Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"The Pascaline"


Have you seen the Pascaline?
Nor have I. It must have been fine.
It was a calculator from
the 17th century, built
by the legendary Blaise Pascal,
who even with a friend (Fermat)
also certainly found a math
to figure the odds of a roll
of the die. Later,

he invented Pascal's Wager,
a thought-gamble in which
you must choose to bet (get
this) on whether God exists.
Is the smart money
on yea or nay?

Pascal's Pensées persist.

Black dots on white cubes
tumble in my untidy mind.
I really hate Las Vegas,
the true ghastly capital
of the USA, and I really
would like to say I've
seen a Pascaline. But I can't
say that I have.


hans ostrom 2015



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