INTERVENTION WITH ABSURDITY AND PARTS OF SPEECH
I’ve been driving for eleven hours. I ate 包子 for breakfast.
There was an explosion in Beirut today. There was a hurricane here.
Do you know what is possible when witness is? The quiet act
weakens nouns. I can fall in love twice in one weekend
and not once in three years. I can eat two
bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos, half a pork shoulder,
and a decored pineapple in a day. Last night
while it was raining I ran
out of tears so I drank a bottle of skywater. I was beside myself
so I identified as a shadow. Cataloging keeps me awake.
I’m getting over it. I try to approach everything
with as empathetic of an analysis as possible.
I’d like to go a considerable length of time without thinking
about anything at all. When we smoked weed in the parking lot
emptied by midnight and listened to music for hours it felt
as if we had escaped the decade entirely. I didn’t want to kiss you
but I did all that and more. I’m so vulgar. I also hate being a man.
It’s easy to embody confusion when things like gender get involved.
I’ve kept to the sidelines. I watched the paramilitary
interlock their bicycles around the crowd. The children sang
“You look stupid!” to the police. I’ve learned to tango
twice but forgot each time. Some things just aren’t meant for me.
I’ll be okay. I have healthcare
so much. I’m anxious about teaching
because I despise power and am bad at making friends.
I dislike the color green. Sometimes it feels as if everything I write
is an exercise for the thing I will never. I’m having an affair
with adjectives. Verbs turn me off. If you call something
a war you should at least look me in the eye. Angela Davis says
we internalize exchange value because corporations cause us to express our desires
in terms of commodities. I wonder what role content creators would play
in a general strike. I won’t put too much honey in your tea. I know it’s morning; there’s no
sun but my phone told me so. If you tell me something I’ll believe it. If you can get arrested,
please come to the front. We are dancing; we are sweating out grief and rage. It is almost
always a joyous occasion, with friends, music, laughter, the conjunction,
the standing between the protestors, and.
Listen to "Breezeblocks" by alt-J, selected to accompany "Intervention with Absurdity and Parts of Speech," below:
BAILEY COHEN-VERA (he/him) is the Assistant Editor for Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review. A poet, essayist, and book reviewer, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as The Iowa Review, Southern Indiana Review, Waxwing, Grist, Poetry Northwest, The Spectacle, and Cherry Tree, among elsewhere. Bailey is an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU, where he serves as a Wiley Birkhofer Fellow, writing obsessively about bananas. His website is www.baileycohenpoetry.weebly.com.