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Poems By Andrew Levy

Andrew Levy is the author of Artifice in the Calm Damages, Notes toward a Supreme Fiction 2029, Don’t Forget to Breathe, Nothing Is in Here (novella), and twelve other collections of poetry and prose. His writing works on the intersections of class and the ecology of commerce, and experimental music and the digitalization of freedom. A drummer, he works in collaboration with musicians and writers on readings and performances.

Prepare the World

I have had a lifetime of listening to people who believe

That life can be talked away. It cannot be done. With no home

In this world anymore something special may be next.

The moon shows itself drifting away, standing outside terrestrial

Landscapes and stories the soul takes having come into

Existence without dragging itself upside down. We picture it

A form of awareness, an essential envelope of resemblance in a

Game of resistance to the nervous currents of breath and

Sunlight. An unprepared reminder of mortality invisible even to

The eye that comes very close though it dropped off its hinges

Long ago. A spacious sledge of all virtues having collapsed

In front of us, an integer, and fundamentally so integral, so very

Labyrinthine that no area of this life is left untouched. We’ve

Grown up in the same society together and so in acts of charity

Move to reconsolidate property. It hurts someone when I eat.

It’s almost as if they begged for the grace of becoming feces.

Self-expression? The idea of property recapitulates every social

Division. We hate each other’s guts. The world’s method

Of seduction provides everyone a piece of waste land. Our

Teeth quiver as they chew the stone. We partake in America’s

Fine tradition of savoring fear. A real historical unhappiness

May be received as the supreme reward bestowed on the most

Obedient of servants. Your metropolitan areas have value if

They know when to live and when to die. The thesaurus of a

Derelict rendered ampler than our own dereliction is perpetually

Shrinking and expanding in anger and despair at what is going on.

My signature is a pseudonym. My last words are winning and

Losing in a competition led by my unconscious self, transformed

In endless pretense and growing debate. I have no hand in the

Formation that brings you joy and happiness. Its nature and causes

Gradually fade away. Evil could become a success. The good

Opinion of others has nothing to do with why one revises one’s

Own work. The worst could happen.

But that’s a low bar for Brett Kavanaugh

As if by magic, without the slightest warning

Of any sort, I suddenly found myself under

The ground with a ringing in my ears as of

Many bells. I carried a notebook loaded with

A “joyous confetti of personal truth / subsuming 

& transcending the stealing of documents.”

The book ended, as it began, in incompletion.

If I’m lucky, it will come back and say,

“Darling, I’m here for you. We can both be

Happy together.” The old-fashioned detective’s

Task of tracing the thief feigns its own form

Of polite incomprehension. Marketing

Wants to go public until a consensus of opinion

Can be reached. So, watch what you say.

Pay yourself the compliment of referring to

Yourself as a person. Over-indulgence is the

Consumers’ enrichment. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Tell me how it feels to be in the know. I no

Longer have time to tell you about overall

Temporal convolutions, or the capacity of

The sun to sprout seeds that speak in theatrical

Whispers, “I’ve got a disc of, seriously, one

Of the greatest books ever made.” But let’s face

The fakes. The aristocracy are acclimatized,

From early childhood, as essentially perfect. The

Entire day is an asymmetry undermining

Culture. The past decays and is riddled with

Inconsistencies dedicated to preserving

A historical record for future ages. A

Psychoanalyst lies sobbing in a corner after

Penetrating within the human body. Judeo-

Christian tradition repaid in full. The curve of

The road falls apart, an averted virility.

A Generation of Swine

Lovely and charming enough to devour

A monument to a bard enswathed in poeticalities

Entire associations marching respect-inducingly

Amid the graceful clinking of useful money

Commercial plans aimed at preserving their subsistence

Reach out your hand for culture and pay the specified price

Entwined by hours of occupationlessness

A mere trifle for the imagination gliding gently past

Intending to display a feeling

The most frightful apprehension committing incautiousness

Its invisibility nowhere heard

Using them to debauch these insolent debauchees

An impression in every way splendid

A salon-like elegance of unimpeachable qualities

An undeniable imperative can indeed be found in proximity to pigpens

A need to engage in cautionary measures

To avoid untoward beauty let precautions be taken

To compromise civilization, communicate something to the public

Everything seems to be on the verge of disaster

The thought of which fills them with genuine pleasure

To be a charming, attractive little idealist

Mornings and afternoons upon the sofa

The consumption of that very thing abjured

Words of warning come to an end

Thoroughly consigned to oblivion

Collateral Murder to Julian Assange

In our dream and all around us there is confusion. Our body

Is still lying on our bed, or in a street that looks destroyed.

In the dream we have a separate body, and then there is the bed

Or the street we are in. We believe that all this is real. The person

Who is sleeping is real, the street is real, and we are convinced

That we are running away. I ran until I came to a place where

There were no helicopters, no 30-millimeter rounds

Being fired. The street is empty of movement, and I tell myself

That there is no one around. I practice walking in my dream.

I see that I am dreaming in my bed, and in the street. I am

About to wake up. I see that the person walking is an illusion.

But the surroundings in which I am walking are not an illusion.

There is real fear, anxiety, and running away from the

30-millimeter rounds, from the helicopters. It’s easy to see

That the street isn’t real. But it’s not easy to see that the bed

Isn’t real in the way I thought it was. I’m living in a dream.

Is goodness something real and distinctive? Compassion is dead.

The feeling of shame is dead. Compliance and deference are

Dead, too. The feeling of right and wrong doesn’t seem real,

In the sense that it doesn’t manifest in human beings who are

Destroyed by 30-millimeter rounds. Human and other animals

Are no longer different from one another. Both have lost

The ability to choose. In the dream we have a separate self.

We are running away from invaders, from an invading army.

In our dream we are not aware that we are still lying on

Our bed. We believe that all this is real.

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