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A young Manâs Demise (Prose Poem) by Dovina
He loved the cold, austere beauty of mathematics.
You could hear him rant: âThe plain man supposes . . ,â
and concluded based on proposition,
symbolized philosophy free from wordsâ illusion.
He lived happily,
delighted in contemplation,
free from the gorgeous trappings of art,
religion, love and dogs,
secure without need to compromise
between ideal and possible.
His world was sublimely pure.
He was more than man then.
He was excellent, moral, and good.
The love of truth was chief.
He claimed mathematics as some claim religion,
disregarded lesser talk,
and logical fictionâs possibility.
The first to go was definite description,
which faded before him in circular words.
Then, what he had thought were things,
dissolved into symbols,
wandering without reference.
Still believing, he created for himself
a clever, but not funny, joke,
trying to name what he said cannot be named,
using propositions that in ordinary thinking
reduce to syllables of new language.
Finally, he gave up on questions about
what does and does not exist,
and resorted to questions about
what does and does not make sense to say,
which brought him to the brink heresy,
as a Christian to the edge of atheism.
For years he plowed the ground of hypocrisy
until he awoke to find his faith gone,
tossed in the wastebasket of metaphysical illusion.
Mathematics had lost non-humanness.
Numbers had shrunk to mere conveyances.
His religion lay in a pool of tautologies,
nothing more than logic and therefore linguistic.
No longer the owner of mystical satisfaction,
no longer sure the intellect surpasses sense,
he turns to how his father lived
and wonders if that satisfaction matters.