Kevin Kvas



Through the minus-forty Celsius
advertisement-silk-screened glass
of a vermillion bus station
that takes a 20-minute drive by plastic
tank on ice through snow to reach:
a Shell gas station, McDonald’s,
Royal Bank of Canada town triangle.
Behind them, a banked-out Target. The only
way to compose this scene is on
an iPod Touch generations-old that
the de-skilled Geniuses @ Apple dismiss
as “vintage” and that auto-corrects
according to a Q’ran of algorithm.

Oil, fastfood, mono-money of a
monarchy that subsists on the flows
of denial of its own persistence
as such (“yes we still have kings and
queens and royal and presidential babies
in this world but they’re not like
‘back then’ they were, right, though such
a time I cannot remember for lack of the
subscription required to burst
university database paywalls — and
Dairy Queen is not a Queen, and
Royal Bank is not really Royal. (In
England businesses pay a premium
for the Word.) It just owns a lot of market capital,
on which the sun never rises”), and
Department stores which cannot even
sustain themselves on minimum sludge
wagers upselling slavemade imports:
built-in obsolescence extends to business itself.
The minimum slave behind the count-
er is not trained to answer our questions,
nor is the automated telephone queuing
system which outsources us to measure our
humanity with touchtype serial #s.

We are these messengers not to kill,
nor to send a message but to slowly die
under the pretense of having a destiny,
made to walk money from the Target
to the bank to the fuel that takes us to
the Target. We run in spirals the shapes
of double-helix hamster wheels, looking for
answers (if we are unlucky enough even to
know that much: to bother looking), but powering
their deferral with our very energy of looking.
Quickly, we tire on our balding snow tires toward
a promised land of retirement after life; and
continue in our lifelong undocumented work of finding
better work.

      The TV adverts and privatized public
service advertorials served for our servitude
assure us with patronizing cute campy nostalgia
perfected by college ‘creatives’ with no sense
of history and forced to decide on a career path
in their radio-jingle-listening teens
that fastfood and boxed food is not starvation;
that roads too long to cross without a car or
too narrow not to immobilize the personalized
smokestacks of mobility into a mob of wannabe-Mercedes
Benzene are not gas chambers of commerce suffocating
post-industrial-Victorian pedestrian peasants
without sidewalks; that working in a modern
progressive computerized system is not
an algorithmic workcamp; that the city is not one
giant factory in which we are made to pay
lords our own room, transportation, and board
for the privilege of scratching and balancing
the Books of the Profits of the Age;
that we are not now living attritionally the “next”
massive genocide that has already will-
have-already happened; that history is only
what has already happened too many times
and that the only historical roles we are left
to play is to press play again on the internet
archive of old TV info-commercials, which
we watch because of jingles calculated
to make themselves more memorable
than the rest of our childhoods; that we are not rats
product-tested to be addicted to dopamine triggers
for surveillance devices; that celebrity culture is not fascism;
that selfies are not the “Personalized!”-version faces
of celebrity fascism; that internships are not slaveships; that
Steve McJobs is a Saint worthy of coffined canonization
in the Hollywooden Ark.

                     Marketing revolutions
have already cornered the market on dissent, as
addicts of nostalgia usher today’s surrogated seeds to come
of age at A&W, exchanging teen burgers for tweens,
extracting root from beer, chasing cursory mice through
virtual buffets with overpriced Arcade tokens
whose suction is carefully controlled by arcane financial mechanisms,
following arrows within arrows instead of fleshing them
to hunt for food instead of the fingerfood for beings
reduced to fingers keying passwords for paywalls paid
with the measly tokens of exploitation whose heads and tails
memorialize not the flesh they cut but the founding fathers
of factories of montage, meat, corn syrup, pharmaceuticals, and facts.

Fuck it, you’ve probably already left.



Kevin Kvas has lived in Winnipeg.

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