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Aaron Fogel

The Man Who Never Heard of Frank Sinatra

The man who had never heard of Frank Sinatra: he lived
A perfectly ordinary life in America. Born in 1915,
He followed all the fads, read the newspapers, listened

To Television, knew who Dean Martin and Sammy whathisname
Were (Sinatra's friends), but somehow, by a one in a
Zillion fluke, whenever Sinatra came up, he was out of the room.

Or his attention was diverted by something else, and
(You will say this is impossible, that it cannot be), never
Heard him sing, like a man in my generation who somehow

Missed the Beatles though he had heard everything else.
Once, just as he was about to hear the name Frank Sinatra
A plane flew overhead--he was fifty-five years old--his hearing

A little more impaired. He had heard of Humphrey Bogart,
Of Elizabeth Taylor, of Walter Cronkite, and of perhaps a hundred
Forty thousand other celebrities names by the time he died,

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P.s.

P:The statistician and the poet need each other,
But not yet.

S:You need us now.
Without a theory of probability
To guide you -

P:Not the unguided but the unguarded moments
Are the most beautiful

S:Poetry is measure and measure now is population
All signs signify groupings: we count people.

P:There are nonmeasurable groupings that defy
Time and space and run wild as numbers

S:We call that Brownian motion, stochastic.

P:Stochastic rain, stochastic snow, the populace,
The monkeys who sleep in different groups each night

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Pupils Slip Up

I have several questions.
For a few months
A radio business channel
In Boston carried

Thrice hourly reports
On the stock market--
The Bloomfield report.
Suddenly it was gone
And replaced by a
Monotonous religious channel.

I couldn't find it
Anywhere on the dial.
Why did that happen?
Massac came from Casamusetts.
Cassam came from Massachusetts.

They tell you that vitamin E,

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Cobblestones

The coffin, set up as coffins always are, near the grave, contained the father. The sentence, set up as sentences always are, on the page, contained the words. The meat package, set up as meat packages always are, with cellophane covering, contained the chops. The synagogue, set up as synagogues always are, for people, contained the rabbi. The classroom, set up as classrooms always are, for chairs, contained the professor. The coffin, set up as coffins always are, beside the grave, contained the mother. The word, set up as words always are, beyond hearing, contained the syllables. The prose, set up as prose always is, in census-rectangles, contained the phenomena. The nation, set up as nations always are, in questionnaire rooms, contained the sworn. The can, set up as cans always are, with ornate paper covers, contained the chicken o’noodle soup, with the circular noodles. Abacus, guitar, and quipu, set up as abacus, guitar and quipu always are, hieratically on notional strings, contained tobacco’s troubadours. The coffin, set up as coffins always are, next to the grave, contained the sister. The elegy, set up as elegies always are, dishonestly, contained the family. The steak, set up as steaks always are, artificially reddened, contained the fat. The rectangular venetian blinds, set up as rectangular venetian blinds always are, in the windowframe, contained the slats. The DNA, set up as DNA always is, in double helixes, contained the and. The word people, set up as the word people always is, in writing, contained the o.

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The Printer's Error

Fellow compositors
and pressworkers!

I, Chief Printer
Frank Steinman,
having worked fifty-
seven years at my trade,
and served five years
as president
of the Holliston
Printer's Council,
being of sound mind
though near death,
leave this testimonial
concerning the nature
of printers' errors.

First: I hold that all books
and all printed
matter have

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