Occupy the universe: a few poems

I wrote these poems to submit to an anarchist journal whose theme for their next issue was “Occupy”.  They were rejected.  Wah.  Maybe because they don’t really seem to have anything to do with the Occupy movement.  Well, exactly.  Neither does the occupy movement have much to do with any kind of meaningful movement towards liberation (except where anarchists took hold of the opportunity to make a public and sometimes riotous appearance, piggybacking as usual).  Especially now, when the remaining groups of Occupiers have mostly given up on taking public space as a spontaneous communal living experiment and decided instead to focus on things that won’t bother the authorities quite so much, it’s achingly clear that no amount of consensus is going to turn this failed, reformist movement into anything remotely fun or liberating.

In ye old early days of Occupy, when it seemed to have some promise (apart from being an outdoor movement with winter on the way), I started saying, “Occupy the universe.”  Why?  Because in order to go somewhere you have to get to where you are.  Trying to begin a revolution in autumn is probably the first indication that the Occupiers were still living in the realm of phantoms that is modern politics, where the spectacle of a revolution is nothing more than that–an image among images whose unreality begs negation in a revolution of sensibility.  Anyone occupying their own two eyes can see that everything’s got to go if we want out of the nightmare, and yet the slogan “Occupy Everything” doesn’t seem to inhabit the same planet that is ruthlessly occupied by empire, civilization, and consensus oppression.

Here are the poems.  They aren’t very good.  Good bye.

An Eagle Never Sang To Occupy

I.

the eagle does not occupy its feathers.

it watches from towers of sky
as generations come and go

as stags grow old
and new calves come into velvet,

as junipers seed and sprout
and carry on like  that.

the city appears
like an ant hill

and the sun
rises on.

and there is no rattlesnake
to dive on.

its talons, and the concrete,
the stars, and the sidewalk,

there’s an egg
for everything

but a moonlit sign that says, ‘Get off at exit 87 for Frank and Mary’s Burger Joint’
where they serve eagle meat.

there is a quiet
after midnight

where my grandfather is the mountain,
that shooting star,

a wonder cast into the bottomless canyon,
where am i?

II.

look at me,
good god just look at me,

what is this poor pathetic place
where these things are possible?

DO YOU HEAR ME?
Hello out there?

a stone wall humms
with streetlight

and calls of rage echo off the walls answered
by themselves,

and the north star is there.

III.

raising a hammer,
killing a seed.

let it be,
can’t you see that nothing grows from hammers?

i proclaim democracy
for the spittlebugs.

and the right
of black widow spiders to bite you.

the wolf, the mountain lion,
the bear

may be deadly
but so is the supermarket

and our Star
that rises in the morning

to casts a rainbow
over the forest.

 

Shirt on a Pole

Someone made this shirt
into a flag atop the mesa.
Sun and wind have bleached it
white like bone.

Empires surrender.
Sun and wind go on.

I pour some water out
and squint my eyes
against the bright clouds.
I say some words

to  the mountain
far off

and touch the flag
and walk on.

 

Occupy what?

An adobe house
crumbles into the hillside.
Flowers wander from their pots.

Great deeds leave no trace,
great words fall silent.
I cry out, hooooo yip!

through the evergreens.

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