Peeling Potatoes

PEELING POTATOES (QUANTUM SONG)
……………………………………………………………………………………………Inspired by Ani DiFranco’s “The Atom”
I’m already enjoying these potatoes
And I’m still only preparing them

As I listen to Stockhausen
Scrape the knife against the surface
In contact
The moment poised
The universe, breath held
And each tiny epiphenomenon
With a full dance card
A winsome smile
And a secret dream of consummation
After the ball

A moment poised
Echoing off down the ages
With a come hither eyelash
And little in mind but to shimmer without resolution
As the unspoken exclamation shifts
From “what a phenomenon!”
To “what a sensation!”
While with a flick of the wrist
And a slip of the lip
The magician in you melts away

Ach, these twice blind wallflowers
Rather than ever dip their toe in the glass
They declare it divine
Or mundane
Each way certainty of losing their birthright
By giving themselves airs
And distancing themselves
From the humble potato
With their taxonomy and understanding
Their cluttered appendices and flaccid hearts

A fool’s wager, to be sure
If I should back science or evolution
To play the golden calf
Though God knows when Moses will ever reappear
From up that blessed mountain
Or whether anyone will hear him
When he says there’s more
To these potato chappies than you think
Though never of course
More than you imagine

But now let me slip the little beauties into the pan
I haven’t even started to enjoy them yet

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About Ben Naga

Pilgrim on the lam. Please feel free to explore the links to learn more. I trust you will find some things there will have been worth the effort. See you there.

Posted on February 2, 2012, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Wow! I must print this out for further reads.

    Feels like you’ve taken us from the world of quantum physics into the frying pan – all starting with that knife peeling a potato (and the universe). Wonderful writing, Ben!

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    • It ended up containing a rant against what passes for “science” and “Christianity”, but both elements have roots in “The Atom” too. You can hear it hear (with lyrics 🙂 ).

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      • Wow!! (“Melting the icecaps with our arrogance….” Great song.) Hate to admit it but I’d never heard of DiFranco. Guess I’m really out of the loop, huh? Will have to listen to more…..

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      • I could go on all day, but just for starters, try forgetting this one once it gets into your head.

        grey

        the sky is grey
        the sand is grey
        and the ocean is grey

        and i feel right at home
        in this stunning monochrome
        alone in my way

        i smoke and i drink
        and every time i blink
        i have a tiny dream

        but as bad as i am
        i’m proud of the fact
        that i’m worse than i seem

        what kind of paradise am i looking for?
        i’ve got everything i want and still i want more
        maybe some tiny shiny thing
        will wash up on the shore

        you walk through my walls
        like a ghost on tv
        you penetrate me

        and my little pink heart
        is on its little brown raft
        floating out to sea

        and what can i say
        but i’m wired this way
        and you’re wired to me

        and what can i do
        but wallow in you
        unintentionally
        what kind of paradise am i looking for?
        i’ve got everything i want and still i want more
        maybe some tiny shiny key
        will wash up on the shore

        regretfully
        i guess i’ve only got three
        simple things to say:
        why me?
        why this now?
        why this way?
        with overtones ringing
        and undertows pulling away
        under a sky that is grey
        on sand that is grey
        by an ocean that’s grey

        what kind of paradise am i looking for?
        i’ve got everything i want
        and still i want more
        maybe some tiny shiny key
        will wash up on the shore

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  2. I adore DiFranco, and this is a creative inspiration indeed! Her work has made me rush to write on many occasions, and her ability to tell a story is simply charming

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    • I love her live concerts, full of genuine presence and generosity. One of the very few people whose bootlegs, both official and fan-generated, are worth collecting and getting to know as you might the “proper” albums.

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  3. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Wonderful writing – imagery, I mean. I loved “as the unspoken exclamation shifts” – excellent! 🙂

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  4. Lemme know once you’re done cooking ’em. I love potato dishes.

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  5. Lots to ponder and digest here, Ben… Thank you for further stimulating my recently awoken interest in philosophy.

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  6. This is a great way to include the very small – and the very big – in nice images that greatly go hand in hand. Very much fits the tone of “The Atoms[‘s]” lyrics. Also links back to the concept of time and eternity nicely 😀

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