Apartment Poetry Quarterly

1A              1B              1C              1D              1E              1F





The barricades were feeling far away when the sinews of system’s rule spit me up inside my one-time friend, whose politics I’d suspected but never thought to name. Lodged inside his throat, ruined aftermath of monument, my tongue-splayed spectacle lay barely consonant with itself, as the alphabet, all organ and hemorrhage, aroused & unwieldy, expands toward the limit. Absolute distance haunts the most proximate closeness. Or maybe it’s the other way around, considering how my GPS app tells me there’s someone closer to my own location than myself. Perhaps it’s my one-time friend and interlocutor, lodged inside my throat, our conversation being void from the start, cunningly masked as common sense whose unfailing power, tested time and again, the war has perfectly harnessed. I mean, the war has harnessed its own image and insinuates itself inside each contemporary object, like my poem, where inaudible logics of death and expansion find hospitable markets, trading in pharmaceuticals, plastics & wood for mulch. Ever since visiting that tunnel outside Sarajevo, I keep hearing a recording of the tour guide’s comments about the ones turned back at the line between ‘free zone’ and ‘siege,’ where unaligned forces had been calling for appeasement, and I close my eyes, a fantasy of solidarity, getting off on the feeling, and how it could never be mine. But that was long ago, under Clinton, when state sponsored humanitarian aid was better prepared to mask the money’s primary aims. Would that I were able to take revenge on my own interior, connecting economic interests here to strategic targets there, guaranteeing my share in the general happiness. Like the UN, poetry can’t appear to take sides. I mean, the bombs were already falling on Beirut in accord with sublime notions of justice whose social congruity with public opinion produces these unconvincing torsions in my syntax, so many embarrassing tics, social stutter masked by old fabled caesura, and my skin keeps breaking out whenever I approach my own position [—]. I’m astonished that I can even write this without experiencing my incontinence as an effect of poor planning, imprudent investments, recalling how I would have to empty my bowels before entering the sex club at 1808 Market, with nowhere to go before paying the fee. Certain arguments, not unlike this one, merely function to affirm the most depressing triumphs of common sense, thus saying yes to what’s already here, these obscure homologues of militarized event, vehicles of flight from occurrence to occurrence.