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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, April 13, 2017.
About this Poem 

“This poem is an excerpt of a long lyric poem inspired by Whitman, Neruda, spoken word, and the lyric range of Alice Notley. This particular excerpt considers how organisms and systems collide.”
—Carmen Giménez Smith

from “Post-Identity”

I was light from the mouth from every part of me
I was of the earth or a scar in the earth rent through
the ruins of late civilization and bubbled from it and
became a saint’s reptilian spirit and I could taste
the wheat and coal and gold like a trinity of bounty
and I was vapor like a smog that becomes a wraith
over the city then back to its animal form decompressed
and atomized into its past life as star and I was that animal
truth the spirit I had dreamt about being more cloud
and star then given I was just the density of water
a reciprocity in and out the fade of my fugitive
substance going south and the yearn for decadence
disappears in the annals yet leaves a taste in the mouth
metallic and lime the sense of dissolution and I was speed
and insistence to reset the orb of gravity I was risen from foam
necessitated by colony sired in violence exported as luxury

Copyright © 2017 by Carmen Giménez Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 13, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Carmen Giménez Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 13, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Carmen Giménez Smith

Carmen Giménez Smith

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of Cruel Futures (City Lights Publishers, 2018) and (Milk & Filth (University of Arizona Press, 2013).

by this poet

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                    Adam Smith
 
Every poet glistens with the dew
of money, but surely only some of them
truly have it. Never enough, wanting to know
what enough felt like, I buy fake versions
of the things I want on credit, my shelves
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all of my belongings in the box       of my room
enumerated are        books and pages the stench of evening body
the halo hair on my daughter’s sketch of us  glass of flat diet pepsi
clips of words
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Soap operas and sitcoms are the genre novels of television!

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Television makes spitefulness in men a siren song, but a