Stephen Collis: from Redactical

1

Stuck again we came up with something else
Tried gluing the cardboard shards of boxes
To our heads and backs like
The defensive plates and spikes
Of dinosaurs we weren’t but were becoming

Or drove out west like a movie we remember
Where girls feet rest on the dash
Window prism light listening to electric chatter
And music seems part of the sunny world
That is escaping last air from a thought balloon

The gentle breeze backyard backdrop
Of evergreen trees allows a long strand
Of web the faintest visibility floating like
This will be the last word ever spoken
Or overheard no this will—Kalamazoo

But then the Internet didn’t care anymore
Though it went on recording every keystroke
And whoever we were outside of information
We stood together with our chemicals
And held death a little closer to our whispering lips

Now when we text it is barely the memory of bird song
There might be some data or DNA left somewhere
But with no readers who cares what bugs
Are expressing remnants of after images and holes
The whistle’s blown and we are unplugged for good

3

All spaces branded all space is branded
Each gene known catalogued but totality’s
Unknown totalities unknown plural
Loops and overlaps and the spontaneous
Production of nearly identical individuals

Then is vichyssoise alive as edible coding?
First they brand us radicals
Then they eliminate the concept of the radical
Lift this information through your chemical soup
Loops and spirals and poetic gyres abound

But—gimme shelter—lost lips spell no flies
Shuttling chemical structure to hump new
Chemical structures out of perpetual primal soup
We want to be swallowed by this language
No this language—nucleocytoplasmic shuttling

Oft in dire like this weather this redactical
Sun branch sun cloud reflects sun
Methane bomb shelter gimme time went as we
Species twiddled and sang to lamp light and
Located our deep viral past on a map (you are here *)

Realize we can’t keep saying we but muttering
Totalities script bioinformation in scriptorium
Cells copying thus where diversity lies origin lies
But what’s the frequency, Kenneth Rexroth
And what follows or fallows these fleet fields?

4

And then we extend the climate of our unknowing
Despite false colour views and massive stacks of data
The moment wasn’t about the symbolic after all
The moment followed a bee
Through the streets of Manhattan

The earth spinning hot on its axis
Was—or wasn’t—more like a tree falling in a forest
Than it was like an instrument measuring CO2
On a mountain in Hawaii—but if a tree falls in a forest
And everyone is already in that tree

Having climbed there to get above rising waters
Does it make any sound? Or is that
Just the noise our limbs make wind-milling in space
As we launch—indexical of our own distraction—
Off the ends of our two hundred year old hockey sticks?

But tell me, Cecilia Vicuña, if you can
Is that bee the last fluttering bastion
Of a cognition that we have undone in our doings?
Or will the herd of boreal caribou coming behind us
Sweep us around Columbus Circle one too many times?

I know, it’s hard to stop coming to America—
The waiting room is the size of the world
Has a sign that says, “Welcome to the Anthropocene”
And all the exits are jails furnished with
Unassembled Ikea furniture with nary an Allen Key in sight.

tephen Collis

tephen Collis

_________________________
Stephen Collis is a poet, activist, editor and professor. Stephen Collis is a poet, activist, editor and professor. His many books of poetry include The Commons (Talon Books 2008; second edition 2014), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), To the Barricades (Talon Books 2013), and (with Jordan Scott) DECOMP (Coach House 2013). He has also written two books of literary criticism, a book of essays on the Occupy Movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books 2012), and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug 2013). In 2014, while involved in anti-pipeline activism, he was sued for $5.6 million by US energy giant Kinder Morgan, whose lawyers read his poetry in court as “evidence.” He lives near Vancouver and teaches at Simon Fraser University.

 

Please follow and like us:
0

219total visits,1visits today

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial