We’ve Updated Our Employee Handbook

Kyoto, Nov. 2019

to all decurved contract
workers
both boy
and girl
please note
we offer a paltry 401(k)
cancer herpes
kind-hearted flechette
america
the corporation
complain
the complaint
liable to get nations
flayed guilty imagination
unspoiling
brood parasite
munitions
nesting
in an oval
in a pit
lazy dog
iron heart
suddenly
unleashed
starving
detonating
undetonating
detonating ad
nauseam decorated
celebrated soft
fleshy middle
managers
break’s over!
tumbling
from a cloud

Denis Johnson (1949-2017)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 491

w491-2-sm

“My office smells like a theory, but here one weeps / to see the goodness of the world laid bare / and rising with the government on its lips, / the alphabet congealing in the air / around our heads.” Denis Johnson

 

his lips laid
& rising with the warm
goodness of theory
there they wept rivers
over their alphabet
that would not congeal
despite
how grave their wound
who inter their gravity