Butterfly


 

The caterpillar is all belly but

the butterfly is obsessed by sex.

The chaotic flight is a safari

of painted ladies, a random whorey

weariness. Then she lays her down in dust

– the shuddering & the symmetric wings –

& drops her million peppery seeds

to probe with fœtal hands & eat & die.

Each life is built on the last, simple

addition of bulk & belly, until

the ultimate appearance of order

& symmetry in the butterfly’s wings.

The series has no meaning, a pattern

of recurrence. Each term is appetite.

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6 thoughts on “Butterfly

  1. On the subject of love, I suppose. It’s an old poem from a sequence called Mathematics.
    I can’t seem to reduce point size in the last line to normal, so any emphasis is unintentional!

  2. “The series has no meaning, a pattern

    of recurrence. Each term is appetite.”

    I read it as a declaration of intents written by an atheist..

  3. quite touching, will. I love the idea that such a worn-out symbol for fragility as the butterfly may be used to describe the ferocious greed of ‘zoe’, or bare life. Still, one question: why a poem about no meaning and pattern on a sequence called Mathematics? the answer may be obvious, but i’d like the author to comment on this…:)

  4. Butterfly effect from wikipedia:
    The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.
    Recurrence, the approximate return of a system towards its initial conditions, together with sensitive dependence on initial conditions are the two main ingredients for chaotic motion. They have the practical consequence of making complex systems, such as the weather, difficult to predict past a certain time range (approximately a week in the case of weather).

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