April Reviews

Discussed in this post: 9 BOOKS (Genome Editing and Engineering; Security, Territory, Population; We Do This ‘Til We Free Us; The Tragedy of Heterosexuality; Work Won’t Love You Back; Heart Berries; Mountains of the Mind; The Taiga Syndrome; and Tenth of December); 5 MOVIES (About Endlessness; Gretel and Hansel; Relic; Saint Maud; and Midsommar); and 3 DOCUMENTARIES (A Survivor’s Guide to Prison; This Way of Life; I’ll be Gone in the Dark; and A Glitch in the Matrix).

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In Memoriam

We are wrong when we say of the dead
They are no longer with us
Because the room where she lived
Is full to bursting
With the presence
Of her absent self

I don’t blame the heart
That decides
It has suffered enough
And refuses
To start beating again
The lungs
That refuse
To start breathing again
The brain that refuses
One more minute
Of fear
Worry
And loneliness
I don’t blame the one
Who lies down
And never gets back up again
I’ve longed for that moment
Often enough
Myself

I knew her for exactly
Sixty days
But what does it mean
To say that my knowledge of her
Is in the past tense?
I still know her
And she still is
Her
The only one of her
That ever was
Or is
Or will be

It’s just that
The days in which I came to know
Her
Are no more
I will not have another day in the presence of
Her voice
Her mannerisms
Her weeping and laughing
Just sixty
Only sixty
No more

And now begins
The long count of days
In which I do not
Hear
Her voice
Witness
Her mannerisms
Join
Her weeping and laughing
One
Two
Three
And onward
Until I too
Am only present
As an absence

She lost consciousness on Sunday
Machines kept her breathing
Until Wednesday
And then they didn’t anymore
Wednesday was her move-in day
Her end to homelessness day
Her welcome home day
And I had to call her housing support workers
Oh no
I had to tell them
Good god
I had to tell them
I’m so so sorry
I had to tell them
She is dead

I am just writing to say

I am just writing to say
That I understand more now
About how good people do terrible things
And are subsequently and justly judged
As bad people
About how oppression is sustained in part
By those who desire to end it
About how at least some war criminals
Mostly those in the rank and file of war criminals
Were just doing their best
And still deserved to die

March Reviews

Discussed in this post: 17 books (Hermeneutics of the Subject; The Question of German Guilt; The Dark Side of Democracy; Border & Rule; The Vulnerable Observer; Entitled; Looking for Spinoza; Against the Loveless World; Girls Against God; Selected Poems; Patterson; An Africa Elegy; Ceremonies for the Dead; nedi nezu; No Heroics, Please; You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense; and Scribbled in the Dark), 5 movies (The Sacrifice; Earth; The Wind that Shakes the Barley; The Turin Horse; and You Were Never Really Here), and 4 documentaries (The New Normal; Las Marthas; Roll Red Roll; and Challenger).

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I Didn’t Answer When You Called

I didn’t answer when you called

I thought about not calling back

But I did

Major emergency

Your first two words

Major emergency

EMS come and gone

Police awaiting coroner

Coming from an out-of-town job

They cover a surprisingly large area

Said the bureaucrat

Whose boss later said

How saddened they all were

Because although

We’ve all seen death before

They

They felt

They felt this

They felt this p…

They felt this project

Was extra special

Person, I said

I think you meant to say person

February Reviews

Discussed in this post: 14 Books (Phenomenology of Perception; Ethical Loneliness; How Europe Underdeveloped Africa; Canada in Africa; Tomorrow’s Battlefield; Lamarck’s Revenge; The Wild Places; Noopiming; Laurus; EEG; Fatelessness; Wicked Enchantment; Postcolonial Love Poems; and Ban En Banlieu); 4 Movies (The Wolf House; Hagasuzza; The Handmaiden; and Cargo 200); and 3 Documentaries (Welcome to Chechnya; Cheer; and The Painter and the Thief).

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Untitled

I have spent seven years

Trying to memorize the contours of your body

Your textures, shapes, and spaces

With my lips and fingers

And the palms of my hand

But no matter how hard I try

I cannot hold you

Cannot kiss you

Cannot recreate you

When you are not here

.

I have spent seven years

Trying to memorize the sound of your voice

The pitch, and timbre, and intonation

Seven years spent

With the smell of your hair

And the space at the back of your neck

Seven years

Trying to memorize

The way you look when you are astride me

And the taste of your sweat

Seven years

To recall the way you fit within my arms

When I first get home

And the burst of your laughter when you are delighted

And I am ridiculous

But when you are gone

You’re gone

And I cannot bring you back

Not one part of you

.

My darling

I am impossible

Without you

The Colonizer’s Dream

In my dream the social services

Are kicking out all the Indigenous people

And calling them too aggressive

Because their anger reveals

That they have not yet been fully colonized

It’s an unconscionable sin

To refuse to open your heart

To Whiteness and conquest and pipelines and Jesus

All wrapped up like a charitable gift

.

I get ready for work and reflect that

It’s such a fine line

Between killing the Indian in the child

And just straight-up killing the Indian

And Canadians have never much cared

To firmly distinguish between the two

As long as one or the other occurred

(although, to be fair, Liberals incline towards the former and Conservatives incline towards the latter and moderate centrists look for ways to do both)

.

During a meeting at my work

My boss lectures the community residents

About things she doesn’t understand

“Fuck you, White lady,” an Indigenous man says on behalf of them all

A few days later she tells me

That maybe he doesn’t understand community living

Maybe he’s got to go

.

I work hard to make things right

I work hard to prevent further harm

I work hard to pick up the pieces

But it’s hard because my hands

Are covered in blood

Untitled Poem

A part of me seduced by the siren’s call of self-destruction—

Who has not marveled

At the spectacle of a house ablaze

Casting ash and light into the night

Flooding the street with melted snow

A crystal palace of ice

Catching the first light of the dawn

So much tragedy and gratitude and beauty

So let me be

.

Tell me, sibling, friend, companion

What brings you relief

And if you have had to seek it

Like an impoverished fool assigned an impossible quest

By a king who was tricked into promising you half his kingdom

Wherein failure

Means that you die

.

I have never believed less in divine intervention

And I have never concluded so strongly

That only god can save us now

Onward to our doom

Whose only glory will be

The relief that is experienced

By the dead who leave no witnesses to mourn them

Or recall them

Or disturb them

.

Amen

January Reviews

Discussed in this post: 8 books (Process and Reality, The Assassination of Lumumba, Anarcho-Blackness, Mutual Aid, We Will Not Cancel Us, For Joshua, Waterlog, and Permafrost), 1 film (Gwen), and 4 documentaries (Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, Killer Inside, Class Action Park, and You Cannot Kill David Arquette).

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