Silvius Bonus, Jobbing Psephologist

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Keep two files: ‘forest (heretofore)’ and ‘forest (hereafter).’ Report well. Begin with objects and events. The Prefect and his cottonmouth attendants desire more granularity of data.

No landslides. Gradual fissures. Motes in the moraine. Icebergs calving only in high summer? Grief: sufficient, or surfeit? Caked ash: what accretions? Poems still milking well in this dry weather?

The Floor has opened and closed. The teller recounts. A world in each calqued little stone of my abacus. The ayes or noes in my ears. The Speaker’s mouth. Remember Cicero’s little brother Quintus?

I have his crib notes on electioneering but not his heartrending Erigones. God forgive me, I got only what was coming,

a pebble palmed, a pebble held under the tongue, not a force for good – not a force for anything: a point on which moment hung, a fulcrum, a hinge,

kidding myself this was a slight ambition. Why kid myself? I have no purchase on this life, its dense, irregular declensions.