The New Year (A Poem)

Photo from Crosscut

The New Year

January 1 too old
to be hungover you
unwrap the new year
like a new stick of butter

hope you get it in
the dish at the right
angle and not scrape off
butter from the side or the top.

Up early if not awakened
by midnight fireworks which
could have been gunshots
you open up the new year

like you pop the top off
the half & half carton
don’t mind if she interrupts
from behind for new year

kisses on the back of
the neck, the first of seventy
or eighty this year as you shake off
bad dreams of losing half

your hair & start the coffee.
The last thing from the holiday
season to unwrap, maybe a
resolution or two, maybe it was

at the Episcopal burn bowl as
one of the last things of
last year which sounds
so old now, last year

losing ground in the rear
view mirror of the car
humans won’t be driving
in the great future.

Last year in the velocity
of our age where it all
must be young, new, improved
by citizens of a culture

screaming at the microwave
to hurry up, scanning the
pixeled headlines for the
latest get-rich-quick scam.

The new year, a baby
in cartoons. It’s going to be
a bad year for the world, says
José but good for us.

6:58am – 1.2.2019

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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