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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, November 28, 2016.
About this Poem 

“This poem came about after reading Nietzsche’s eloquent rant against the mental cage of the historical. The poem meditates on the indifference your personal history can have to your needs of the present, the future. It is my farewell poem to New York City.”
—Bianca Stone

Historic Flaws

I am going to the mountains
where the alternating universe of autumn
descends over you at an erotic squat. Out of that blank
and meaningless Play-Doh of my psychic flesh
I am moving on. I am a pupil of fading antiquity.
Sprawled across the table, in a lament about healthcare
and the ineptitude of The System.
Nothing burns quite like The System. It comes at you
when you ask for help, displaying its super-talons
around a clutch of arrows, saying No.

“What deeds could man ever have done
if he had not been enveloped in the dust-cloud
of the unhistorical?” Nietzsche asks this morning
from a small pamphlet on my lap, issued in 1949
in New York City, which I am leaving now,
like a wife from her distant husband
who will not stop to ask her why she is weeping
while she slices apart his silk ties on the floor of the closet.
 

Copyright © 2016 by Bianca Stone. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 28, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by Bianca Stone. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 28, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone

Bianca Stone is the author of Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House/Octopus Books, 2014), and is also the illustrator of Antigonick (New Directions, 2012), a collaboration with Anne Carson. 

by this poet

poem

Every day try and write down one terrible thing.
One terrible thing—I’m filled with them,
carry each one
like an organ locked in a Coleman cooler.

Add a little color for emphasis.

I say my father’s surname to a migration of crows.
His name like a figure jumping out of an aerodynamic

2
poem

Man burns at a certain degree
but I always burned a little slower.
When I went into school
I left a trail of blackened footprints
to my classroom of spelling words,
never starred. At the end of the earth
we’ll be locked in our own spelling mistakes,
our arms around the legs of our

2
poem

All of your giant beige bras
floated up into the atmosphere.
Blue eggs fell down the chimney;
the porch,
losing its screened-in mind,
caved in.
I mistake one living cell for another.
Hand on the mallet
of my life—
you come
detonating midair
with your own grief