(at The Poetry Project)
Sometime in the fall of quarantine I attended a few zoom lectures and workshops, especially at the poetry project, and a special one was with Jayson P. Smith. They had a fun prompt to write for the full 15 minutes of Tierra Whack's "Whack World" while loosely filling in the blanks between the following lines:
___________ , take a look around.
Last I heard,
The world kept coming.
My debt makes it too expensive to
The police are the public and the public are the police.
My ________ doesn’t know ________ ________
has never been so easy under penalty of law,
i’ve been taking my loneliness as
This is (almost) one-take prose poem emerged, and was soon revised, but for now this version resides online.
I keep telling you, take a look around. There’s time for it all. Time the time it takes to think about how we’re running out. The world kept coming. We stand ground. We found each other. Never be a home while we keep killing in the streets wiled killing my komrades I wanna say komrades though you laugh in my face and send me back. How we’ll be ancient, efforts relegated to stories of inevitable and of course we ended up here. But how. That’s the tune I walk to every night in rage. I keep telling you, there’s time for it all. In perpetual transition, that’s the challenge. Nuance is all I think. I think in grayscales weighing between: form and content, man and woman, theory and practice, non and violence and non. Absence and presence, that’s over worked. Work overtime equals margin. Too costly. Then police are the public and the public are the police. Over worker time. Last night falling asleep holding lover I was so asleep I was almost gone asleep I asked you how. Could they make the cops the way they are. How can they make people, people do that. Pour people into beating poor people, I feel asleep thinking. I dream about Elon Musk. Throw him out a window on the fifth floor of his fancy glass factory but wonder if it’s high enough for him to die upon impact or if I’m just unleashing him onto the poor passersby in the street below. Fuck off has never been so easy. Mute you, slash red line through image and you’ve disappeared off the face, do you even time. Do you? Know where you are when you’re not onscreen. In case of emergency, break the fifth-floor glass and you might land alive in the street, block unsuspecting passersby. How did I used to never have a phone. I used to never. Vomit all over the screen. Wipe dinner out from between the keys again, rub sweat off the edges of the trackpad. My body is losing itself loosing itself into laptop. Lap’s only getting topped by this cold mac. Yes, I’ve been taking my loneliness as an assumption. Try to leave it on the bridge. Sore. See a self shot in the street. Whose streets. I decline to answer. Uncertainty streets. Take a look around. There’s time. There. To overworktimeout the nuances. i’m interpellated. by my loneliness. every morning. craving calls me into being. and a little afraid by now of scaring you away. silly how it seems to grow with our closeness. fear and closeness (inversely?) proportional.