The Emergent Property

by gm

Jeff Latosik


Is crooked math that keeps us from a perch;

juked sum flowing always after tax, surviving all of our efforts

to reduce it to a cell or set, an integer of what has come…

Not additive: more like gearwork gone berserk,

the macroscopic shaking free of recompense,

anthill of a hurricane of common sense.


Could it be what the classic films are said to have,

something in the chemistry, or is it strictly viz.,

a liner note we can’t yet see?

Whatever explains the totality of what you are is something

nobody can own. In Leslieville, a boy lets loose five bullets

into someone he doesn’t know and then bikes home,


sleeps in his room, and when asked he won’t say anything.

His hands are tied in a double bind of plastic

to perform his one magic trick and disappear.

Be sure tonight that laws blink on and industries metabolize

somebody’s share of oil or a forest;

iron pours out as piano wire on flatbed trucks.


Under a bridge, a voice pings back against itself

but look over the guardrail and there’s no one there.

Something went another way, decided that,

or went by blind habit, guided by sonar, radar,

or the thought that that was louder than it should have been,

it wasn’t me or there is something that wakes me from myself.