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As a child you remember

Mandatory blackouts
Hiding from the enemy
Being discrete
Rehearsing disappearance
Even telescopes couldn’t catch you
Slippery little fermi murmur.
You imagined yourself
Eaten by a barely audible bird chirplet
As two black holes collide
Churning each other out from inside
Record breaking hunger,
Stars spaghettified.
You see everything as ascension
You wanted to get shot off into space
Not even to resettle
You were too tall
To fit in the shuttle
Even smoking didn’t stunt your growth.
Did you discover the theory of illness
As the spirochete corkscrewed its way through your spine
Brittle bones splintering, suspended
Our fingers trace the surgical scars.
Disembarking like Sanjuro
Jaded, rugged, unshaven
You smelled like our dad
Booze, smoke, sweat —
A walking mnemonic.
Did you also, as a child, build
Imaginary cities with cassette tapes?
Impermanence, not finality,
Is preferable.





Awaking ungrateful
An ancient lake bed of jelly.
The headlines read
That to be without hope in these times
Is a psychic necessity
One must submit to
Common misery.
A toothpick pierces untouched
Veils of sediment and
Virtual tulpas
Doppelgänger tropes
Floating a lullaby trembled
Of witches with banded eyes.
Contours, diluvial plumes,
Water poured in pepper sprayed sockets
Anywhere willed or feared
Lulling below in acoustic shadows
Under the pier
Beloved dead fish
Smacking against rocks.
Meanwhile, neutron stars clap generously
Peering through the tesseract at an impasse
Inky recesses of orphic photons.
Can you see the colors behind your eyes eclipse,
The impossibility of a bucolic getaway.
Failing that, look to the stars,
Of no medium within which to move,
But through currents of lament.
Neutrino unimpeded
A disembodied lung still pulsates.





Sometimes we walk by your apartment window
Ensure the light is still aglow
We would be devastated
Should something happen to you.
Your hippocampus shrinks
You are unwelcome to yourself
How you want to watch these thoughts
As seashells bolted to the wall.
We, on the other hand,
Forever doubling, bifurcated,
Awaking from nights
Of intermittent explosions.
A basic sensation,
Familiar and estranged
Limbic superposition.
That blunted pattern.
This is, of course, a result of many micro traumas.
Our low vagal tones
Exerted whatever else was left
Vacancy in body and mind.
To feel those holes.
To write our own hole.
A despair, as per Dickinson, always ajar,
Had gone agape.
When would we be released
From such impromptu wayward whims
Baryons, baryons
Keep it on the downlow.




Same regime, different smell

Constellating horror
Reigning between states
Finite revenge
Endless retribution
Trading scandals
Xenophobic Kantian nonsense
Insipid justifications for national branding
Sabotaging in our sleep
Taking a shit on your watch
As you watch on your camera.
Time to stock up on canned goods.
Flea to foreclosed homes in the mountain tops.
The database as collective will
Jettisons our skin encapsulated ego;
Anima, ánimo, imago, conjunctio —
Antennas of no ends.
Let’s concur that unsexy views are sound
So long as they are passionately unsexy.
To bear that impetus
Only pheromones can navigate.
Some folks call it “pan-nifty-ism.”
Yet, is it really so woo-woo to wager
That all biological structures have mentality.
One must always make inferences.
Should our necks smell the cool breeze upon them
Reconciling banal numinous encounters
As aspergery tendencies unravel
An eternal orgasmic sensation of no release
A very precise kind of excruciation
When nothingness matters
Or, rather, when matter thinks us.



Jessica Holburn

Jessica Holburn is an administrator, contributor and volunteer across various nonprofit organizations including A Public Space, Filthy Dreams and Smack Mellon. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art Theory and English Literature from Sydney University.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2018

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