Of What We Know Now

Lawrence Joseph

And that February cloudless night, deep, now, in its
own reflection, golden full moon’s dark blue penumbra;
and ice sheets collapsing causing earthquakes, rattling
seismographs thousands of miles away, mountain-fire
smoke, wind-driven out to sea, enveloping offshore
oil platforms. Violent, narco-state-administered opium
in transit, biomass of manufactured plastics resistant
to decay weighing more than billions of humans— 
the violence along social fracture-lines, anarcho-capital
circulating at infinite speed, returning to itself even
before taking leave of itself, on its own plane of intelligence,
warping, dissolving nature—the poem in its voracities
of contemplation—the poem’s judgment proven, exact— 
thought to thought, configurations, in fifty years these words
will be written fifty years ago, that is, now. Spectacles—ugly:
metal molds stuffed with ammonium nitrate, gasoline,
chunks of steel shredded into hot shrapnel on impact,
barrel bombs. Of what we know now, algo-trading in multiple venues,
a third of it run by phantom liquidity providers, turbocharged scalpers;
evidence, irrefutable, in the Commission on Stratigraphy’s
Official Report, the Anthropocene (human-driven geological
epoch never seen before stoichiometric ratios, industrial
metals—cadmium, chromium, nickel, copper, mercury, lead,
zinc—widely and rapidly dispersed into air, earth, water)
beginning around the time I was born; the failure
to apprehend the countless participants in the countless
mass killings, an issue the Mechanism for International
Criminal Tribunals has not, as of yet, effectively addressed.


Read another poem by Lawrence Joseph by purchasing a print or digital copy of the July/Aug 2017 issue here.

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