds and unseen (but, no doubt, tortured) faces would be a study of the mathematics of rhyme, the poetry of numbers -- or a battle of unforeseen proportion and consequences. Would this be the cosine qua non? What is the probability that such sets of disparate polygons of virtue might produce transformations that,at their very root, are the proof that metaphor, whether gauged by the foot or by meter, can be epic?

I'm not sure what this would mean, either. But then, I'm not good with numbers and rarely, if ever, wax poetic.

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