By Ben |

As I recall, the assignment for this 1997 poem was just to make an analogy between two things. I chose to compare moral relativism (which I was enamored with at the time, being 21) with a Möbius strip, and I thought it would be clever to turn the poem in on a Möbius strip so that there was no clear start or end point. It took some doing to get the sides of the paper to line up (since we had to print, not hand-write, our assignments) and to get the splice in the middle of a line so that readers couldn't assume it was the starting point. I was very pleased with the result - the rhymes even wound up more or less on opposite sides of the paper from each other, and I'll never forget the sight of all the students in the class turning the thing round and round in their hands trying to read it. However, the professor required me to submit the second draft in the traditional fashion.

Dimensional hybrid, strip of illusion.
Singular edge bounding singular side.
Long, wide, or deep?  Math or philosophy?
Left equals right in a strip without end.

Manifold viewpoint, stripped of confusion.
Truth without edge puts us all on one side.
Shallow or deep?  Faith or psychology?
Wrong equals right if we strip means from end.