Three

Rent Is Theft

 

 

 

Rent Is Theft

this sky is your sky this sky is my sky—
“Dear God let there be gas let there be

cash
and
soft
glances”

 


Rent Is Theft

hide me

among
the graves: the city, the wind, the banks: the
world is gone, the world is back: “you just want
to die I mean capitalism just wants to kill you I
mean you just want and you just want”—

 


Rent Is Theft

“we

made this sky of drones to eat your voice”—“the sky is
money, privatize the sky”—more songs, more flame,
more strange blue light, your ocean dies, and Google
buys the sun inside your name—

 


Rent Is Theft


they had a body crammed in a mailbox and it
was just a blue suit with bones
sticking out—
just keep
shopping

 


Rent Is Theft

you didn’t, you did: just keep shopping—eyes was I,
dawn breaking, earth breathing: just say missiles,
just say drones: frack, baby, frack: my eyes are
made of cash and going broke

 


Rent Is Theft

we never drove the blue car through the
stars:

 

we always drove the blue car through the
stars:

 

we never guessed the dream we never
guessed:

 

we always guessed the dream we always
guessed:

 

today we fight like gods, today we fight for
gods,

 

how much is that ahi in the window,

 

here you are, here we are, no mercy, no
future, lots and lots of turkey sausage,

 

death tangles, death shakes, death breakfast
served all night,

 

death tangles, death shakes,

 

death-flavored ice-cream, deathberry gum—

 

 

Rent Is Theft

feel like you might have, might have,
killed someone: you didn’t, you did: say can
you see democracy from here—just keep
shopping

 


Rent Is Theft

please please please be ironic—we left our freedom
in “American” mouths, we broke our freedom in
“American” words—

 


Rent Is Theft

your ghosts erupt like personalities, your personalities
become dead spells, you run around like daydreams,
tear up maps, democracy is anybody’s eyes—

 

Rent Is Theft

the animal is

the blue hour is—be drunk, be always drunk, and lost is
lost—you owe it—I invented the family, private property,
and the state—I did it—innocence—martinis equal you
could have been one hundred years of war—you could
have been one hundred years of peace—“quick learn to
die”—

 

Rent Is Theft

we left


our freedom in “American” mouths, we
broke our freedom in “American” words—tell
me—will I spark—in this light, expensive
light—did you pray—did you beg—for days

like these—

 

Rent Is Theft

wake up, you’re


not the truth—and, and, and, and—I, I, I, I—might
have, killed someone: you didn’t, you did: just keep
shopping
—eyes was I, dawn breaking, earth
breathing: just say missiles, just say drones: frack,
baby, frack: my eyes are made of cash and going
broke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Language

 

 

 

bless anyone
bless anyone
All
Night
I
Was
Your
Hair

 

 

easy to say
they had a great love—they did, sure, a great
love story—she said it’s a wonderful world—he
was dying—she kept saying when we die we
become dark matter—

 

 

and fathers lost in blowing snow, and mothers lost
in blowing leaves—you drink your drink two days
before you die—

 

 

Have
You
Come, to

Sing to
Me,
To
Sing to
Me,

 

 


he’s
crying (God)
“home”—
we
become dark matter, it has to be that, she said,
she told me, she promised—kept saying it has to
be—no getting out of the universe—we have to be
something—

 

 


bless anyone
bless anyone
All
Night
I
Was
Your
Hair

 

 

and the night—the face in the house—your
lips slip the night—your face slips your eyes—
your eyes slip your yes—love like flying—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Night

 

 

 

Night

do you

like bombs, do you like masks—please breathe my
newsflash, my eyes don’t fit—sound gives life—death’s
sound too—before you broke me I thought I was free:
sinful and free—

 

Night

just keep shopping—just keep shopping— pigeons fight
for chicken wings—

 

Night

I tore the page—I tore up the page—I had to, I had to—
make words—the truth slipped—I touched it—reached
it in the wind—please breathe my newsflash, my eyes
don’t fit—

 

Night

breathe me morn and morn me when:
everything said the house: death said the
house, the house said death, death said e
verything:

 

Night

eyes, your ears, your light, sexy answer:
"when everybody gets around the big table
and": blue bed, blue bed: how fresh and
clean, O, Lord, are Thy returns: once more I
smell the dew and rain:

 

Night

just breathe night, breathe night forever—just say
drop your eyes right here—“quick, learn to die”—I'm
dancing—I’m praying—I’m breathing—I'm nothing—I’m
snow—pigeons fight
for chicken wings—

 

Night

sleeping in

the whirlwind,

yelling at the building, yelling at the secret, yelling
after midnight—so run around like daydreams, tear
up maps—democracy is anybody’s eyes—to lie, to
lie, to lie, to lie, to lie—please breathe my
newsflash, my eyes don’t fit—

 

Night

I was kissing what you wrote: believe her:
and you were lost and found, and you were
trains and rings: lights, camera, courage:

 

Night

breathe me morn and morn me when—red
pears to wear, answer to dancing, vodka to
hoping, hoping to open, roses and glisten—
listen and listen—

 

Night

I was kissing what you wrote—each
peaches, each amazing, each: so always,
you never say never, so always, I want to
believe:

 

 

 

 

 

Contributor

Joseph Lease

JOSEPH LEASE's critically acclaimed books of poetry include Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011) and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" and "Send My Roots Rain" were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (Norton). Lease’s poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in The New York Times. He is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts.

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