Angela Ball

Two New Poems

Negative Dependence Harder to Prove Than Should Be

A cou­ple was made
For tor­ment. LISTEN: Proving this holds for­mal­ly is often more dif­fi­cult than one would expect.

Courtship, orches­trat­ed
By an absent queen.
Courtship, a piano
Tuned by blindness.

A tone, spread­ing.  The woman
Arranges the show­er curtain’s dec­o­ra­tive veil
Outside the tub.  The man, in passing,
Pushes it inside.

The man sug­gests a par­ty, a trip.
The woman laughs bitterly.

Why should we care? Well, it turns out that if a col­lec­tion of ran­dom vari­ables are neg­a­tive­ly asso­ci­at­ed, then even though they are depen­dent, you can just apply your stan­dard Chernoff bounds to them, with­out a care.

The tone
Of air­less arguments.

Anyhow, we could­n’t prove neg­a­tive depen­dence eas­i­ly, so we end­ed up using an ugli­er mar­tin­gale argu­ment that sufficed.

He has worn Chernoff’s bounds.
She has worn a mar­tin­gale like this.

It Is Remarkable How Closely the History of the Apple Tree is Connected with that of Man says Henry David Thoreau

John Chapman wad­ed down the Ohio
“To save shoe leather.”
his nick­name fol­lowed, relentlessly
Eating the truth.

He didn’t scat­ter seeds,
But plant­ed orchards on credit,
Leaving behind
Pages of Emanuel Swedenborg, carefully
Torn.  LISTEN:

Spirits appeared in front to the left, who were said to be from Earth Mars, and who declared them­selves holy; not that they were holy [in themselves].

He slept in barns or spare rooms.
The wealthy touched the holy bell
Of the good hotel, stained with the scent
Of the ACTRESS who hid
A trans­par­ent sin. His sleep
Spoke to her.

LISTENThey sub­sist upon dif­fer­ent kinds of pulse, as also upon a cer­tain round fruit which springs up imme­di­ate­ly from the ground, not to men­tion the fruits of trees.

No one knows where he has sprung up.
The Hubble tele­scope reports Mars’s surface
Is chang­ing rapid­ly, reddening.


Angela Ball