Night is irascible, like the words
of hoary men who rule the world
with their fistful of dirty dollars.
Go ahead, fire me. Because personality
emerges in the moment of dissent,
as every toddler and Bartlebian
figure knows. Before no,
we are an unresisting marsh
of mmm-hmm and yes sir.
A veritable swampland.
Risk rancor, risk blood;
break the circuitry
of power relations.
Lights out. Enter Noah.
Fire, meet water, the flood.
To put a lion in a poem, say lion.
The sacred word justifies the means.
Would that all speech acts could rise
as such in the dusty margins,
fulfilling their functions
as bellhops and knaves.
Money is as money does.
The ego’s executive power
is to blame. So heap
those deviled eggs on a platter.
We’ll know the enemy
by the gusto with which
he eats them, then orders
all humanity to bow at his name.
Virginia Konchan is the author of a collection of poetry, The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and two chapbooks, including That Tree Is Mine (dancing girl press, 2017). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and Best New Poets. Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she teaches at Marist College.