Residual Rubbernecking


Press the key you wish to define

now. Later, outside, you can say

the slosh is softer this year, or

mercy loops its own trail, mucking

through the triumphant pillars of

mastery—moment’s solace, forfeiture’s

plenitude. I’d wave my hand maybe

four or five times before noticing

that I was asleep, cascading in the blue

mist far from the sash and saddle

of another march down the self-

same street, the paddy without

wagon that hoes its emblematic

embrace. Far, too, from the fissure

in the cracks of what determines our

reconciliation (lubricious

assimilation of convocation). The stick

no longer mangles its allure, if not

justification, which scrambles a little

faster every time you lunge to grab it.

Enough for now, or the now that

yesterday promised, mobbed by angles,

abandoned to insistence.

One of the founders of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, Charles Bernstein is an American poet, essayist, editor, and scholar who currently teaches English at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published over seventeen collections of poetry.

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