NOW, IT IS JOY THAT IS PROHIBITED—THE THING THAT ESCAPES ALL ECONOMIES

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OH NO YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED
TO SAIL THE DRAKE PASSAGE
IN A WALNUT SHELL OR FOLLOW
THE PERUVIAN PRESIDENT’S
DAUGHTER ON TWITTER JUST
FOR THE PICTURES OF MORRISSEY
HER BELOVED WEIMARANER
OH JUST RESIST BEING A KNOWITALL
WHEN YOUR HUSBAND SAYS
LOOK HERE AT THIS MILITARY
EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF PIZARRO
SEE HOW ONE HOOF IS RAISED?
IT MEANS HE WAS WOUNDED
IN BATTLE OH NO DO NOT GOOGLE
THE MILITARY EQUESTRIAN STATUE
OF BOLIVAR IN LA PLAZA BOLIVAR
AND SAY HAHAHA BOTH HOOVES
ARE IN THE AIR AND BOLIVAR DIED
OF CONSUMPTION OH ALL RIGHT
IT’S OKAY TO SAY HAHAHA THE MILITARY
EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF PIZARRO
RUSTS ON THE SHORE OF THE RIVER RIMAC
A SORRY ASS STREAM OF TRASH
WHERE VULTURES SHIT AND DOGS DIE
AND YES EVERYONE CAN SHOUT JUST ONCE
OUT OUT CONQUISTADOR!
LET’S MELT IT DOWN LET’S TURN IT
INTO A WALNUT SHELL AND SAIL
ALL THE WAY TO ALICANTE

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Photo: “Walnut Shell Boats” by Alison and Fil; licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Click here to read Kara Candito on the origin of the poem.

Kara Candito: [spacer height=”20px”]
I was trying, with three other poets, to write a chapbook in 48 hours. Blame the writing residency zeitgeist. Blame the Northern Vermont heat wave. I was writing very, very quickly and trying not to think about process or subject. Precious stuff, one poet said. We put our feet in the river and ate bananas. At night, I read Cixous’ Stigmata thinking I wanted to write like this; brain-blind, with so many instances of joy, joyous, joyfully, Joyce, a joy like a wound. It was so hot. I wanted that joy like a breeze from Canada. Does Hélène Cixous have air conditioning?—I wondered in the little twin bed where I began this poem with her words. In “Unmasked!,” Cixous dreams about the uncleanliness of the stork, about people’s disgust for roots and their fear of joy. I was trying-without-trying to dream with her. I was thinking that I, too, loved a language that shouts its proud filth and tears off its little mask. We swam and shouted our poems to river. That afternoon, it rained and the temperature dropped.

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