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July 2019

America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel

· feminism,artmaking,The Stay Project,transformation,poetry
America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven't read the newspaper for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia.
I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Let us know how you feel over at The Stay Project.

Matthew Burnside


(There are golf courses. Big

manicured, immaculately

mown lawns reserved for some

men to breathe freely. Miles-long.

Certain men, having paid

diligently their dues—to roam

unfettered by the flotsam of

lesser beings. Fresh air to

spare. There are flowers too, some-

where still, beneath deserts & dunes.

Beneath the gentle, sun-warmed sands

singing quietly like bloodsong.

There is a mighty thirst inside a cactus

that dreams itself abloom, as many as there

are stars ripped from the heavens like

pacifiers torn from tiny mouths. As there

are blankets & diapers, & doves in the trees,

trembling beyond history’s quickening wingbeat.

Just as there are golf courses of imagination:

Big manicured, immaculately mown to spare us

these minor indignities. To allow us just enough

room to unimagine; to pretend there are no

children anywhere in cages. There are no children,

anywhere, in cages . . . these minor indignities.)

Matthew Burnside is the author of Postludes (KERNPUNKT) and Rules to Win the Game (Spuyten Duyvil Press).


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