A Poem By Joshua Corey

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

We Are Well in the Shelter

I elaborate a distance from things
as I live them without loving them.
It’s not ideology, that patchwork,
just the swim of screens
touchless mediations
vivid without vivifying, no give
no resistance. I write this on my phone,
it’s in no sense writing
transparency, falling through
forgetful of feet sweating in their shoes,
where coffee comes from, the voices
tuned to someone else’s ears,
the rocks and pebbles, the clinamen.

Testimony of the sacrificed self:
“happiness is of the world.”
The little brick industrials
behind the facade of shops.

People who live in glass bricks
should shatter their own faces.

Under concrete and rebar secret waters.
The country seen from the air is not the country
men and women walk and wait in
pushing persistent the grasses
make time to break stone, swallow hearts.

Fingers drumming on a fuselage
advising the passengers within.
The Chilean miners, reading
one another’s faces.

Where is the truth of Greeks, fathers and mothers, murderers?

Dark burden let me praise
in the night of Crimea and Syria,
night of infrastructure and the shivering ground.

Leading where voices can’t follow, enduring, frail,
following the water, the money, the trail
of heavy metals, toward the heat and away from light
the crack in things like the hollow tubes
of rescuers.

Joshua Corey’s most recent poetry collection is The Barons (Omnidawn, 2014)

. A new translation of Francis Ponge’s Le parti pris des choses, co-translated with Jean-Luc Garneau, is forthcoming from Kenning as Partisan of Things this year.