A Chaos Theory

by T.A. Noonan

                        Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum
                        unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,
                        quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles
                        nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem
                        non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum. 

                                    —with spinster goddesses in the middle of things

circling     looms.


—with spinster goddesses

                                                (No, which set?)
                                                (z = z^2 + x):

                                                                        z = {moirae} and
                                                                        x = {eris}

                                                                       mandelbrot = {∞}
                                                                       mandelbrot != {∞};     

 She-Who-Draws-Taut     She-Who-Measures-Square     She-Who-Cuts-Dead-on-Target
they weave fabric to fight     the cracking chill in their teeth

                                                (No, tooth. Singular.)

                                    —that was the Graia     not us.


Our masterpiece     they whisper     star-cloth to replace our fractal |1|
dresses     creatures to breathe praise into the void. |2|

|1|         P. Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses.
|1|         In this case, (x = x^2 - a). The hole-to-thread constant is approximately 4.669211660910299067185320382047.
|2|         For the purposes of this poem, the author has identified the void with a eötvös (read: "KUT - vush") number. It is dimensionless and used to calculate flow patterns, droplets, and bubbles. Symbolized "Eo." Ovid defines it thus:

            EO - march on, advance, leave, go.


As they spin     so does their sister     dancing to break her shivers.

                                                x != {eris}
                                                (She never was.)

She hears the looming shuttle     stops mid-step.

                                                mandelbrot != {∞}
                                                (It never does.)

How dare they end the dance?

                                                (Let's try again.)
                                                (z = z^2 + x):

                                                                        z = {kauket} and
                                                                        x = {tiamat}

                                                                        mandelbrot = {spider woman};

She-Who-Exists-Before-Light     She-Who-Swells-in-Oceans     She-Who-Weaves-Signs
The results don't match     can't match     check the math     change the set

                                                                       z = {kali} and

She wars against        design |3|
                                                                       x = {am-no-tanabata-hime-no-mikoto}

                                                            then ...

                                    —The circle tightens 

This art     Chaos     our body and blood. |5|
Behold the warp. |8|

|3| Lanij and Lewoj, lesser gods of the Marshallese, claim responsibility for all unique animal patterns.
|5| They also introduced this art to humans in the form of tattooing.
|8| The word for tattoo in Marshallese is "eo."


-sheds her threadbare gown     arches her back in the living cloak

                                                                      mandelbrot != {∞};

                                                            (Keep adding anyway.)

As she turns     the fabric ripples like surface tension

                        Sex mihi surgat opus numeris, in quinque residat:
                        Ferrea cum vestris bella valete modis.
                        Cingere litorea flaventia tempora myrto,
                        Musa, per undenos emodulanda pedes. 

|13| Ovid, Amores, Epistulae, Medicamina Faciei Femineae, Ars Amatoria, Remedia Amoris.

and poets peer at the weave—