Two Poems by Michael Prior


Infinite Monkey Theorem

after Émile Borel

You mistook who I was then for whom
I might have become. What is past
is prologue. Mannequins shift off
summer-wear, leaves kite differential
currents: the city right now. My heels
over sidewalk clip a steady tempo,
an urban perfidy, perhaps, or a typewriter
recomposing time thought lost.
I did the best I could with the words I knew.
Late night conversations made clear
as Latin by time-zone warp, fibre-optic
lag — or that trip to the island, where silence
was parsed by the moon’s bruised maria,
the morning’s pulse of surf. Everything
a variable in an unarticulated set:
the inequalities winging overhead, the shudder
of a text received. Given other years,
I would have predicted what probability
meant to do, finished it myself.


Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Frog Hollow Press, from Swan Dive by Michael Prior, and available here.

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Michael Prior

Michael Prior's poems have appeared in Geist, The Fiddlehead, Lemon Hound, The Malahat Review, and The New Quarterly. He was the winner of Vallum's 2013 Poetry Prize, Grain's 2014 Short Grain Contest, and The Walrus's 2014 Poetry Prize. His first chapbook, Swan Dive, was published in late 2014 by Frog Hollow Press. His first full-length collection is forthcoming in 2016 from Véhicule Press.