Two Poems

By - Jan 20, 2021

The following poems are from THE NEW WORLD, Kelly Schirmann’s new book, available now from Black Ocean.




The New World arrived
when we were unconscious
It laid on top of the Old World
like vellum paper
and showed us what we’d done
There was no one to blame
because everyone was an institution
and therefore subject to rules
There were many new documents
we felt compelled to sign
There was still fresh juice
though we regarded it skeptically
The New World shined
brighter / and was
Red became a color
for the first time in decades
Heat came from humans
who were just pure energy
Food grew faster
and more anonymously
The New World split itself
between ideology and action
It made new images
and reproduced them
Many of these images
were of a much Newer World
we hadn’t gotten to yet
There was a feeling permeating
all of us / a sleepy memory
of having moved beyond
the moment of choice-making
without having made
a choice at all
The New World for example
was not a singular decision
It was an adjacent performance
Long and slow
I watched it sometimes
when there was nothing else on
Something to clean the house
or prepare food with
Otherwise it was just me
And how quiet it got then





Slogans are merciless
They stick in your face like a crease
I believe women have two bodies
One of the bodies knows how
to recognize dissonance
The other body suffers
this dissonance daily
Someone who believes
the past and present belonged
to someone other than females
made a bunch of t-shirts for us
It’s a rough game
and nobody likes the rules
The trick is inventing a third body
Graceful and athletic
To send out into the world
and bring back some $$$



Read more about THE NEW WORLD, available now from Black Ocean.