PHYSICS II: LEIBNIZ
Leibniz died, martyred by the holy church of Newton
the way Galileo died, martyred by the holy church of Christ.
Mathematicians still write the way Leibniz did,
fussy physics dots and random letters. We are all afraid
of this, that when at last our genius is revealed,
it will be duplicated,
that upon discovering the one small thing that no one else can give
to the world, that it will be given twice and we will not get credit.
Three people invented the telephone within an hour of each other
and Bell got to the patent office first. My name will not survive
so I say it now: Schneiderman, Schneiderman, Schneiderman.
You will hear my name on others, but it will be
my father’s name,
not mine. Perhaps only the forgotten know peace
after death. Perhaps Leibniz is angry that I’ve called.
“Sweet, funny, sad, true: Sublimation Point, like a perfect pop song, makes the listener glad to be alive. Jason Schneiderman doesn’t strive for complication: he wins us over with rueful plain-speaking. Tragedy enters the picture, and becomes the frame.” — Wayne Koestenbaum
“We can read these poems as miniatures, little worlds composed to magnify the drama of forces converting us, moment by moment, into who we are. Possessing a protean intelligence, a classical sensibility, and an inordinate appetite for the uncanny, Schneiderman seeks the point at which everything changes without an outward sign.” — Phillis Levin
“Grave, sweetly questioning, often irreverently funny, Jason Schneiderman’s poems about love and death, the Holocaust and family history, self knowledge and self deception give this book a range and tonal variety that is extremely rare for any poet, let alone a first book.” — Tom Sleigh