The Fist of Fibonacci

An Interactive Poem Project for MetaDada

by Rhonda Pettit and H. Michael Sanders

Image01-Fist of Fibonacci


“Golden Numbers with Line by Jack Spicer” is a poem based on the well-known Fibonacci sequence of numbers, in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers. This pattern of numbers occurs repeatedly in nature, with the stabilization of the ratio between numbers reaching .618 to 1. Many have believed that this ratio, known as the Golden Section, represents a way of arranging parts to each other and to the whole of a piece in an aesthetically pleasing way. Modern artists, musicians, architects, and poets have applied this ratio to their work.

Image02-Fibonacci Diagram

In our poem, we applied the sequence to the number of lines in each stanza. Rhonda Pettit started with a borrowed line by poet Jack Spicer (“Imaginary Elegies I”; the remaining lines to be original). H. Michael Sanders followed with another single line (1 + 0 = 1) stanza; Rhonda responded with a 2-line stanza (1 + 1 = 2), etc. The writing is largely improvisational, drawing on the spontaneous aesthetic they used in their collaborative work for the Gaps & Overlaps exhibition at the UC Blue Ash College Art Gallery (

Image03-Fibonacci Numbers on Paper

How long will they be able to keep it up before the poem metastasizes into stanzas consisting of hundreds and thousands of lines? How long before the Fist of Fibonacci pounds these hapless poets into mute, slowly settling layers of dust?


Golden Numbers with Line by Jack Spicer
by Rhonda Pettit and H. Michael Sanders
srednaS leahciM .H & titteP adnohR

Fist of Fibonacci – Installment 1 Published on February 25, 2016

Poetry almost blind like a camera

An image resolves in the gap between impulses

Rises to tone untangled from chord and rends
all dissonance, consonance, chemistries of stance

Buzzing like hot insect breath in the ear canal,
calcifying jellied membranes into photo emulsion
through which visions arise and faintly flicker

to sweep and to swap such mechanical indignities
as numbers always dictate, lodging here and there
like tics between follicles, for the space
filled with meaning i-chinging possibilities
with exposed surfaces and supposed persons (O, Emily!)

I can hear the phone ringing but can’t find it…
where is that damn thing and who keeps calling me?
then the phone stops ringing and it’s so very quiet,
so quiet that I begin to hear my heart beating and
the rhythm of my blood surging through my arteries…
where is that damn phone and why is it so quiet,
why doesn’t it ring, why isn’t anyone calling me?
why do I keep asking these questions of myself?

Fist of Fibonacci – Installment 2 Published on March 04, 2016

Because poetry almost deaf like a phone keeps calling
all the unlucky numbers, keeps dialing with its thumbs
the image transmissions of words and music we need
in these our times trying hard to be and knot. Be. Cause
poetry almost hard and shiny as a plastic case (or a case
of plausibilities) reflects what it sees through its thorn-
colored glasses and ouch! what we wouldn’t give for
vision so sharp, for a series of sharp visions, for serious,
Sirius-less visions. Because poetry almost free as the ag-
gregate that used to be your driveway and far more
sharp and colorful when it’s lodged inside your shoe
is on the ball and better than a cell phone a bell tower a bell
curve. A blister not a diamond is a supposed poem reaching

Peering intently into the thick and blistering darkness,
thumbs resolutely thrust into raw, bulging eyes while
familiar voices ring hollow – as empty and wooden as a
napping ventriloquist’s dummy face down on the stage –
teeth chattering in odd rhythms that can only be followed
with fugitive and transitory attention without any thought
or meaningful intervention into the thinning, ephemeral
mist condensing into rivulets of sweat stinging the eyes…
fuzzy edges embedded in glib, transient interpretations
trapped in the slow, inevitable process of disappearing
into languorous foetuses emerging directly from the hot
entrails of the poet, issued singing the diabolical songs of
charlatans with tongues of flame flapping like loose sails…
thoughts, ideas and words transformed into cheap tourist
souvenirs and dropping like fat sausages into a cosmic
conflagration swirling into the fine royal jelly of bees…
transfixed by breathing and formulating urgent plans for
childhood while wearing the deep, red scars left as tracks
by the ticking clocks of history… still ticking… ticking…
with minutes before the alarm goes off to betray the faith
in silence [                                                                        ]

To be continued with the next Metadada update…



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