Luisa Di Pietro and Lin Jorgensen

© Luisa Di Pietro
Created using Lin Jorgenson’s poem (below) as inspiration

© By Lin Jorgensen

The term “backtrack” was coined by American mathematician D. H. Lehmer in the 1950s.

As soon as you know

A candidate cannot possibly

Lead to constraint satisfaction

In your natural lifetime,

Go back to the last place you’d

Want to be: Where you

Went wrong. Look for

A simpler puzzle and start doing

Him in pencil only, not ink,

And see where he leads.

You’ve spent your life toiling

At brute-force enumeration,

So now you seek a short-cut:

A partial candidate, mathematically

Feasible as soul mate, true friend,

Infinite comfort, consort fatale,

The One. Solution to all that

Ails me and fails me and

Leaves me gasping with loss.

But you know it’s cold out

Tonight so come here, darlin, my

Cypher, my dearest darkest detour.


© Luisa Di Pietro
Inspiration piece provided to Lin Jorgenson

Her Last Hurrah
© By Lin Jorgensen

Wrong time, wrong place,

Wrong everything. Still,

This specific weed,

Spindly and estranged,

Elects to root

On this particular splintery sill.

A marvel, really, of decisionmaking

And strategic botanical

Vision:  “I see myself aloft.

This is my niche, my vocation.

Amused and solaced, I live

To discomfit in some small way.”

Survival of the fittest, maybe

Not, but of the stubborner

Able and willing and grateful

To grow in the shallow, rich debris

At the edge of domestic bliss.

She gazes out on woods

And gardens and roads she’ll

Never taste, touch, or fill

With her insignificant flowers,

And gazes in at the insiders

Whose oblivion is all that spares her

For this last hurrah.

Damned from every direction

Until the big brush-off

That may or may not come

Who knows when or how,

She is happy enough

To live alone, casting seeds

To the next of her kind

Even now volunteering

Beside the front stoop.

“I see myself as a steppingstone,”

He’ll say, watching the

Scythe level the lawns.

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