Sean Negus & Amelia Dale


The State’s absorption a totalizing possession
               existing unqualified
               no longer contained
the condition having been stripped of ornaments
the all but bare life of the political first person address
               now unidentifiable as small particles unmarked
               travelling infused with origin
the wall unlike a surface
               abstract machine’s continued hurried hunt for
the raw existence of life subsumed by the state condition
               encoded in the body the archaic line.


The people typed into being.
Met with a metered gauge.
Objectively renamed.
And the invisible redrawn.


the command chain’s stark alliance :   a constellation of 28 points
                an arbitrary persuasion to manifest incoherence
                               & actually imitate ‘the end’
                                                             operatic confiscations of the ancestor bodies
                                              cash      schemed for
an erection    to force
                                              imitate the        porcelain fracture point
                   such as the exhaustion of the superior
                                                             refusal to go on foot
instead to shoot dead, and send out
                               an issuance of denial.


The clouds break at the apex as nomadic imitations of earthbound bodies
                —a suite of distortions in the radiant channel
                               such need occurs in cycles and
                               a radical hunger governs matter
                               to give form to the world
                               as people weave pronouns
                               to identify stem from root,
                               stratum distinct from oneself.


The order of arrival
a drenched red sequence
enfolding the memories
into branched biographies
from the lineage tree.
                                                                   and those others whose lives break the metaphor—
Near one wall
                               the birth given over to the moment.
Constellations bestow bounty to divide
                                                             the elements amongst the favoured progeny,

walled like afflictions to differentiate the dead wood from fruit.


that basic element’s
risk of bleaching
white against the undyed native
one system’s accumulations of history
the other world spawning (in babes and siblings)
the products of a vital organization
it is not merely to be a member of
the wood coffin brigade
those who wish to add numbers and chemistry
to the surname distress
but banned before the flowers bloom
to limit tolerance
and use other words to form a nominal expression
to numb the nature of self and make plain
the extent of elemental bidding


In basic elements
an accumulated desire
the chance to membership
in the agglomerated body.

Without definition, person or thing
defining the boundaries :
the narrow chance of belonging
a map of flora & other qualia :
                stalking destiny
                forming familial stems
                the leaf-like production of pages
                and the bureaucratic distance between
                elemental technologies: tree, wood, timbre
                name inscription and historical breathwork
                an opera of meticulous reasoning.


The outside world’s timepiece
told in skins, surnames—
the basic elements erased.
What country’s wall plays out
for cash money, ready to consult
the Other as the option to void?
Feral & unbordered, in actuality
a revision of the line’s history.


That the surname centered
results in a confused middling.

That the stupid consult with sick animals
to determine nature
& the organization has been arranged to
price the coffin’s wood
in full quid pro quo.

That the river and water in general
are admitted as evidence.

That the country’s glut sours.


The part of the body that seeks protection
in calligraphy (like airs)
unlike the secrecy that conceals
its vital anger when crossing
and undergoing review—

in earthly obedience does one cross land, field and
                traverse ground?

—the immeasurable time allotted to spirit’s defence
of itself and water, prohibited in the forms of
rivers, lakes and seas, divided and distributed
by an organizational branch assigned to distinguish
liquids from the evaporate matter.


A rupture and then rush to coagulation’s liminal show.
Revisions of the geologic inscription in century’s gold:
crosses to breached bodies, alienation to terra, or sanctions of matter’s movement.
That good people, Goodman’s and good sons & daughters rehearse their refusals
as automated terror in the sorting machine.
That good air, buen aire, returns to river and so fruit’s meat
grows fangs and desiccates the corpus socius.
Scriptural lambs constrained by rigid calligraphies
draw death hymns for heavenly goodbyes.


a maleficent god
deposited with babes who
consuming their attachments
wagers & traffics their
afflictions of birth
intrusions of the biologic
histories their bodies
collected by that machine.


In conception : Concepción
hard pills for reasoning
the rhetoric a bunk justification
in ledgers of heart censures
opens the vulturous skies
for the mythological light
to sully in history
it’s in fact partial cancers
as water, that misled
buoyance changes course.


The family folk arm
thinned after images
of one life submersed
in the steel sanctimony
the mystery exchanged
for another vague system
the ritual excised for the
clear pursuit of meaning.


A river neglected
in the anthropic view
is attribute dispersal
enclosing the tradition of war
in music’s measure
& the gummy nature
of bureaucratic consequence
for all this dream resembles
the mouth at dead minute past.

NOTE: QR codes (originally Quick Response codes) are two dimensional barcodes. The nature and frequency of their use varies across the globe. One might appear, for instance, on the corner of an advertising billboard, directing you to the company's website when you scan it with a QR-reader app on your phone. Another might appear at the corner of a description of an artwork in a gallery, and present more detailed information about the artwork when scanned. QR codes like these are machine-readable labels that promises more information about the item they're attached to. In a similar way, the QR codes here both illustrate and frame the text by Sean Negus, ending each short piece like a bureaucratic stamp on the page. Each QR code, originally painted on paper with Amelia Dale's blood, contains data about her blood, data gathered from a blood test which was part of the medical requirement for a VISA application. The QR codes document a single instance of biotechnical bureaucracy, data gathered from crossing from one state border to another. Both the QR codes and the text are thematically linked through an interest in borders, states and transits. While Negus's words can be read by people who can read English, these QR codes - like all QR codes - can not be decoded by human eyes, they require a machine to decode them. Still, the nature of the blood on the paper, with its clots and its overspilling over its own borders might make it difficult for a QR reader to "read" the barcode's data.

Sean Negus is a poet, experimentalist, translator, and professor of writing. As a translator of poetry from Portuguese, he also edits an ongoing publication, Saccades, featuring contemporary Portuguese-language poetry. In 2018, he guest/co-edited an edition of DUSIE magazine featuring contemporary Brazilian poetry. Hurricane Music, his first book of poems, was recently published from Editora Córrego (São Paulo).

Amelia Dale is a retired poet.
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