Novas Poéticas de Resistência: o século XXI em Portugal


Mark Wallace

from the unpublished poem series The End of America, Book 8


            Insurance companies bloated with cash


                                                           nothing moving

                        “accusing you of the thing I’ve done”

                                               just want my seat in the corner

                                   close to the flood

                                                           and fire statistics


            We have ways of making you like it

                                   fast serve, cold serve

                                                           anti-depressant TV


            Time to turn up a transcendent

                        view: military

                                               cargo ship bright in the harbor


                                               or men playing powerball

                                               with undergraduate voting rights


                        so much undetected

                        sadness recorded

on the funding unit clipboard


                                                           feel the draft

                                                           through the closing door?


            America, I don’t know

            anything of those you leave

                                   picturing themselves to you

                        in the waning bankroll night


                                   I’ll wander down

                                   to the ocean and sit

                                   on the wall beside

                                                           the concrete


            causeway, dreaming

                        of my own arm in some

                                   other arm, the last


                        and best noble lie


                                               gritting my teeth

Seeking a little

                        restrained horror

            with a noirish Southern California


                                   real estate scam



suitable for reframing a private

                        crumbling vision


                                   Community Resource Center

                                                           in a drop down


                        last chance menu


                        before the highway goes double

                                   wide right through the breastbone


in-bred sonic isolation

                        that roars good when it catches


            your dreams with their pants

                                   down around your neighbor’s ankles


How badly do you want

                                   to live


                        to feel your skin pressed against


                                   the vanishing surfaces

                                                           big fog


                        pushing in over the empty

                                   rebuilt beach front


mansions and three-room condos

                        could be metaphor


            the aging body


                        without ever saying


how each is caught

                        up in the other


            “alone” another form of connection

                                   that regulation attempts


                        to label in an ownership



                                   “my” breath, “your” eyes,


            tidy quiet suburban afternoon

                                   inside a swath cut


                        by carefully organized



Take a little cancer sample

                                   your tongue’s underside


                                   officially permitted


            replacement for a learning moment

                                    about anything going on


down at the speedway, bets are placed

            Exxon in five, no mojo for Kabul


Up on the hill, grasses blow

                        until they’re kindling-dry


            and some thirsty boy




            lights them like he thinks he’s the universe

Mark Wallace is the author of more than fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and essays. Temporary Worker Rides A Subway won the 2002 Gertrude Stein Poetry Award and was published by Green Integer Books. His critical articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, and he has co-edited two essay collections, Telling It Slant: Avant Garde Poetics of the 1990s, and A Poetics of Criticism. Most recently he has published a novel, The Quarry and The Lot (2011), and a book of poems, Felonies of Illusion (2008). He teaches at California State University San Marcos.