Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
I'll swear upon that bottle to be thy true subject, for the liquor is not earthly.—The Tempest, II.ii
These things bear repeating. Our mascot the furred insatiable
gropes inward to the greenest shoots, toward the
little inbred tendernesses, the leaves plain
as who knows your face. That is it's all so obvious,
vernacular. The strobe light uniform on the fronds
like time-lapsed dew. We weep to sleep.
You blue necessaries: obnubliate blue
glass bottles erected on the sill. I wish
to adult the true grape—the height of years
in basebitter tang. My containers shaped by mere air,
red link, respiration. Something Greek in the trite
blank blink of the pause button. The caryatids wink
across the black shaft—the deep. Sexy, bookended.
The human figure smelts the tropical breeze.
The sweat undrying. We speak tusk and hope.
No, sir, but you have that in your countenance which I would feign. Call, Master. We're in the chips. I say when I swindle it's for my country's good. That chooses to go palacing all the year, to exercise great guns, to amuse the enemy. We're dawned to royal flush, florid fingered. This is the island we're abaft—see where the avifauna go gerunding. Are we not red and wingstrange? If you light my cigar do I not exhale the immortal part of myself? From my lady's chamber? Fie, fie, you speak idly, you speak with a tongue. I am these matter of fact mercies—don't mind if do. The verities deal spades. The niceties bury.
Canoeists of joyance, we ship our oars, blades
stained by various sun and cloud and chlorides,
the intersecting surfaces that cut a wedge of peach
multifoliate. The hills have files, I display
papers at the island's edge, the shell casings
heliograph in the waves. Transformer,
you stack elements in your blender, gold
from white and blue, slinky in a red shift,
retreating nostrils flared, inkward. The serial comedian
prostrate in your wine. An oboe swirls, tarts dust.
How do you do. Tolerable. But truth is we could
use a rain check. Vibrato in character, knocked on the noggin
by a tuning fork. God rest your palate, scarred
by the scalp of air. It's a sort of blood rolled trunk
along the roots of milk. A tenor. This is kind of real,
what I'm saying. Sturm sans drang. Etiquette.
throat string rope gut belly wood bellow trunk
finger neck razor reed harp blood desire drown
—It never entered my mind.
We were late to thin jazz, late with breath.
We roped crackerjack concerto. Brushing
stiffed tuxes we pulled for shore. We stroked,
ate only baked Alaska. We stropped
our straight razors, brandished horsehair wands.
We knelt in earnest. We smashed full bottles.
We were our own full sail. We topgallants.
We brutaled blue carpentry. We skated
for the gasping, booked our bow. We began.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.