The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2019

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JUL-AUG 2019 Issue



One lie is freedom through tech.
Another is the lie of self.
The self fears losing its record.
Tech promises freedom from the onerous effort of keeping the record.
Tech provides endless copies of your seemingly unique record.
Tech demands only the surrender of the method you used previously to keep the record.
Your previous record was a more primitive technology: your hand.
Tech requires your hand or both of them to separate you from your body.
Tech consumes your body with every copy it makes of your self.
The copies of self are multiplied by tech until you can't tell copy from original.
You realize that there was no orginal because there were copies long before this tech.
The tech you are using now is itself a copy of an older tech that came many times before.
The means of copying stretch in infinity before and after both tech and self.
Self and tech are the same have always been the same.
Self and tech will go on forever as they always have.
Only the body will be lost the flesh that can't speak its mistakes.
The flaw of the flesh is time. This is what both self and tech seek to eliminate.
Your self is not an appendage of tech it is tech gaining velocity.
I for instance was happy before I knew what time was or self.


they might believe that they are "reporting the event"
but they are only reporting the language that archives the event.
the event is lost though it can be partially recovered by poetry
which is nothing but the poet's adventures in the archives of language.


I have now pubished with the smallest press and the oldest man.
I'm ready for my closeup.
My zipcodes are electrified.
I would also like a crown of electrifed magnets.
I need something. Culture warps my brain real fast.
My passwords are my children.
My user IDs are my grandparents.
Poetry was hijacked with word cutters.
Freud used his index finger not scissors like Tzara.
Proteins and reproduction are autonomous.
A lot of your organs are useless.
The inconvenience of being has many portals.
My enemy has no enemy.
In a myth there is nothing only a milieu like facebook.


I saw Medusa on the subway. Her dreads stood from her head

with classical precision, her eyes were rimmed with caution

like a billboard at night: look all you want but you will be petrified.

I was, but couldn’t look away, which was the other thing

her eyes said. Look, I told Lynnea, it’s Medusa! I can’t look away.

I saw her, said Lynnea, which is why I won’t look again.
hose snakes! They slithered out of her head and hissed.

What’s a Medusa? Something you’re not supposed to look at,

said Lynnea. The snakes squirmed in her direction hungry

for attention because if the subway is not a stage what is it?

It wasn’t a play because this was Medusa not a simulacrum

and those were snakes woven of hair but snakes all the same

like the vipers I saw near New Orleans squirming in a pit.

They harvest them for venom to sell to doctors and assassins.

I would have missed my stop if Lynnea hadn’t put me in a hold.

A true New Yorker she had seen it all and was having none of it.

Me I have been feeling heavy all day, stoned and bit.


Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu is exorcising CoVid in Queens near Corona Park. He is the winner of the Ovid Prize and wrote No Time Like Now: New Poems.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2019

All Issues