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Fear as a Machine

I’m afraid flea markets are the same all over the world.

I’m afraid beaches are too.

I’m afraid nudist ones are no exception.

I’m afraid a lot of modern art is stupid.

I’m afraid I might not really think that.

I’m afraid I overheard it.

I’m afraid most people take modern for contemporary.

I’m afraid contemporary art may be even more stupid.

I’m afraid in the long term it doesn’t matter.

I’m afraid in the short term it doesn’t either.

I’m afraid not being afraid of stupidity could be liberating.

I’m afraid of people with cameras.

I’m afraid that tourists aren’t necessarily wrong about things.

I’m afraid we all want to experience catharsis.

I’m afraid my wishes are unoriginal.

I’m afraid of redundancy.

I’m afraid of therapeutic art.

I’m afraid of natural catastrophes.

I’m afraid of catastrophes in general.

I’m afraid of being mediocre.

I’m afraid of being a perfectionist.

I’m afraid I’ll lose my friends if I don’t make more time for them.

I’m afraid I don’t know who my friends are.

I’m afraid I’m being paranoid.

I’m afraid of moronic candidates.

I’m afraid idiots can be public officials.

I’m afraid I’d never dare to speak for other people.

I’m afraid some feel people feel threatened by intelligence.

I’m afraid this is not funny.

I’m afraid I don’t understand.

I’m afraid I’m being too serious.

I’m afraid this might be becoming dull.

I’m afraid I don’t like clowns.

I’m afraid clowns are the same everywhere.

I’m afraid even funeral directors can be clowns.

I’m afraid most people welcome clowns.

I’m afraid they make people bond together.

I’m afraid people need to feel they bond.

I’m afraid this is commonplace.

I’m afraid commonplaces are cozy.




Mónica de la Torre

Mónica de la Torre works with and between languages. Her latest book, The Happy End/All Welcome, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse, which also put out her translation of Defense of the Idol by Chilean modernist Omar Cáceres in 2018. Repetition Nineteen, her new book of poems, is forthcoming from Nightboat in 2020.


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