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Systemic Risk

You can analyze systemic risk
according to how many bodies live or die

If the system fails
the broken bodies
become invisible and/or hyper-visible

The people are being born and dying

They are enacting the invisibility
of the security system
through the exhibition of their naked bodies

I eat corrupted data
to keep my skin
from becoming transparent

I would rather be
a defect of culture
than a defect of data or character

What is not observed
gets more visible
in relation to the strength of the surveillance

It’s better to deprive
a few million people of food
than to pull the plug on the global economy

If the consumers don’t buy your product
then teach them the meaning of love

 

 

Quarantine 1

i ask the woman from Buenos Aires     why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the man from Santiago      why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the child from Guadalajara     why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the entrepreneur from Guatemala City     why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the poet from Montevideo     why did they stuck you in the quarantine

i ask the teenage prisoner from Chicago      why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the rabbi from Cleveland     why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the refugee from El Paso      why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the banker from New York City       why did they stick you in the quarantine

i ask the cashier at Walmart      why did they stick you in the quarantine

i need a loan

i can’t find a lender

i have no credit

they take my credit cards

they crown me with $8,000,000 worth of debt

they steal my identity

they understand i have a lapsed concept of myself   

the data in my body is too clean   

there are too many broken links in the network    

they quarantine my search history  

i sing    colonize the fuck out of me tonight please     baby    

colonize the fuck out of me with your introductory lessons on civic responsibility

please be my silvery savior

translate the jive talk for me nice man in a banana republic suit     nice lady with a blouse and pearls 

translate what they over there are saying because i cannot understand their pain unless you place your body between his body and my body and talk about the repatriation of time      the repatriation of blood    the repatriation of vulnerability     the repatriation of clouds    the repatriation of the minerals you trade my body for    the repatriation of the petroleum you trade my father for    the repatriation of water    the repatriation of the rituals of the washed-up borderless bodies

in the fecundity

in the rubble of the broken buildings

in the shame of the broken bodies

in the sewer tea in the mud tea in the spilled guts in the trunk full of hollow corpses

a man cuts off his face to save the rest of his body

a child sacrifices herself in order to save her parents’ lives

there is an idea about why it might be funny to have an old silver woman translate the sick man’s jive talk for the sake of the well-meaning folk in the service industry

there is an idea about the shape of the tornado when it funnels into and out of your mouth     into and out of your nose     your spine     your lips    your rectum

there is an idea about the institutionalization of genocide that can only be developed through the empirical destruction of the nation

the dead bodies call out to those who bury them

make sure the riot is clean     make sure the riot is peaceful      make sure the riot is beautiful make sure the pig roast is peaceful      make sure the burning of the church is peaceful      make sure the Jew-kill is peaceful       make sure the dehydration of the immigrant is peaceful

we are here today to talk about the sky and all the things it has to offer to those whose bodies who will be infinitely compressed     repealed     reduced 

don’t touch me in this world in this way in this breaking wallowing death street    says the broken body to the silver savior who thinks he is the only one who can translate his pain  

don’t touch me in this world in this way until they decide how many people need to die before they will finally assess my value 

don’t touch me in this world in this way      until the wind on my face is absent 

 


 

 

 

[Daniel Borzutzky’s latest poetry collection is Lake Michigan (Pitt Poetry Series, 2018).  He is the author of The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press), recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry. His other books include Memories of my Overdevelopment (Kenning Editions, 2015); In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (Nightboat, 2015), and The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011). His translation of Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia  (Co-im-press) won the American Literary Translator’s Association 2017 National Translation Award. He has translated poetry collections by Chilean poets Raúl Zurita and Jaime Luis Huenún. He teaches in the English Department and Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.]

Copyright © 2018 by Daniel Borztzky, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.



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