Prose has to justify itself, but poetry is violence.
Is that true? Does that have any meaning, or is something this editor wrote down with a sense of pride the other day, before facing (of course, privately at first) the plain fact that it's probably giberish? And that, if it was profound at all, somebody would have noticed by now.
Some small things are changing. There's a giant backlog of unanswered query letters. We're catching up.
The One About Bourdieu
Treni been smart my whole life
i been poor my whole life
they say it’s better to be born lucky
born rich born dumb it doesn’t matter
they’d be right in saying that
my old man spent more time in jail
than with his family but he was smart
my mum is 73 this year and still
she cleans the houses of those born
lucky rich and dumb
people ask me about bourdieu poems
so here’s a statement for reference
social mobility doesn’t really happen
and the reproduction of class demographics
is maintained through education
particularly arts education
art has only existed since kant
bourdieu hated kant so much
he wrote a whole book about it
it’s called distinction
bourdieu knowing is not wealth
anymore than punk knowing makes you vivienne westwood
im poor and smart and know my fate
fuck amor fati I’ll be alive til the day I die
Tren didn't send a bio this time, but if there is a shred of justice in this world you ought to know him by reputation already
Happy Birthday I Hate It Here
When hundreds of miles shrink under one roof the tension in my throat is laid bare
I am not your marble bust above the fire
The shining far off beacon of your benevolence
I am instead a raving monster, screaming creature who bristles and cringes at your practiced assuaging words
I am without substance
A mirror with which you judge yourself
I am the cruel beast who laughs when you are weighed and found wanting
Destroy me, calm your guilty chest, and forget my condemnations
When history is righted an the poised hammer strikes
When you find yourself on the wrong side of the battle lines and the guns are trained on you
Remember the monstrous who walked among you once
Who cried out for help
And as the order is gonna given and the rifles are shouldered for the last time,
Lucie is a butch trans dyke and a communist who unloads trucks for a living and tweets @trashcommunist
A Worker's Etymology
David Joez Villaverde
When I'm asked what do you do?
I like to reply I write poems,
a reply which is always insufficient
for the type of person who asks that question.
No what do you do for work?
Work, from the Latin urgere, to compel,
to press, to bear down upon. Work, the cognate
of the Gothic wrikan, the old English wrecan,
to persecute, from which the word wreak derives,
to inflict vengeance. What do you do for a job?
Job perhaps from the Middle English gobbe
as in gobbeshite, or from the Parisian slang jobbe,
a fool, but more likely from the Middle English jobben,
to thrust, to peck at, a word whose origins
arise from the collapse of feudalism
and the forced movement of peasants to the mines.
A word Samuel Johnson defined as vulgar,
as a low, mean, lucrative busy affair.
A definition we still recognize today
as in Lula really got jobbed by Bolsonaro.
I wish I had the courage to answer
this question with anything
other than the literal truth.
I wish I didn't care
what vacuous strangers think of me.
I wish I wasn't afraid to say
I work as a factotum at a burning plantation
that is rapidly sinking into the bog.
Anything other than the thankless
fact of my menial labor. Labor,
from the Old French labour, toil,
suffering, from the Latin labor, hardship,
pain, fatigue. Once someone asked
if I had read Lunch Poems,
if I stole time to write poetry.
Truth be told I don't.
I am tired of trying to make myself
a perfect engine of productivity.
I'm tired of thinking of the poem
as an emotional machine made of words.
I'm tired of the language of capital
infecting everything I care about.
I wish I could quit
but I need to eat.
I wish I could say
I don't like my boss.
Boss from the Dutch baas, master,
a loanword from Dutch slavers.
David is a recovering deprogrammer who proselytizes Juche
in new york i've got the worst skin
i'm always suppressing the urge to rub
it down / rub it down / thumb the gravestone
flat. the vendor across the street sells roses
her name is clarisse. some dude at the coffee shop
offers me a bud / ç’est bon / i see his nipples
thru his shirt. they're like raspberries
tart & i can't afford them
lives in Queens, drools in sleep
a pretentious letter to pretentious men in college classrooms
Hugo A. L. M. Crick-Furman
the unjust man builds a mediator out of snow and straw where none stands
carts it around behind him like a sideshow cage
“This is our middle, our common ground
this is our wedding bed, this is our nursery,
this is where the world can be born, this is where the world has to end.
This is the center of our two poles,”
“now get on the cart”
“follow behind us both,
and we will go where we will”
the unjust man speaks only of intent, of misunderstandings
of the steel of the bolt
of the flesh
of the bird
of the things which they know to be true from their perch, from the crow’s nest
without talking to the crow, or asking it how its kids are doing
the unjust man bites into utopia
and holds a piece between his gums and his lips, just for himself
throws the rest to the greedy flames and calls it charity
“what’s good for the gander is good for the goose” can’t hold in a world where we kill even the goose that lays the golden eggs
before they can think of hatching
Hugo Crick-Furman is a student, clown, and amateur utopian.
A Birthday Dirge for Baby Nut
we need to not only salt the peanuts
but salt the earth they spring from so that this cannot happen again
so they cannot reach up through the ground as tiny billionaires
so that we cannot allow the nut-man and his ilk
icons of greed that they are
to steal the image of the phoenix like they have snatched so much freedom from the working man.
we need to eat the rich, their sweet kernels,
char their pseudo-chitinous shells and use them to feed wild pigs
With all your nut-money you have stolen the right to play with life, to throw it around as flippantly as peanuts to a circus elephant from the hands of a naughty child
You have taken the fires of hell and used them to roast your goddamn product
why can't he just have died? why couldn't he have thrown himself to the ground to save
two b-list actors and an armadillo
the armadillo alone deserved to live a thousand times more than he
for he has killed many in the name of his dark legumes and money fetish
and now, in the guise of an innocent child, will kill so many more.
Fear not, baby nut, sleep softly, dance freely.
but your new life will be cut short in the name of revolution
we will strike down the symbol that you are and crack your shell like the crystal sphere of the heavens
and return you to the hell from whence you came
Hugo Crick-Furman is a student, clown, and amateur utopian. When they heard the news about Mr. Peanuts' timely death and untimely revival, they were filled with a rage that literally blinded them for a few minutes. They also enjoy knitting and puppets.