NICKY TISO

 

 

                                     



A SONG FOR INTERNSHIPS

 

 

1


A song for internships!

in the white collar of low-wages and unpaid fields I

find the tenements,

and find the historic precedents.

 

Workmen and Workwomen!

Youíre as useless as a doctorate in the woods

Were I a judge on The X Factor and you sang,

what would be the ratings boost?

Were I to dangle a salary over your cubicle,

††††††††††† would your hand shoot up?

 

We who have exploited the surfaces of race

unsupportable assertions//canonized inertia

a tranny like me is never in the same dress twice.

 

Neither a student nor a teacher I,

I have no bargaining power, I will

††††††††††† do anything for entry

I will scrape the barrel and you shall ignore me

 

If you slump moribund in a bureaucratic swamp I sink as low as the lowest of you

††††††††††† in the same swamp,

If you steal from your employer or your congressman I

††††††††††† extract the same price,

If your lover, comrade, spouse, is friends with you on Facebook, I

††††††††††† must also be Facebook friended,

If you become depressed, incarcerated, disabled, then I become so for

††††††††††† your sake,

If you remember running from the cops as an indiscrete youth, do you

††††††††††† think I cannot recall my own juvenile record?

If you meet strangers on the Internet for anonymous hook-ups

††††††††††† why I often am the one coming to meet you.

 

Why have your selfies been downcast?

Are you ashamed of your reflection?

Is it you thought the Patriarchy greater than you?

Or the rich better off than you? or the schooled more enlightened?

 

(Because you have acne, a stutter, or pirate

DVDs

Or that you are uninsured, or replaceable, or a sex worker,

Or from your low Twitter following, or that you are no trendsetter

††††††††††† and never saw your name go viral,

Do you give in that you are any less immortal?)

 

 

 

2


Clones of men and women! it is not you I call invisible,

††††††††††† voiceless, unassimilated and alone,

It is not you I troll, and to track your data as you go,

You are my public, and on one elseís.

 

Half-grown adults with kids, of this country and refugees,

in shelters and in streets, one just as much as the

††††††††††† other, I see,

And all else outside my vision.

 

The housewife, and she is not one jot less than the husband,

The teen, who listens to Smashing Pumpkins,

The mother, and she is no less parent than father.

 

Welfare babies, burger flippers,

Young interns assembling PS4 and old interns factory farmed,

Gays, capitalists, hipsters, aliens,

All these I see, but distance means nothing,

The reciprocal pleasure of domination is addictive.

 

I bring a metaphysical sales pitch,

Not money, eros, meth, olives, expertise, but equal,

I am pure agency, haters goní hate,

but my game speaks for itself.

 

There is a mystic flashback that haunts us,

It is not in a language that we speak, it eludes

††††††††††† communication,

It is not translatable, it is not found here,

It is yours, stranger, hidden in your senses,

It is hinted by reflex, compartments, phobias, it is easily

††††††††††† agitated by poems.

 

You may be bilingual, yet illiterate about it,

You may read the Presidentís scripts and find

††††††††††† it unmentioned,

Nothing in leaked diplomatic cables or

††††††††††† the supreme court, or in mass mediaís cycles,

Or in the stock marketís recovery, or any

††††††††††† commercial basis.

 

 

3


The celestial bodies black holing above,

The spherical earth and we upon it, surely our arbitrariness

††††††††††† is something grand,

I do not know what it is except that it is grand, and that it is

††††††††††† paradise,

And that the nucleus of lifeís goal is not a green lawn or finger-pointing or

surveillance,

And that it is something which obeys its own form of chance,

And as a process it is irreversible.

 

The skin and race, the gendered paradigm of identity,

††††††††††† the capital that with pernicious complaisance devours all

††††††††††† things,

The extreme illogical patriotism of man, ahistorical

††††††††††† opinions and hashtags,

The wonder of your Instagram feed, and the wonders of timeís infinite unraveling,

What you have reckoned them for, bro?

 

Have you reckoned them for your popularity? for attention? for karma?

††††††††††† or for profit?

To fill your coffers? or to perform the ritual of self?

 

Have you reckoned that the landscape took locality and place and that it might be

monotonous?

Or men and women that they might be intersex, and their songs unsung?†††

Or the attraction of gravity, and the great laws of physics and thermodynamic

energy as subjects for the ignoramus?

Or terra firma and the oceans in between for the commonwealth?

Or the authenticity of the certificate received when you name a star?

Or the insidiousness of neoliberal law?

Decrepit institutions, these arts, archives, museums, auctions,

††††††††††† and the obsolete artisan manufacturer, will we

††††††††††† rate them so high?

Will our credit score improve? I donít care,

I endorse debt forgiveness, revolution,

††††††††††† and foodstamps.

 

We thought our Union grand, and our Constitution grand,

But they are nothing without you, comrade,

I love you as much as I love America,

Our love so intimate and polyamorous.

 

We consider God destroyed, I do not say he

††††††††††† is alive,

I say we outgrew him, and may outgrow others still,

You created his image before he could make you in his,

Out of your skin grow trees shedding leaves unto the earth.

 

 

 

4

Only thyself should you be worshipping,

The President is your servant, do not wait on him,

The Senate should be the bureau of your desires, not those

of corporate interests,

The Congress shuts down over affordable healthcare for you,

Loopholes, secret courts, juridical discourse, new voter ID laws,

††††††††††† black ops, clipper chips, are all

††††††††††† for you.

 

Listen close my future adjunct,

The weight of the universityís unpaid labor is upon you,

The masterpieces you teach are nothing to what you are,

As epic and as heroic as unwritten myth you are,

Without your presence civilization is abandoned,

The cantos of Homer, the voodoo of Zora Neale Hurston,††† the tragedies

of Shakespeare, would be in a dustbin.

 

Your architecture of flesh and blood is the real monument.

 

All music is a call you heard and answer, sound springs from your earbuds.

It is not the instruments, not the violins nor the dubstep, nor the sax nor

††††††††††† the guitarís strum, nor the producerís melodic pop score,

nor that of any choir, nor any harmonium,

It saturates your perception yet is not itself perceived.

 

 

 

5


The whole will not come back.

Can each see signs of its fragment by looking in the shards of glass?

††††††††††† is there nothing left?

Does all phenomena dwell in your breast?

Contradictions arenít lies,

In you matter and spirit unite.

 

Card-stacking, mortgaging, spawning the bubble,

Investment banking, paper-filing, conference-calling, telemarketing,

††††††††††† loan-sharking,middle-management,

Ship-scuppering, scab-laboring, fish-mongering, floundering of

††††††††††† fortunes by scions,

The pimp, the profit-margin, the great depression, the landfill

††††††††††† and the leachate,

Pipe-lines and all that is petroleum, the poinsettias in the

††††††††††† garden, echoes, oldies, what medications, what vast

††††††††††† invasive species, what cosmetics to feel inferior,

Data-warehousing, forest-fires in the mountains or by rivers,

††††††††††† men acting girly with huge hard-ons, clumps

††††††††††† of hair, their coupled positioning, limestones, cum,

The blast-shelter and the free-speech zones, the stretched rectum

††††††††††† of the bottom, the rolling eyes, the bed sheets swept aside,

Hydrofracking, civil suits, white-bread dudes, the picket fence,

††††††††††† tribal tattoos, the great malls and condos,

Cyber-stalking, plastic surgery, the gavel, the Snuggie, the pin to

††††††††††† protect accounts,

The flag-waver, the suicide nets at Foxconn, and

††††††††††† the flow of information as power,

The iPhone sales, the pole-axe of the abattoir, the last buck of

††††††††††† the cow as it bleeds, the asbestos lining everything, and all the

††††††††††† ice shelves calving,

The fair and balanced news reportage, grippers, televangelists,

††††††††††† black-markets,

Surplus and scarcity, party buses, couch surfing, mosh pits,

††††††††††† panhandling, trickling economics,

The veneer of upward mobility, the conjugal visits, the

††††††††††† overdraft fees, the shame of self-immiseration,

The war and PTSD, the pork barrel spending,†††

Counterterrorism taskforces raiding activists, the silent power of the quill,

††††††††††† or metal, the word forged by hammer, the internal censors, conspiring,

Remember: Nietzsche wandered just as restlessly through these hills, everything

††††††††††† you feel has been felt before, so open a bottle of cabernet and know the worst

††††††††††† it could go is you grope a horse.

Leather-dressing bears on Folsom Street, potheads, fire-dancers, small presses,

anarchists, body piercing, masturbation, bondage, hoola-hoopers, acoustic

guitars, craft brew and Liberace, dumpster diving,

Defense spending, aircraft carriers, the slave trade, combine harvesting,

††††††††††† warrantless wiretapping, ponzi schemes, American Idol,

The cab of the trucker, the subway, the ferry,

July Fourth, the roman candelabras, the skyís rocket shower, the six-packs

††††††††††† and tiaras;

The supersized meals, the blue jeans, the bald eagle and the dove, the Black Eyed

Peas, the twerk team, the halftime shows, the gluten-free, the anorexic,

Diabetes, KFC, monosodium glutamate, poached ivory, rainforest logging, carbon

storage, gerrymandering, gentrification, the mentalization of the factory;

The hourly wage of your routine, the cubicle, the jail cell, the grocery aisle, the

airport, the hotel,

Soap operas blaring by day and nightóworkers!

††††††††††† whoever you are, unite!††

1984 is nowóthe conditions of daily life are far more ruthless and expensive than

you anticipated,

In these new realities for you and me, in these poems for you and me,

††††††††††† can we speak of soul at all?

For the soul is enclosed like a commodity, and I want to reach a wider

††††††††††† audience.

 

I donít think Marx was wrong, I donít want to give up, I donít want bloodshed,

I didnít say youíre a fool of a Took,

But endless attrition is already a struggle, havenít you had enough?

 

 

 

6


Will you job-hunt long? you surely come back at last,

††††††††††† a waiter, an overqualified wreck,

In friends find your true value as a person,

In the antechambers of the communes, actuate these spells,

Man, woman, sister, brother, midwife, poetess, pilgrim,

††††††††††† the culture of today is violent,

You rise above it your anthems, your escapades, your lovingness, you go girl,

Rome wasnít built in a day, but it burned in one.

 

When I can be touched like a book,

††††††††††† my spine folded into leaves to be caressed,

and read with childlike wonder,

When every gold ingot is given back to the people,

When killer whales donít have to be at SeaWorld,

I intend to shake your hand, and ask you politely to take out the trash,

††††††††††† without making eye contact, as I do of my interns like you.

 

 

 

                                                                                                      

 

      

 

                                   

 

 


TYPO 20