“and even you forgot those brilliant flashes seen from afar” -Ruth Stone

THE SOUL WHISTLES A LITTLE DITTY BEFORE CLOCKING BACK IN TO BEING GROUND DOWN TO DUST

Play
Pause

just once

I’d like to lie down

in the middle of this factory

close my eyes

and sigh forever

like the earth

or a busted old fridge

only humming

to rest

in just-dreamt music

to jam the gears

and machines with singing

to make love

on this cold killing floor

to become the leaves

when we come

an unending film

of trembling

unreeling

but we must go back

to work

tired of existing

in this forlorn form

unable to transcend

or unionize

where hope is taboo

the impossible— all

tired all the time

and tired of time

its endless shabby constructions

tired of the lie

of money

its stingy thingness

a novel in no god’s cannon

tired of working

towards someone else’s bewildered

world

tired of the loud and endless parade

of death

tired of having hands

anvils of stars

gently rest them on the ground

matting the boat-shaped grass

and feel it

pulsating   radiating   rumbling

a train coming but not stopping—

the dream

of the intricacy of things

LOVE POEM DESPITE THE CRISIS

Play
Pause

from bed

obviously

a clandestine heaven

you breathing

the last dream

on its knees

goodbye blues and greens

the world is getting warmer

wildfires flash floods

droughts famine disease

black mold grows in our homes

spores in our lungs

plastic in the ocean

sulfur in the air

lead in the water

fire everywhere

and still we have to go to work

try and survive

in terror and despair

beauty like a quiet protest

against it all

you lie

next to me

impossibly

alive

more dream

warmer than

anything

in the world

than

the world

POEM FOR THE POETS SINGERS DREAMERS DEALERS MAKERS WORKERS HEALERS LOSERS LOVERS

Play
Pause

in 1989 my TV

tried to sell me

a piece

of the Berlin Wall

for six easy installments

of $39.99

any country

is a crime

the guns have won

ask god

close your browsers

and open

your fucking eyes

the only walls

we want

are floating

whistle-blowing

singing

in languages

we can’t understand

but eternalize

like strong coffee

a drug in the blood

awaiting a reckoning

maybe misunderstanding

can be ours

see what dreams do

someone has to

keep language

alive though

no furloughs

for this labor

of love

nor health insurance

the truth is

nobody knows shit

the only known

god

is gone

try being

needful

of something

for once

of everything

us

the workers

all naked

down by the docks

splashing water

in the sparkling sun

feel the cool

dematerialization

the thermal music

of being alive

call it

time

and a half

what you will

even in death

you’ll be wrong

and these songs

our ours

Appears in this issue
Sampson Starkweather is the author of the do-si-do double chapbook for the end of the world, A Week in Late Capitalism / Ancient Capitalistic Proverbs from b l u s h.

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