Poem For A New Year

By - Jan 1, 2017

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