an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
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Tarot #01

The Gradation of Fire

after the painting by Magritte

The literal meaning of jan
ken pon, the Japanese equi-
valent of rock, scissors, paper,
is ‘beginning with stone.’ That

was the given. To go with it,
various other items were
then subjected to a battery of
tests. This painting shows

some of them undergoing the
fire test, to see how easily
they burn, how long for, &
how much is left behind. Only

one additional item survived
the testing relatively unscathed. To
choose the third, a handoff was be-
gun between the best of the

first round failures. Paper won.