Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018
to see is only a language
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
“Written During a Temporary Blindness in the Year 1799”
1. To see is only a language and I can’t speak it today.
They’ve wrapped a heavy blanket over my face.
The cops deliver the influenza.
But before injection they need to wait for someone
to fix the central heating. No one wants to interrogate me
until they fix the central heating. I chatter
with the broken refugees in this prison.
Our faces wrapped in darkness.
2. A list of frozen bodies. A lost list of unclaimed
bodies. A lost list of privatized bodies.
A lost list of bodies they seized. We are the lost
list but we don’t know where they keep us.
3. The border bisecting the infected fumes of the infested
factories. The utopia of statelessness.
The utopia of transience. They tell us
Lake Michigan is the Central America of the Midwest.
They send us here so we can share hepatitis swabs
with dirty immigrants.
Hold onto your DNA, refugee-citizens.
The only question about life is what does it mean to live it.
4. Financiers selling bodies, speculators selling
blood and sperm: they slink into the webs of the city.
They tell me I don’t have the right to grieve over
my own body.
They tell me to pray and to grieve is illegal.
5. What did he shout before he massacred the grandmothers?
What did he shout before he massacred the worshippers?
What did he shout before he massacred the nurses,
the silent, praying skeletons?
He was on his way to the river the blood would
never reach. He was on his way to the nazi meetup
the blood would never reach. The stock market just opened.
The exchange value of a slaughtered Jew is like
the exchange value of a slaughtered Jew. If your
body is on fire a private firefighter
will put it out much faster than a state one.
The death of a sensuous lung.
6. The song of the ram’s horn by the river. The early
Americans march to meet the caravan in the desert.
An authoritative body tells me I can’t
disembody my body without disembodying
the collective body’s body and if I
disembody the collective body’s body
then I will have to disembody the imagined community’s
body and if I disembody the imagined
community’s body then I will need to ignore
the fields of multiple destruction today.
I dip my finger into a cup of blood and wish
for plagues to destroy the emperor. I need to
destroy the nation-state but when will I find the time.
7. The bourgeoisie pay taxes to kill immigrants,
bathe in the cryptocurrency of a bank
that will never exist.
8. The song of atonement at the river sings:
Pray harder and the massacre will go away.
Pray harder and the massacre will not turn into another massacre.
Pray harder and the rich people will become poor people.
Pray harder and the slaughterer will turn into a butterfly.
Pray harder and the thirty million white males with guns
will turn into
a river of testicles rolling down the street.
When they repossess my body
my heart will soak in petroleum and my mouth
will be a baby in a cage.
The poetry of the shattered bone
in the flame of the human document.
9. The catastrophe is caressed ad nauseum.
The greased-up multitudes are not afraid to say
the same thing over and over again. Death leaks
from their shoes and the slaughtered Jews are like
slaughtered Jews. I dream about returning to a
prayer that doesn’t exist. It disappeared yesterday
when they assassinated the morning and turned
our life into spectacle.
10. You hid behind the soldiers with machine guns running
down the street. You were praying for plagues and wishing
your parents would come out of the building alive.
The worshipers of the dead trees knew
where there is a first kill there will be a second.
Where there is a third kill there will be a fourth a fifth a
five hundredth. The anecdote destroys the analysis.
11. The emigrants split their bodies into communal
assets. To assimilate they must stand by the river
with a prophylactic angel in their hands disguised
as a rocketing hedge fund. In the rupture,
in the rubble, in the pathological eye sockets,
in the counter odyssey of the whites of your eyes,
in the parliamentary assault rifle, the
parliamentary machine gun splatter,
the illegal bodies in cages are painted over
by the analytics and mathematics
of the hemisphere. How do you quantify the broken
toddlers rolling on the ground? How do you quantify
the murmuring grief of the Americas?
12. Marines medicate mothers and mix their milk with
mononucleosis. Millionaires multiply
in the machinery of mourning, manufacturing
mausoleums for martyred Marxists in Mercedes.
Middle managers mistake manipulative
merchants for munificent moralists. A military
massacre on the municipal motorway is like
a military massacre on the municipal motorway.
Metaphysical mayors mediate the mythology
of mystical markets while monitoring the murders of migrants.
My mouth is filled with worms.