#45. The improved poem.

Jorn Craeghs: “Choose one of your favorite poems and make it better”.

Here’s my adaption of a Spanish poem by Cesar Brandon:


One couldn’t count on anyone. One didn’t understand why he was odd, unpair.

One knew that behind him came an infinity and it scared him to death, so one looked at zero. And when one saw zero, he thought she was the prettiest number he had ever seen. He felt that before him laid an infinity as well. One thought that he had found true love in zero, that in zero he had found his equal.

One decided to be sincere to zero. One told zero that although she was nil, zero was the one thing adding value to his life. Together they were happy, they completed each other. They made up a zero date on the calendar and celebrated zero’s birthday with zero-alcohol beer and a pie divided by one. Zero was a bit closed and it was hard for her to represent something of value, but with one she felt perfectly binary. They were the cutest digits in the numeral system.

But one doesn’t know what he has until he loses it, so one lost zero. And when one finally realized it, zero was already holding hands with minus one. Minus one was a bit negative, but he treated zero like his princess. Zero thought that minus one was original and she liked to play with his hyphen. Zero liked that minus one was unlike anyone else, that minus one wasn’t ordinal, that minus one never let her win a game of Uno. Zero felt that, unlike one, minus one treated her like an actual number. Minus one didn’t try to add value to zero. Minus one wasn’t too complex and when they made love, minus one let zero be on top.

And once again, one was single. Unpaired, leftover. Without zero, one was like a candle, hurting in time. So one decided to count, but without zero. One forgot about kissing zero, about making love to her. One forgot about zero and maybe even about love. One began to count to what scared him most: infinity. Or maybe just to two.

Published by:

Martijn Beckers

I’m Martijn. One day I hope to become a succesful writer of some sort. A novelist, maybe. Or a columnist, a journalist or an advertising copywriter. I haven’t figured that part out yet. What I do know, however, is that practice makes perfect. You know what they say: 10,000 hours of deliberate exercise. Or 365 days, in this case.

Categories English, Jorn Craeghs, Long