Dion Farquhar

Who knew what we had til we lost it
                               elegiac aristos
                               a quaint critique
                               free agents with no choice
                               best practices bots
                               Pandora-playing pods
                               vector complete victory
                without which one cannot function

what is,                                              [privatization]
not the new ought
what was,                                          [social movements]
fading into amnesia
job training                                        [liberal arts]
market value
stealth bots      like      women
                                              needing the very care they end up providing
surveillance metrics
termite capitalization of even laminate

old-style                spawn in a closet
end up in a crowded lounge
        Sesame Street Lambda MOO
                sit on the sofa
                get up to dance
                fight enemies
                chat         stockpile stuff
informatics crossed
                with new age evanescence
                               skills and struggles
guilt being self-interest turned inside out

Homer humming to themselves:
                               Sing to me of the man Muse
                               the man of twists and turns
                               driven time and again
                               happily off course

in love with L’s reversal of S’ sign to signifier
                reflection theory slipped into reverse

                                              resistance the mother of invention

remaining fem while struggling
out of the backseat of a compact car
envying the butches their pickups
                toppling relations

the slam                lay bare belief
                                nothing ever transparent
                                              or self-evident

least of all the self
                               forget others
wholly constructed out of genre
                the essential unity of a political subject
                               sad but true                this good news
                                              fighting fire with fire
categories                                              complicitous
                the perennial carrot
                and the stasis stick
incitements to being an asshole
                public private
                inside outside
                               the body not a brick wall
                               fruit flies forever foiling
fusing Foucault’s ixnay:
                law knows it can’t win
to history’s back end
                zero degree wrecks
Derrida translates:
pecking                   orders                   passed off as nature
                the way to get on
                               Ann of Amherst taught me
                in a discourse you’re puzzled by
is to repeat the word

you don’t understand
                now as a verb
                and at the same time
                change the verb
                to something else

coaching Cordelias
in cunning           copping
to obey a higher power
(such as that is)

                                                                            an           other           one

Salvage Resurrection
                               failure to calendar
                                                             my plasticination with the lawyers

gliding through the hushed exhibit
                               18th-century French engravings
                                                                                           flayed people, part-furniture
                                              a striding armoire, drawers open in his chest
                one vibrant, digitally-processed, triumphant
                                                                            cadaver holds his sliced slabs of skin aloft
                another poised mid-action—running, flamboyantly gesturing,
                                              astride a horse
always already

I lost my Devo tape to the bastard
this penne con crema di cipolla
pagan to the core a good thing
but not enough
relationship junkie
craving what’s killing her
lover nada            next
triumphal crucifixions
bred in the bone
music art                 the rush of theory
how else to explain no self-respect
                stirred up by wanting
                in love with abjection
acting as audience
advisor, psychiatric nurse
in thrall to promises excuses
narcissism the bottom line
francophile Nietzschean
despite shrinking diminution
                though hindsight is everything
high above Sheridan Square
a few nights good talk enough
to fuel a frenzy
unwavering denial
(it wasn’t the appallingly bad sex)
but all in her head anyway
the swine even called on the sly
(before cell phones you had to be home to get the call)
while the his date
was in the bathroom putting on lipstick
                this message       in modern parlance
                needing both a header and a body
nailed to environment
half an essence                like genes
though we’re all a clueless reaction formation
still struggling to distinguish work from labor
Labor Day a Monday off and a carpet sale at ABC
decades later, still the abysmal whine
                he said, I said, he said, I said
incredulous what women—
what she—I—put up with
on a denial binge break
from the reign of loss

bread and circuses
                doing it always a little askew of the fantasy
                even recollection’s
                always insufficient evidence
and the daily roller coaster ride
a subway ride to the dentist
despite being too broke to cross the Atlantic
more out there than ever
archipelagos awash
in contradiction
the left coast
my discount cashmere
fabrikayed in Cambodia
still wanting
more than anything
to believe
every path’s a relay

Where I live in my head
you are everywhere dead
in the nano-second before despair
haplessness coupling with hope
a forgivable lapse
credulous re charity
panaceas of the titular

                actual forces made me
                a hired hand, living in the smoke house
                working for oblivious ingrates
                straddling the seam
                of disposability

go unaddressed as static
generating an electric confusion
ejection fraction

Mourner in a theater
You brought me soup when I was sick last winter.
need born of service
swallowing chronic sufferance
if not outright bullying
exempting their position

                in a crisis, an exacerbation
                of symptoms is not unusual

being called a worthless mangy dog
by the boss’ daughter
an escalation
at least, clarity

                one son fell off a babysitter’s van.
                the same year
                he pushed a playmate off the top bunk

the gated red brick strip mall
amnesia into the default

desert island
fields forgotten

Green practices
                absence paved
                parent critters, woods

stumping for the ledger book
itemized investments

visibly marked
elided by identity
redemption shrunk to testimony

denial froze out forgetting

                the Cloud’s wafting slowly
                over sunbathers at Rockaway Beach
                now blanket to blanket

The true beginnings of nothing but the Supermarket*

In this foul country where
human lives are so much trash

—Charles Olson
fluorescent Protein Bunny (green)
beefalo and geep
click and brick retailing
transgenic runway
the end of study

                let me know

my expanded pigeons
much virtue in if

be tea dubs
Billy Budd discovered in a breadbox

Olson wrote spinning down the page

nature special narrator
                               all hail the TV
                               before the monitor
dispassionately droning

                hunters and hunted

birds with five-feet wing spans
swooping down
to pick pick pocket-sized puffins
out of their cliff-side nests

what do I know of nature
in the anthropocene
my five-flight walk-up
on the lower east side
                falling apart apartment
                a real bed                is off the floor

a few trees over by the river
                across the FDR Drive
that still go through the cycle:
orange yellow red                in fall
brown sticks in winter
virid buds in spring

Bukowski flew to Galveston

eff why eye
                I took the express bus to East Stroudsberg
                married man                    open marriage
                crock of shit

what models
                tweak one’s doppelganger
the grins of the text

*Charles Olson, Collected Prose, “Equal, That is, to the Real Itself”

Dion Farquhar has recent poems in Unbroken, Local Nomad, Columbia Poetry Review, Shampoo, moria, Shifter, BlazeVOX, etc. Her second poetry book Wonderful Terrible was published last year by Main Street Rag Publishing Company, and her second chapbook Snap is in press at Crisis Chronicles Press. She works as an exploited adjunct at two universities, teaching mostly composition but still loves the classroom. A New York transplant, she still misses her friends and family back east, off-off Broadway theater, and live baroque.
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