New York Tyrant

Poem For A New Year
by Kelly Schirmann

Jordan Castro

People like to talk about the year ending

like it’s old fruit you can just toss out

Something that’ll decompose naturally

and painlessly into your yard

 

This is Western Thought at its finest

To hold something in your palm

and entertain the illusion

that you either need it or you don't

 

Another thing people like to do is pretend

an ending for something that could go on forever

As if human sorrow could be contained

 

and not just spill out across decades

or have whole condominiums built

on its silty foundation

 

I am so comfortable

drinking my coffee each morning from a paper cup

This is not a joke / this is a confession

 

The sun is getting closer

The moon more powerful

 

Have you noticed 

that if Eastern philosophies and practices such as

zen, meditation, karma (giving), and metaphysical energies

enter the public sphere (culture) (via $$$)

they are always attached to a kind of militarization?

 

I have noticed

that the only real currency is Attention

 

No one seems to want to understand

why people do mindless and terrible things

What the root looks like / how to remove it

 

How someone could seek some kind of solace

from the endless violence

that we are all subjected to daily

via commerce

and social organization

and waves of media content

 

How this solace could look 

vastly different from your own

 

I have noticed

 

that one of the biggest consequences 

of having to maintain a Profile

is the need to maintain a Political Opinion

How this militarizes us too

 

The only people that truly threaten the State

are the ones with no weapons

No-weapon is dangerous

No-weapon is no purchasing

from the national store

 

Every woman I know is suffering from fatigue

Leonard Cohen is dead

Poetry is a folk song, meaning

Poetry is completely worthless

unless it is mobilized toward

or attached to 

a commodity

 

Provocateur gets book deal

Oil Executive given more responsibility

Artist makes shoe commercial

Telephone gives you a disease

 

All of these are predictable

if you are willing to look at what we are

and see that the narrative of Opposition

is constructed 

and maintained 

and encouraged

by those who profit from war

 

"Happy New Year

to you too"

 

(walks forever 

into the trees)

 

***

KELLY SCHIRMANN is the author of Popular Music (Black Ocean, 2016). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, and at kellyschirmann.com


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