The New Year

By Jason Shinder 1955–2008 Jason Shinder
I will dive to the bottom of the hotel pool and find my mother’s hairpin.
 
With the mouth of a drowning woman on my lap,
I will add her breath to mine. In the dark, I will lay the thin white sheet
 
of the moonlight over the blue plums of my wife’s breasts.
 
With the new planet I discovered just when I thought I was losing my sight,
I will love another man because I will be a woman.
 
Everything important will never as yet have happened. Let it happen.
 
I will throw a lit match on the secrets my body
has kept from me and stand in the fire. The people I have sawed in half
 
will appear in my bedroom mirror, getting dressed.

Jason Shinder, “The New Year” from Stupid Hope. Copyright © 2009 by Jason Shinder. Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press, www.graywolfpress.org

Source: Stupid Hope (Graywolf Press, 2009)

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Poet Jason Shinder 1955–2008

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, The Body, Relationships, Men & Women, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery

Biography

Born in Brooklyn, poet and editor Jason Shinder grew up there and in Merrick, New York. He earned a BA at Skidmore College.
 
Shinder is the author of three collections of poetry: the posthumously published Stupid Hope (2009), Among Women (2001), and Every Room We Ever Slept In (1993), a New York Public Library Notable Book. In a review of Among Women, poet Carol Muske-Dukes observed, “I don’t know of any male poet that . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Body, Relationships, Men & Women, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Stars, Planets, Heavens

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Imagery

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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