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Jules Boykoff

from The Slow Motion Underneath

It was just another day in the life of just another day in the life of just another day in the life of census, ambition, sentiment, guile, of diamonds, expression, reverence, trials. It was just another day, it was just another day, it was just another day, it was just another day.

An Arrow of Geese Flapping Forward

expressions, ambitions, all sliced into slats

expressions of sentiment, the ghost of diction

retrofit the diction for expressions of ambition

a sentiment, a groundswell, the horseplay of justice

groundswells of sentiment, the pulse of expression

rhythms thickening, little fists of resistance

a pocket of pine nuts, purple pup tent for two

I still can’t tell an eagle from an osprey

but I can see water, coastline, & land

an arrow of geese flap forward toward expression

an arrow of geese flapping forward toward we

In the morning you said you felt tight about erosion. Afternoons your fists pressed the wet earth. In the evening you planted strawberries for all the neighbors, & at night you piled up questions inside.

Formidable but Fortuitous Translations in Time

the mileposts, the beekeepers, the symbols of distance

quiet spaces erased in translations of time

snapshots of memory our portals to the present

as if slats of metal crisscrossed our future

as if compression were a measurement of time

as if we knew but were too tired to speak of it

questions those questions pushed into the distance

four small fists thumped lovely in their absence

Neruda knew them as preguntas sin respuestas

be it resolved this distance within us

the distance between us, a lyric of scale

Hope is a category, an object, a toothbrush, an unmarked door, a metric of leisure, a decolonized mind. Hope is a volcano, a train platform, an island, a thumbtack, an impediment, a bombshell, an intellectual pitbull.

Hope Is a Full-Time Job

where death means death & not the end

where closer to closure means not quite there

whereas closer to closure, closer to fine

where finite closure meant death without end

where closure lived swimmingly without love in the end

whereas love in the end meant closure to that question

where closer to death meant fine thanks, fine thanks

where your moxie rocked up life without end

where death meant life on a highway without stars

where death meant life on a highway without stars

whereby whereas whereupon we must live

Boykoff cover image
Jules Boykoff

Jules Boykoff

Jules Boykoff is the author of “Gringostroika” (Dusie, 2007), Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge (Edge Books, 2006), and Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States (AK Press, 2007). A book he co-authored with Kaia Sand — Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry & Public Space — is forthcoming from Palm Press in 2008. He lives in Portland, Oregon where he co-curates the Tangent Reading Series with Rodney Koeneke and Kaia Sand:

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