On your gravestone it might read
there weren’t enough explosions.
The air will be good for breathing.
The sky will continue to do
nothing. The difference
is we rarely realize faces
are always made of water.
are why there are particles
and even between them there is
this distance. Existence
is the funneling
of windows into houses.
A slimming of the panorama.
Before there was hard architecture there was running.
The silence of a noncommittal infinity.
under us there are no railroads
only the basalt gravel
of death and forgetting
Memory is a war between time and cake
Hands and feet
Grief is the filth after the body’s leaving.
Govern in Prose.
Republican: Fleet shadow, I laugh
at your pompous graying.
Democrat: A colorful hat
Art: What is a game that does not admit it is game?
Speech: Citizens, these laws have gotten out of hand. This unchanging game of blame and trepidation. These mittens of shit. The artifice has risen against us. They’re pricing freedom. Citizens, you cannot price a right. They, having disguised our eyes with potent stasis, have grown strong and now have more power than we who are to be better for making them into them for ourselves. Citizens, there are murky moats of lobby surrounding your suited representatives. Should conglomerate ego be allowed to maneuver people into brackets, to sell us something they themselves do not own? I remind you Citizens that we do not own anything, to own is to admit to a permanence that does not exist.
The real threat is our deafening sense of entitlement, our feeble monument to boredom. Citizens, I could piss on a sheet of paper and call it a law. I could say this law entitles me piss on all laws because they are bridges of debris.
Citizens, if you will permit me the acquiescence we must rise like stalks of carbon walking up the ladder steps of the sky, we must rise against anything that separates us with the idea that it is right. Let us wash away this sense of owing and earning in the eventual rain, let us wash away this stink of possessing and leave the bare glare of being.
Citizens there are no real ideas, there are those that are carried by people, and then there are the stupid games. When your children’s children ask what it was like when people worked as if salary was an arrival, what it was like to think of ignorance as bliss.
Citizens you will tell them art reminded us that we can choose to not play those games, that if no one plays, there is no competition. You will tell them we decided to do things because we wanted to do them, we helped people because we wanted to be helped ourselves.
Thesis of speech: Flags on a casket.
Once I dreamt you were a rustic pigeon
lathering the air acres with your gliding.
Flying is probably more like swimming
than I would like to imagine. Sure, there’s oxygen
but birds’ lungs are comparatively more like gaunt rooms.
Damn damp ballast and our malnourished alveoli.
At least we are bipedal. Upstanding. Feet
gave birth to hands and there is not civilization
without hands, or perhaps they were once
whiskers on the face of the primordial it.
Habit is the fetal bracelets of aboriginal being.
Umbilical pentimento; procedure as
purpose, home culture. Molecularly, we become a part
of what we tread and then this dirt fills our hollowing
fuselage. Tradition is a carnal anthem.
The universe is itself process.
Between the past which is no longer and the future which
is not yet, there are the mauve aisles of now, which are empty
if dimly lit. We carry the past in that we are decayed by it.
The future is now or it is thundering in a corner of the room.
Perhaps a subtle universe’s lapsed collapsing,
a different gravity;
all the same
humanity is tethered to the earth if it is anything.
Justin Irizarry is finishing his MA at the University of North Texas.
“I have never lived in a place with a front porch, but I have always dreamed of having a legitimate reason to buy a rocking chair.”