Tryst. Poem by Despy Boutris

TRYST
 

The secret to sin is to do it
in secret. We learned secrecy young—
 
two girls taught to swallow our hunger—
so we meet up at nightfall
 
once the last lights have gone out. We walk
down the roads, cursing this town
 
full of coal-miners and farmers and churches,
cursing the way we’ll likely never leave.
 
The air is petrichor-stained, and we’re led
only by the humming streetlights
 
and starlit sky. We find each other
at our meeting place, the lake south of me,
 
north of you, me scrambling over the wet rocks
toward the grove where you’ve lain down
 
the knit blanket. And as soon as we catch
each other’s eyes, we’re each saying Here
 
is my shirt, here is my hair, my hands,
my mouth, take it, take me, right
 
now. Your eyes glow like lightning bugs,
jaw sharp as my pocket knife. As we strip
 
our breaths turn to fog, the cool drizzle falling
onto your curls and half-shut eyelids.
 
Your thighs shear mine—
the seawater taste of skin, the scrape of teeth
 
against lip, fingertips meandering down spines,
tracing mandibles. Breaths a windstorm—
 
some desire to rub ourselves together
till we make some sort of fire. As your mouth
 
latches onto skin hardly anyone has seen,
rosy even in this low light, we gasp
 
like people drowning, and I try to think
of a word for the way I want you—wildly,
 
maybe. Like a monsoon. But what’s at first erotic
erodes: love collapsing like the hills
 
that gave way after so much rain and mud
last winter. And so much want
 
is sinful—I know—so we’re wary
of the fires and floods, lying together
 
only in darkness, water spattering our faces,
swallowing what we can of each other.

 
 
(first published in Prairie Schooner)
 
 

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BIO:
Despy Boutris is published or forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, The Adroit Journal, Prairie Schooner, Palette Poetry, Third Coast, Raleigh Review, Diode, The Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere. Currently, she teaches at the University of Houston and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.

 
 
 
 
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

The Tilting. An Audio Textual Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; his publications include

All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, and the recently published Moon Selected Audio Textual Poems, as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.

You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

Universal Aspirations. A Poem by Antonio Martínez Arboleda

Humans redesigning
through artificial intelligence
the DNA of all viruses
        with colours and flavours to choose

                            Humans establishing 
                            a licencing system
                            and opening times
                                       for bacteria to reproduce

                                                                       Humans playing billiard
                                                                       with planets and stars
                                                                                  to gain the best 
                                                                                  rotation angles
                                                                                  the optimal distance
                                                                                       for their home world
                                                                                       and their colonies

                                                                       and building 
                                                                       atomic shields
                                                                                  to keep them safe
                                                                                  from radiations

Humans feeding 
gluttonous black holes
           with sheep
           and giant cakes 
           and belching-inducing
           anti-acid agent 

                                             They may as well
                                               paint them white

                                          Humans being universal 
                                                         Lovely!

Antonio Martínez Arboleda:
Antonio (Tony Martin-Woods) started to write poetry for the public in 2012, at the age of 43, driven by his political indignation. That same year he also set in motion Poesía Indignada, an online publication of political poetry. He runs the poetry evening Transforming with Poetry at Inkwell, in Leeds, and collaborates with 100 Thousands Poets for Change 100tpc.org/. Tony is also known in the UK for his work as an academic and educator under his real-life name, Antonio Martínez Arboleda at the University of Leeds. His project of digitisation of poetry, Ártemis, compiles more than 100 high quality videos of Spanish poets and other Open Educational Resources. http://www.artemispoesia.com/ .

He is the delegate in the UK of Crátera Revista de Crítica y Poesía Contemporánea , where he also publishes his work as translator from English into Spanish. He published his first volume of poetry in Spanish, Los viajes de Diosa (The Travels of Goddess), in 2015, as a response to the Great Recession, particularly in Spain. His second book, Goddess Summons the Nation PaperbackGoddess Summons the Nation Kindle Edition , is a critique of the ideas of nation and capitalism, mainly in the British Brexit context. It incorporates voices of culprits, victims and heroes with mordacity and rhythm. It consists of 21 poems, 18 of which are originally written in English, available in print and kindle in Amazon and other platforms. Editor’s note: further information bio & academic activities can be found at this link: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/languages/staff/91/antonio-martinez-arboleda

 

 

 

 

 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; You may visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

 

 

 

THE VIRUS MONOLOGUE. Translation from Source: https://lundi.am/Monologue-du-virus by Amparo Arróspide & Robin Ouzman Hislop

THE VIRUS MONOLOGUE
 
 
“I came to shut down the machine for which you could not find the emergency brake. “
 
 
“Silence, dear humans, all your ridiculous calls to war. Lower the looks of revenge you have on me. Turn off the halo of terror that surrounds my name. We, viruses, from the bacterial background of the world, are the true continuum of life on Earth. Without us, you would never have seen the light of day, nor would the first cell.
 
We are your ancestors, just like stones and algae, and much more than monkeys. We are everywhere you are and where you are not too. Too bad for you, if you only see in the universe what is your liking! But above all, stop saying that I’m the one killing you. You do not die from my action on your tissues, but from the lack of care of your fellow men. If you weren’t as rapacious among yourself as you were with everything that lives on this planet, you would still have enough beds, nurses and respirators to survive the damage I do to your lungs. If you did not store your old people in dying rooms and your able-bodied people in reinforced concrete hutches, you would not be there. If you had not changed the yesterday still luxuriant, chaotic, infinitely populated vastness of the world or rather of the worlds into a vast desert for the monoculture of the Same and the More, I would not have been able to launch out a planetary conquest of your throats.
 
If you had not almost all become, throughout the last century, redundant copies of a single and unsustable form of life, you would not be preparing to die like flies abandoned in the water of your sweet civilization. If you hadn’t made your backgrounds so empty, so transparent, so abstract, believe me that I wouldn’t be moving at the speed of an aircraft. I have only come to carry out the sanction which you have long since pronounced against yourselves. Forgive me, but it is you, as far as I know, who coined the name “Anthropocene”. You have claimed all the honor of the disaster; now that it is accomplished, it is too late to give it up. The most honest among you know this well: I have no other accomplice than your social organization, your madness of the “big scale” and its economy, your fanaticism for the system. Only systems are “vulnerable”. The rest live and die. There is “vulnerability” only with regard to control, its extension and its improvement. Look at me carefully: I am only the reverse of the reigning Death.
 
So stop blaming me, accusing me, tracking me down. Stop paralyzing against me. All of this is childish. I offer you a conversion of the look: there is an immanent intelligence in life. You don’t have to be a subject to have a memory or a strategy. You don’t have to be sovereign to decide. Bacteria and viruses can also make rain and sun shine. So see me as your savior rather than your gravedigger. Feel free to believe me, but I came to shut down the machine for which you could not find the emergency brake. I have come to suspend the operation of which you were the hostages. I came to demonstrate the aberration of “normality”. “To delegate our food, our protection, our ability to take care of our living environment to others was madness” … “There is no budgetary limit, health is priceless”: see how I have the language and the spirit of your governors forked! See how I bring them back to their real rank of miserable swindlers, and arrogant with that! See how suddenly they denounce themselves not only as superfluous, but as harmful! You are for them only the supports of the reproduction of their system, even less than slaves. Even plankton is treated better than you.
 
Be careful, however to blame their shortcomings. Avoid wasting your energy. To accuse them of carelessness is to lend them more than they deserve. Ask yourself, how did you find it so comfortable to let yourself be governed? To praise the merits of the Chinese option against the British option, of the imperial-forensic solution against the Darwinist-liberal method, is to understand nothing of either, of the horror of one as the horror of the other. Since Quesnay, the “liberals” have always regarded the Chinese Empire with envy; and they continue to do so. They are Siamese brothers. That one confines you in your interest and the other in that of “society” always comes down to crushing the only non-nihilistic conduct: taking care of oneself, those one loves and what one loves in those one doesn´t know. Do not let those who led you to the abyss pretend to know how to get out of it: they will only prepare you for a more perfected hell, an even deeper grave. The day they can, they will patrol the beyond with their armies.
 
Thank me instead. Without me, how much longer would all these unquestionable things suddenly suspended been regarded as necessary? Globalization, contests, air traffic, budgetary limits, elections, sports competitions, Disneyland, fitness rooms, most shops, the congress and parliament, school crowding, mass gatherings, most office jobs, all this drunken sociability which is only the flip side of the anguished loneliness of metropolitan dwellings: all this was therefore unnecessary, once the state of necessity manifests itself. Thank me for the test of truth for the next few weeks: you are finally going to live your own life, without the thousand loopholes that, year after year, keep the untenable going. Without realizing it, you had never moved into your own existence. You were among the boxes, and you didn’t know it. You will now live with your loved ones. You will live at home. You will stop being in transit to death. You may hate your husband. You may vomit your children. Perhaps you will want to blow up the decor of your daily life. To tell the truth, you were no longer in the world, in these metropolises of separation. Your world was no more livable in any of its points than on the condition of constantly fleeing. It was necessary to be dazed by movement and distractions so much ugliness had gained presence. And the ghostly reigned among beings. Everything had become so effective that nothing made more sense. Thank me for all of this, and welcome to earth!
 
Thanks to me, for an indefinite time, you will no longer be working, your children will not go to school, and yet it will be the complete opposite of the holidays. Holidays are that space that must be furnished at all costs while awaiting the expected return from work. But here, what opens up before you, thanks to me, is not a demarcated space, it is a huge gaping hole. I am here to disassemble everything. Nothing can guarantee you that the non-world of before will return. All of this profitable nonsense may be over. By dint of not being paid, what could be more natural than not paying your rent? Why would he still pay his debts to the bank, the one who can no longer work anyway? Isn’t it suicidal, in the end, to live where you can’t even grow a garden? Whoever has no more money will not stop eating, and the one who has the iron has the bread- as Auguste Blanqui used to say.
 
Thank me: I place you at the foot of the fork that tacitly structured your lives: the economy or life. It’s up to you. The range is historic. Either the rulers impose their state of emergency on you, or you invent your own. Either you get attached to the emerging truths or you put your head on the chopping block. Either you use the time I am giving you now to figure out the next world from the lessons of the ongoing collapse, or it will end up by radicalizing, even more. Disaster ends when the economy stops. The economy is devastating. It was a thesis before last month. It is now a fact. No one can ignore the fact that it will take police, surveillance, propaganda, logistics and telework to repress it.
 
As you face me, do not give in to panic or denial. Don’t give in to biopolitical hysteria. The coming weeks are going to be terrible, overwhelming, cruel. The doors of Death will be wide open. I am the most devastating production of the ravage of production. I come to nullify the nihilists. The injustice of this world will never be more glaring. It is a civilization, and not you, that I come to bury. Those who want to live will have to make new habits, and their own. Avoiding myself will be the occasion for this reinvention, this new art of distance. The art of greeting each other, in which some were short-sighted enough to see the very shape of the institution, will soon no longer obey any label. It will be an agreement between sentient beings. Do not do it “for others”, for “the population” or for “society”, do it for your own. Take care of your friends and your loved ones. Rethink with them, sovereignly, a just form of life. Make good life clusters, expand them, and I can’t do anything against you. This isn´t a call for the massive return of discipline, but of attention. Not for the end of all lightness, but of all neglect. What other way was left for me to remind you that salvation is in every gesture? That everything is in the infinitesimal?
 
I had to face the facts: humanity only asks itself the questions that it can no longer not ask itself. ”
 
Source: https://lundi.am/Monologue-du-virus Original French Version

Robin Ouzman Hislop, Publisher of Poetry Life and Times and Artvilla’s Poetry Editor

 

Robin Ouzman Hislop was editor of the 12 year running on line monthly poetry journal Poetry Life and Times from 2005, previously edited by Sara Russell, after its closure in 2008, he joined with Dave Jackson editor/admin as co editor at  https://motherbird.com & Artvilla.com  in 2013 & now edits both Poetry Life and Times  with its Facebook page  PoetryLifeTimes .

He’s been previously published in a variety of international magazines, which include Voices without Borders Volume 1 (USA), Cold Mountain Review, Appalachian University N Carolina, The Poetic Bond  series and  an Anthology of Sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. His publications include All the Babble of the Souk and Cartoon Molecules collected poems and Key of Mist the recently published Tesserae translations from Spanish poets Guadalupe Grande and Carmen Crespo 

visit Aquillrelle.com/Author Robin Ouzman Hislop for more information and reviews, him performing some of his work at  Performance (University of Leeds) and his latest volume of collected poems at Next-Arrivals

Submittals may be sent to robin@artvilla.com or editor@artvilla.com  Please refer to our submittal guidelines at any of the sites.