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    nth/

    Nova to nude.

    nova, novel1, novel2, novelette, novelist, novella, novelty,

    November, novena, novice, novitiate, Novacaine, now, nowadays,

    nowhere, nowise, noxious, nozzle, Np, NRC, Ns, ns, NSF, NT, nth,

    nt. wt. nu, nuance, nub, nubile, nuclear, nucleate, nucleic acid,

    nucleolus, nucleaon, nucleus, nude

    Light in space to a painted figure on canvas. Or beige stockings.

    Like a game of telephone that begins with a starburst and ends with clothes heaped on a floor, meaning swirling through air like a dropped sock.

    One page of the Oxford Dictionary and you can walk through prayers of devotion rubbing against the 11th month of the year on one side and and a rookie on the other, a poetry sandwich of now. Subtle shades of meaning running into nubile then sliding all the way to nuclear. Then a seesaw from the central kernal around which all things are collected, filled with genetic material, to the macro view figure they live in, and make up.

    I began to think of the starbursts and the bursts of nuclear energy, the fission, which is a splitting, a meiosis if you will, and light. The way cells divide, or break, or are broken. Plus the marriagability of words, the fission, how nuclear is found in a family or a reactor.

    The ways words can bump and grind is wondrous, especially in a real paper dictionary where definitions create a neighborhood to trick or treat...

    Novacaine nozzle of the nu nude

    (anesthethic spout of 13 beige stockings)

    nuanced novice

    (subtle shade of inexperience)

    What nubbed nova does November

    swallow, the nubile novelty called fall?

    This toy reactor of family prayers

    the fresh hose of nowhere, of now.

    Bad poetry but fun to just let words play, and to take their fun seriously, create new stories, new meanings that rise from the friction of surprise.

    But also, there is a word in the group that, when mispronounced, is a pet peeve of epic proportions.

    Nuclear. Nu-cle-ar. Not, I repeat, not nu-cu-lar. I have zero patience for nucular. Every time George W Bush said it I wanted to slap him. Something so fraught with meaning and potential devastation needs to be gotten right. And his father said it correctly, so the fact that it was potentially affectation was even more noxious.

    Anyway. I digressed. Or maybe not... all of this exists on a random page I cracked open on a lark, a novelty. The potential to want to hit someone in power for a language error rose in the midst of small lumps of coal and dna. It has resonance, a reaction in my chest.

    The way words exist on the page is to nth degree -- to any required power, any extent.

    Say a novena nine successive days for that.

    nth

    [/enTH/]

    adjective

    1. of or representing an unspecified ordinal number, usually the greatest in a series of values: "to the nth power"

    2. denoting an unspecified member of a series of numbers or enumerated items: "systematic sampling by taking every nth name from the list"

    3. being the last, most recent, or most extreme of a long series of increasing or decreasing values, amounts, etc.: "for the nth time, eat your lunch!"

    4. to the nth degree, to the utmost extreme; to a high degree; as much as possible; maximum

    5. (of an item in a series of occurrences, planned events, things used, that is thought of as being infinitely large) being the latest, or most recent

    Origin

    1852, in phrase to the nth, figurative use of a mathematical term, indicating indefinite number, in which n is an abbreviation for number (n.).


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