2017

by Adam Malinowski

 

“2017” 

we are making so. much. noise. hearing only our own distraction and meaningless chit-chat to listen to the scream of a world on the edge of complete destruction. like how david says, just a few days ago, in a cramped backseat on the 405 in LA, the cars all stacked on top one another , that the only response we can muster to complete & total ecological destruction is the perfection of self. Every day i wish we could just stop, yet the myth of this i is destroyed only in finite moments, moments that are still indescribable to me, and so in these poems the i remains as an artifact of this self, an artifice for all that constitutes it—people, affect, memory, & place—all of which are political and fucked, all of which are not mine, all of which i know so beautifully intimately.

 

 

 

i want to sleep with you in 2008
at the beginning
of the first term
when we were
all full of blind optimism
and courage
concerning the scope
of the country’s history
well fuck this country
tho i love
this lake
we are near
yr parent’s place
where we have kissed & the icy sheets
—water, manufactured heat, exhaust—
how all the resources of the world
still can’t bring me closer to you.

 
[…]

 

eyes become eyes
yours & yours
a spell cast
to ward off
fucked up neo
-liberal death
tell ‘em
we want
cacophonies
because we are dying

& if you were at the lake
w/ me
if there were trains full
of people at the park
in the middle
of the lake or if all
the walkers
or workers
had spoken words
of protest
we still
wouldn’t know
who’s suffering
until we value
a motion
like the man who
walked his little dog
& how he came up to me
i was dreaming or something
in this little sketchbook
here in my hands &
he has his little dog &
me my long hair &
i’m all like leave me
alone old man i’m here
with my feelings
and i like it that way
but what a warm one
leather jacket & hat
what kinds of hats are those?
shining in salmon sun & i can
his figure in still-windsor light
the bridge he gets a call on
says he’s right down
the street on jefferson
& i’m envisioning him steer
his little cadillac away out of here
that dog in the front seat
we walk down the rocks, however,
to drink from frozen water
where it opens up
river to lake
near your parent’s house or
grosse point that apartheid city
where the water’s cleaner i’m sure
of it and how they’re sick
much as we are like governments
determine
who gets what where and how
& the walkers
or workers
on the island
are having a ball
women in scarves
taking wedding photos
men grilling up cow meat
bathrooms smell
& the leaves rot
& the leaves rot dry
& winds blown north to mom’s
into the northern lake
past all my old selves
in their old clothes, old sneakers
out in the county next
drunk and here is
the impossibility of guilt
never not entering the poem
i’ll always write the poem
as a path to love
this instance on the island
were you there we would sing
under dying trees
frigid sky & industrial waterway
blessed to be eyes
become eyes. yours
and yours. mine
and mine.

 

 

Our conversation at the kitchen table in Hamtramck, Katie, makes me want
answers
of how to touch
the space between my body & the meaning i make out of personal histories and the material fabric of a history infinitely larger than this self alone

next to me is a silver can of coors light
this can is not mine
i have put forth no labor into its construction
but i have touched its aluminum with my calloused fingertips
& drank its fluid
and thru some abstract economic arrangement almost entirely occulted
from sight i have come to acquire its boozy contents

& yet there is only the present
the can beside me, idle
on a tapestry i use as a nightstand cloth bought for me by a past love
for my old ypsilanti studio
across from me davey and david sit on a black and gray plaid quilt
the walls all marigold yellow—a koi fish poster drapes itself atop their noses

outside soaked in frozen rain dripping brown the concrete world is chemically
depressed

salt mined underneath the city by those we do not know drips in chunks from
the carports north of here

the precipitation is melting leaving behind various car wastes: oil slick, green
antifreeze, gasoline near the entrance ramp by my dads

selves extinguish alarmingly fast here

on these shoulders trees wilt in winter when the sun shines only twice a year,
near the highway where we had your nose stitched up one july

near my grandparents grave

near neon fish in acid rain ponds

near apple cider and donuts and orange hoodies in fall

near green antifreeze love
davey and david sit across from me

in this room there is you
in orange hooded sweatshirt
& flannel union made underpants

we met here before the organic markets
somewhere under blue fluorescent lab lights

this is not important however.

these days were pre-political
although the buzz of the war
was all around and the news reports
echoed in on a 32” box
under an east facing suburban bedroom
window in early spring 2003
& my dad put up a sign
STOP BUSH
in the front lawn

still
this is not important.

the dead cows all lined up for easy disposal on school grounds

whatever it was was all around

whatever it was was all around.

 

 

melancholic objects

 
this poetry wrapper

it speaks like someone loves you

leaves you a voicemail

the old fashioned way

she says you should

learn to swim out loud

like otters and trees

Spicer’s mammals we salute

somewhere in the valley

beneath the smog outline

of the poem. Sun panic.

highways cry softly in night

cars stretched out each direction

Interrupted, I take a walk

my heart weighs heavy

on the impossibility

of loving

in 2017.

 

 

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