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Podcast #8 - The Space Between Us Part 2 and Sonnet #7
In this podcast, I get particularly nerdy, and talk about parallaxis and how it speaks to the problem of our relationships with other people. This is where math meets your neighbor and makes sense of why we have a problem with peace in the world.

Below is Sonnet #7, called When Machiavelli Calls. It is a fitting addition to this series on The Space Between Us. It highlights the tension of dealing with the self-serving individual, and of trying to keep from becoming the self-serving individual ourselves.

Sonnet #7 - when Machiavelli calls

When Machiavelli calls his name he jumps

The animal compulsion drives his lust

for power. Brings the lowering of trust

from those he sought to love, but only trumps

The sad, the lonely lost receive the crust

DeSade is smiling up. His tortured thoughts

became both bread of Hell, and poisoned pot

when love of self became the social must

I rose to slay these enemies, I fought

against their ways, their thoughts – prevailing winds

of culture’s latent apathies and sins

but everywhere I turned I now was caught

In every face attacked, provoked, betrayed

My enemies a mirror – I was they


So much poetry today lacks traditional rhyming patterns, or rhyming at all. It’s as though end rhymes have become uncool. They are reserved for kids, and people who write children’s books like Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. Well, except for the fact that we spend more money on hip-hop and pop music than we do on poetry – unless it’s Dr. Seuss.

The rhyming pattern is abba bccb cddc ee. As you can see the rhyme in lines 2-3 in one quatrain become the rhyme of 1 and 4 in the following quatrain. This is a poetic way to say that the thing, which is at the heart of my existence, becomes the very thing that frames my life.

One might think that I wrote this after the 2016 Presidential election, with the reference "trumps", but alas, no. This preceded the election by a couple years.

The ongoing use of enjambment (a sentence traveling past the end of a verse) expresses the way selfishness drives through our thoughts and seems to somehow travel across everything we do.

Here the volta (the turn of thought) is delayed until the last line, when the enemy is shown to be myself as much as any outward antagonist.