Apeirophobia

fear of infinity

Original Text: 
Matthew Tierney, The Hayflick Limit (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2009): 15. PS 8589 I464H29 Robarts Library
1Uncaged. Run from it,
2go ahead, try. Wherever you are
3it's there. Cousin to zero
4with none of the zip, winking
5from vanishing points as though
6innocent, a party trick. Face it
7with no illusions. That sucking sound
8is the centre of the universe
9voided from its nest
10in the mind. Even Aristotle
11turned a blind eye, afraid of disproving
12God. Shameless modern mortals
13and the games they play, spurning bliss
14for the oil-slickened hand
15of calculus, lifespans spun
17paths to nowhere. The chill comes
18at the never-end of forever, tingle
19in your fingers a surefire tell.
20Eternity is devil's work, just
21look at its mark--double coil of
23There's no way of unknowing
24what we know.

Notes

16] Spirographs: "instrument which provides a continuous tracing of the movements of the lungs during respiration" (OED). Back to Line
22] The symbol for infinity is ∞. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Matthew Tierney and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from him in writing.