Poem with Subtitle


A cardinal κ is “totally indescribable” iff
for every proposition φ and every A ⊆ Vκ
with (Vκ, ∈, A) ⊧ φ there exists an α < κ
with (Vα, ∈, A ∩ Vα) ⊧ φ. (You be the judge
of if that still means totally indescribable.)

Mochizuki doesn’t even work in set theory
though, kind of like how it doesn’t really
work when you damage me with that evil
glitter that sticks cruelly to my face. He
works in anabelian geometry, mostly alone.

Other places too: p-adic Teichmüller theory,
Hodge-Arakelov theory, the geometry of
Frobenioids, and then of course there’s
Inter-universal Teichmüller theory, which is
the major topic that will concern us here.



I’m interested in men
Scientists are interested in nettles
& natural disasters
This minor altercation draws on
Other minor altercations in the literature

I build my giant sieve alone at night

Eventually it will sift through the literature
For me
To find all the men I might love
But until then
I must hunt for evidence


Handmade Sandcastle with Double Aspect
Handmade Sandcastle with Double Aspect

with one word & last line from Francis Cornford

A long thin glass tube necessary for experimental science and through which only one object may travel at a time

Walking into a cavern with the dimensions of a molehill and having no tricks up one’s sleeve

A heady moon with a brokerage of stars overlooking thickets of consequence and one’s untimely fathers

An action dear to one because of its repetitious character and soothing (albeit loose) association with childhood

The same poem one and the same as before but with the fatigue of rivers and covert military operations

A divided line one side of which is a vibrant purple and the other side of which is an insistent cinnabar

A one-way ticket to other minds full up with bindings and contractions like mollusks and orgasms

One more thing a diaphragm to settle and regulate the dynamics of a complex tree and its sympathetic trunk

I’m stealing this one word “circumambient” because I think it will help me to think better (read: more clearly) about the end

“This element of thought is always, of course, most difficult to detect and analyse, [/] just because it is a constant factor which underlies all the differential characters of many minds”



The title of this poem is a visual pun. I hope to explain it
To you. You see, in mathematics, the ubiquitous set-
Theoretic phrase “is a subset of” is written as a
Sideways U, a symbol that looks like this: ⊂

This symbol takes the you (or U) of poetry
& tips it on its side, leaving the Universe
(Set theory term but also a poetry pun)
Addressed, as always, albeit at an angle.

True, the U of poetry is usually addressed
Obliquely, but you have to wonder if maybe
The complete 90-degree rotation is somehow
Special, if maybe it marks a moment of progress on

The problem of poetic address. After all, in the thick of
Bigger things, sometimes a little perspective’s all you need.




Tom Snarsky teaches mathematics at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts, USA.

Their favourite conspiracy theory is probably model theory, a branch of mathematical logic that was described by the mathematical logician Ehud Hrushovski via the following equation: "Model Theory = Geography of Tame Mathematics."