The World Is Never Enough with Us

By | 1 December 2014

I should apologize for another
Poem about death and political economy
But the daily walk is the graveyard
Emily, treading, treading
Like the Fang people of Africa with the
Bundled sticks of their dead dried
Folded and packed around on their backs
Thin children that never wake or complain


I open a file called “no file”
A messianic cloud of media
Rising above rioting squares
The colony called “don’t stop”
Does not stop—flails against futurity

It could yet be about corruption
It could yet be about better worlds
It stops just outside of town, rumbling
The largest truck you’ve ever seen
It’s bucket filled with half the earth. Literally.


The other night I read a novel
In the file called “no file” I lodge
Records of evacuations, abandonments,
Foreclosures and dispossessions

According to the avant-garde
This isn’t new
And “new” means “maybe we can
sell you another one of these.”

I am upbeat despite the end-times
Faux comforts and police horizons


My daughters are shopping at the mall
It’s a green space we call “eternity”
All their lives are an imaginary
Of the yet-to-come

Even the mall is still only a dry unceded field
Mice wander and developers eye
With hungry imaginations crooning

You’re so fucking spatial
I wish I was spatial


Note to self:
Perimeters are difficult to discern
And species are in constant motion
Curling towards their disappearance
Engines culling “data” we will not read

I find it difficult
To imagine the lives of many others
Though their abandoned velour couches
Can be found in the forest
Soggy Blue Star Dust, Dr. Pepper


Mostly we keep blowing
Each other up
Like bombs are our way of saying

S’up, I’m here too
Is this crazy human meat times or what?
Now let’s keep making money, death mill daddy-O


My daughters cannot decide:
Zombie movie or cell phones?
I could still be dreaming
Of France and revolutions
Or walking between the etched stones


I tell the girls what matters
Is the soft light just back
Of the collective’s desiring eye
The beach we build beneath
The mall’s unmade paving stones
(though I do not mention
the continuous rule of dead
labour over living
or their future riveting
to a single fraction of time)

We choose the Zombie movie
Because life is like that


Emily, shall we hide our brave face
On this daily walk
Or take us simultaneous
As complicit beings wondering
How to stop, but carry on differently—
All we’re freighted with—
Unearned privilege, debt, colonies,
Muttering doges, sputtering lanterns,
The metallic insides of the earth,
The proximity of death squads—
And still slink silently
Towards better worlds?


Of course complicity just means
You have to change yourself entire
When changing the tired world

Its Molotov banquets,
Its endless lines of tanks idling nearby
Its schools for unlearning indigeneity


As if all we had to do was
Make the world strange again, hmm?
What is the nearness
Of economies and lobotomies?
Note how money is
The cryogenic liquid
Of this period evaporating
What lasts
And filling the tanks of
Sulphurous lies—

Just don’t look up at the eyedroppers
Poised above our frozen faces
As we gaze at the empyrean
Of stained acoustic ceiling tiles


Meanwhile beneath the glassy surfaces
Of our smartphones—deep in pocket—
Young girls and boys
My daughters’ ages and younger
Pull handfuls of dusky coltan
From a muddy trench in the Congo
And somewhere some kid—god love him—
Says it’s all good
Just before his brains become
Some zombie’s next meal

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