Post Road Magazine #14

Elliott Liu

the end of history

what they meant was: now
that shit will calm down.

the natives are rested and ready to sing
hymns in a proper language, having made

pallid yeltsin dance on a tank.
like invitations, the dark places

can return to our maps. but surprising
no one, the riot continues—a crowd remains

even as the speakers have gone home
and the flags are lowered into memoirs

guerillas take paris and storm the bastille
of our everyday hearts. (now, at u of chicago

the gang’s all here: milton’s gilded blinders
and t.i.n.a., the bitch with a thousand shoes.

but soft! what figure appears
in the mezzanine?)

as paragraphs collapse
from the margins in, the rebels

are proving too literate;
are fashioning flags of bedsheets

to run up the moderator’s
pant leg. and even now the streets are full

of barricades and storytellers,
as slick theories built

on police batons start
to quiver; as one

thing ends, giving birth
to many.

 

the rise of the middle class

Not yet, O love, not yet! all is not true,
All is not ever as it seemeth now.
            —Bret Harte

in the oily fog that maketh all things
clear, we pass through the trellis arm-in-arm.

out the foyer, down the cul-de-sac
on gilded vowels, we pass

through the language of the new
american bourgeoisie. it's so nice here
isn't it? so indistinct. hold me tighter.

obese with dew the vineleaves
shudder and drip; an insightful rain

that’s easily brushed from the shoulders,
our breath all gone to autumnweather.

in the slick, thought-like fog the moon is a coin
and the sky is cotton. don't stray too far

ahead—the gate’s unlocked, the streets are full
of bandits past reach of the capitol. (capital?

nevermind.) in the opulent fog the poor
will stop at nothing. in the veiled
honest fog, the trees are naked

and starved for sunlight, are reaching upwards
as if in prayer. as if begging

to a god without goods
or services. (don’t worry,
we’re not lost.) we can circle the block

on purloined consonants. hand-in-hand
below the veranda, where the mist is gathered

in pools, thinking only of itself.
where there is no line between a thing

and its neighbor. we can linger there,
rich with uncertainty, giving nothing away.

 

 

 

Elliott Liu is a member of the Meerkat Media Collective and lives in New York City. His poems and prose have appeared in Dark Phrases, The Looking Glass, and Fifth Estate.

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