The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

All Issues
FEB 2016 Issue
Critics Page

Kill Time Objective

for the sake of my acoustic self I lead out of danger an anonymous pack from the building entrapment secured by militia

first prompted was the mouth emission, other species techniques I thought would never keep from me the village immolation even now a third person plural to ask in a chorus concerned with all the unsanctioned disclosures, we had expressed in such adversaries our interest, we had divined from them a quantum of intelligence

soon adjusted of my amplitude I escape and striving escalate the only barrier dividing inside from out thick steel at first translucent, gleaming now but with a weathered crackle glaze suspending the ability to recognize a likeness and I panic overjoyed or appalled, anyway the base line exhausting the tonal pitch insofar as they see not my face, no matter how close they look, first and foremost classified, chiefly management, mostly disapproving

soon the phonic constellation after hours of the data harvest, room tone, proximity to source, boredom of the solar system, estuary trespass

soon as maps were to the mirror sequence by leaning on the present, complicity was to the frenzy of flesh, muddle of tongues, a ransom note

but for the sake of fighting for breath already the instrument for transposition in a parasitic image finally proper to this place: I’m the encryption I’m the statistic, no longer bristling in the heroics of metaphor, I’m equipped with artillery that enables me now to bullet an opening for everyone’s deliverance

but for the scene change lodgings very disinfected, new cause for residing in that I trace it back to the assignment room and retrieve, because arson, what I misplaced anew and under observation now, two performers licentious but so approving of the spinal-chord perspective as to marvel at the sheer outrage and wonder of the surgical incision

but for the tangled purpose of the anatomy we take to name eviscerate

but for the conference hour this week with my parishioners in exchange for the motion in multiple layers—overcoat, many trousers, uniform—in the process also of my ballooning self into unprecedented scales of subjection

as soon as I recite the lines that tell the world of the authority to petrify to touch and be tutored or otherwise curb but never entirely embraced no matter the many hours we waited on Ledgewood to trust the day

but for the amassing body attributes of my contempt and retribution, but for the ever more audacious interference at the level of my molecular resemblance

but for the album                 now children please open to lesson thirty-two


Roberto Tejada

Roberto Tejada is the author, most recently, of the poetry collection Why the Assembly Disbanded (Fordham University Press, 2022); Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness (Noemi, 2019), a LatinX poetics on colonial settlement and cultural counter-conquest in art and literature of the Americas; as well as catalog essays in Celia Álvarez Muñoz: Obras (Art League Houston, 2020) and Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon (Yale, 2021). The poems here are from his forthcoming book Carbonate of Copper.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2016

All Issues