01 January 2015

My 2015 New Year Poem

2,015 DISCRETE PORTIONS

I placed the potato on my plate
and cut it into 2,015 discrete
portions. This took me nearly
six hours. A neighbour peering
through my window yelled
something at me but I only
saw his mouth move. The potato
is not a metaphor. The number
2,015 was selected randomly.
Meanwhile — when you’re my
age, meanwhiles are important
because they mean two things
can happen at once, crucial
when time is running out —
meanwhile, on my front lawn
something had appeared:
small and orange and batted
about by the unforgiving wind.
Above, the white blob of sky
convulsed and birds sailed out.
I sent a teetering robot to prod
at the orange thing, examine
it under a microscope, subject it
to various intelligence
tests. I thought at first it was
the fist of a plastic soldier
I’d played with as a child,
but it turned out to be
one two-thousand-and-
fifteenth of a potato. The potato
was sweet. The plate was made
of tin. The neighbour at my
window was made of cardboard.
I was made of regrets, sneezes and
diminishing possibilities. Laurie will
tell me this is depressing, I
shouldn’t be so hard on myself.
Meanwhile, on the television,
which is made of a rectangle,
a black-and-white woman
handed a violin to a child in
a ghetto in Poland. The wind
subsided and snow began to
zigzag from the sky. Each flake
had several choices to make.


STUART ROSS

1 January 2015


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