Brad Liening 日 18/06/2024 · admin No comments

A BUSINESS LIKE ANY OTHER

COMMODITY FETISHISM IS THE ONE PART
OF MARXISM EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS

A dream is one too many
According to the esteemed gentlemen
Of the board. I have
Follow-up questions
But I take too long in asking
And their private helicopters and jets are tiny specks
Above the flames.
A dream grows
Predicated on a loyalty rewards program
Requiring an app
Requiring a new phone
Requiring a shitload of cash
Which you trade hours of your one wild
And precious life to acquire.
You greet the day.
Your body works
Poorly. Your bill
Is a million dollars plunged into your guts.

 

EN PASSANT

Of course there’s the void.
The roar of airplanes
Like a stale river

That no longer dreams of frogs,
Just pills.

It’s lazy to dwell on it.
It conveys nothing

You don’t already know
Like waking up from a dream
About laundry

Or bills. Your own heart
Knows nothing about itself.

How could it?
It is full of blood

And chemicals that are so forever
The microplastics in your sperm
Hardly matter.

 

NO LIKES

You line up with the others.
An unscrupulous eyeball attends.
It’s been years and the drinking water
Remains suspect. Power
Continues to pool. You want it to be happy hour
But it’s not. Now you’re nowhere
With everyone else.
White teeth multiply
Behind the tinted glass of a limousine.

 

KAFKA’S BUREAUCRATS

Emerge from offices like cicadas
Full of secrets.

They’re a metaphor for…
The human condition…

In a certain set of comfortable circumstances?
They are timeless when they dream of death.

They live amongst dust
Intimately. They know

Its gradations and what it whispers about the rest of us
Blithely ignoring 90% of the iceberg on which we live.

They are alive for only the living dream of death
But to imagine their death is virtually impossible

For when we speak of them
It is us who are revealed.

They have the same hair
When they go out for lunch.

If they have opinions we don’t know what they are
For their eyes give nothing away.

They do the work
For whatever work is worth.

 

PHONE TREE

Low-key woe blows like a breeze
The exact same temperature
As the space it moves through.

The ambience here is awful.
I do not like content or its creators
And I’m stalling now because
Against all odds I’ve got a little to lose.

The elderly wealthy parcel out a lecture
Over a lifetime of offhand remarks.
They have no idea anybody is there.

It’s like a one-way void.
It’s like being born
And immediately put on hold.

The rest of the world mills about.
People pile in until there is no air.

 

WARM BEER

The body begins
Its slow disintegration.

A fracture feels like an expanding star.
Then like very green trees

Or forgetting how to read
And wondering why
You cared in the first place.

Cows muster on the hills
Like solid little clouds
We’ve nailed to the earth
Before slipping over the horizon.

The whole thing takes practically
Forever. Then it rains.

 

GOD SAVE THE KING AND NO ONE ELSE

Instant creeps swarm the money pit.
People commute through plague.

100 cranes take wing
Before a full moon

Over a shining lake of silver.
A mogul makes people pee in bottles

And downcast kids in sweatpants go without
But you can view 100 how-to videos for how

To not come out all wrong.
A trend pupates in a pustule, waiting

To burst. The world
Watches, then doesn’t.

The future used to be a long way off.

 

Brad Liening is the author of Michigan Darkness Movies (Scud, 2023). He lives in Minneapolis, MN, and at bradliening.blogspot.com.