Travis Macdonald

Author’s Note:

Pi (or 3.14159etc.) is a transcendental number. This suggests, among other things, that no finite sequence of algebraic operations on integers (powers, roots, sums, etc.) can be equal to its value. Consequently, its decimal representation never ends or repeats. It divides in endless variation.

The following text is composed solely of language borrowed in direct sequential and numerical order from The Book of Genesis, Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (Chapter 8 - Hybridism) and Albert Einstein’s Special and General Theory of Relativity.

Each poem is comprised of individual lines whose word count corresponds precisely with the relative decimal point of pi to its first 1,415 places. When drawing from each source, the author has taken great care never to exceed 3 consecutive lines from any given text and, even then, only in cases where the process of natural selection demands. While the original language of each line is faithfully preserved, each selection has been re-punctuated for narrative purposes.


Effects of manipulation: sometimes decidedly
alone, I will make
him a help
by means
of numerical measures. To make ourselves
independent; of the existence, of marked,
of the field and
the rigid body, of reference. In the physics
of the
see what he
would call them:
the Cartesian system of coordinates. This consists of three
plane surfaces perpendicular.
And Adam gave names to all

cattle and to the fowl of the
system of
coordinates. The scene of any event

his hybrids
determined (for the main
part) by the specification of the lengths of the
a distinct flower either
fall upon
plant or from another plant of the
same hybrid nature.


And thus the strange fact of the
increase of
the rib, which the
generations of artificially fertilized hybrids
(with rigid measuring rods) performed according to the
interbreeding. Having been avoided, now let us

geometry in practice the rigid surfaces
and flesh of my flesh. She

namely, the Hon. and Rev. W.
of the coordinates
man. Therefore shall a man
leave his father and his
indirect means. If the results of physics and
astronomy are to maintain their clearness, the physical
between distinct species is a universal law
sought in accordance with
the serpent... was more subtle than any beast.


Result: every description of events in space involves
use of a rigid body.
To which

such events have to be referred. The resulting relationship
tree of

command. Of his many important statements, I will here
give only a single one as
an example:
“Trees of the garden…But of the fruit
of the
fertilized (by C. revolutum) produced a plant which,” he
says, “I
position in space with time:
A case of its

conscience with grave sins against the sacred spirit of


I heard thy voice
in the garden and I was
the positions relative to the body of reference railway.
And, after a few days,
defined in detail the preceding section. If, instead,
the hybrid made vigorous
and rapid progress to maturity
useful idea for mathematical description, we

are in a position to say: “The stone traverses
the tree.” And I,
to a system
of coordinates, rigidly

said unto the woman: “What?”


Between thee and the woman and between thy seed—
functionally imperfect in their mutual
bruise—thy head

must infer that the plants were in an unnatural
state. Nevertheless,
supplemented such a definition of time that
the lesser or greater fertility of
can be regarded essentially as magnitudes. Results,
when self-fertilised,
rule over thee and unto Adam. He said:
ground of classical mechanics? We can satisfy this requirement
for our illustration
of the
tree of which I commanded.” Thee
shalt not eat of it.” Cursed is
window, is holding…one of them. And the man
on the footpath

the days of thy life
dissimilar in general. Habit reproduced itself as perfectly
as if it had been
of the clock he
is holding in his hand. In this connection,

eat bread till thou return unto the
ground. For out of
finiteness of the velocity
of propagation, of light, with this
dust shalt
thou return. And
prevailing here, we shall have to deal.

Travis Macdonald was recently named a 2014 Pew Fellow in the Arts. He is the author of two full-length books – The O Mission Repo [vol.1] (Fact-Simile Editions) and N7ostradamus (BlazeVox Books) – as well as several chapbooks, including: Basho’s Phonebook (E-ratio), BAR/koans (Erg Arts), Sight & Sigh (Beard of Bees), Time (Stoked Press) and Hoop Cores (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press).