Move quickly when the best place
To be is the Terminal Tower, but
Slowly cross this or any continent
To be sure how to move ahead,
How not to move, as if cement
Is not the key (#Brutalist af)
To concrete, security, 70 Euro
Rubber sunglasses: remember
Why you’re in their videos, not
Why they yelled at you, why
All the gentlewomen cycling
Towards such simple pleasures
Remind you of why you don’t
Do well in games of any sort.

Oh tender families all together,
Oh extend that warm embrace
To every seventh man, migrant
Zombie’ing in another name of
Bonne chance modernity, mugging
For the camera with a neon
Switchblade reflecting the rain.

In every direction a destination
Turning out to be only some-
One staring at you, laughing,
Even: as if you can’t fathom
Constant purchase and offer,
Reterritorialization by human
Unbelievable shapes, as if you
Do not need to think of her,
That spirit: something medieval
Out of the marsh able to survive
With so many understandings of
Warm/cold, needing no country
Where they do not know when
To rest and leave the crowd,
When to pull on the mask of a
Quiet solitude: is it confusion
And hybridization brought on
By extensive travel, or an innate
Draw to keeping indoor plants
Alive till the end of time?

Tagged ,

7 thoughts on “LEAVE / REMAIN

  1. sanberdooboy says:

    My experience of reading and re-reading this poem made me experience what it must be like for those who must decide whether to leave or remain.Traveling is a terrifying activity, where I wouldn’t know whether to move slowly or quickly or even where to go. That I must remember “Why you’re in their videos, not/ Why they yelled at you” gave me a tug of panic as I realize that I probably wouldn’t remember why I was in their videos. I know that I can “pull on the mask of a Quiet solitude,” but I don’t know when it would be appropriate. And is it indeed wisdom just to stay in a country that they know, or is the home country equally dangerous?

    This poem is a powerful experience.

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, those are the themes that have preoccupied me for a very long time, and they seem to be only gaining in relevance globally: movement, traveling, and the accompanying fear . . . fear of whether to venture into the unknown or to stay put, knowing full well that staying put is often equally if not more dangerous. I appreciate your insights!

  2. Sanberdooboy, sure, thanks!

  3. chrisbkm says:


    Do I ever look forward to reading more of your poetry.


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