The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 16-JAN 17

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DEC 16-JAN 17 Issue



What about humans changes like the type I type?

Type changes for no discernible reason humans die
For reasons of space single space overcomes them.
Once double-space wasn’t enough to grow that silence
poets employ instead of having something to explain
crying or bafflement or the discomforting call to action.
To care only between sunset and vampire-hour is a gift
from Baudelaire. Armies of sociopaths hold their hats
to the closing of lines as if they were an ordered grid
of stories they can claim they heard but were never in.
I can change all that. I’d rather not. Keyboards have
Their own agenda. It may include a sweet drop of you.
It may be nothing but technology. Even so something
stays overnight, plays music and is worth the sirens.











If I feel anything stronger than this

I might have to have something stronger than this.
Poison or a seizure or a slide down a forgotten insult
to the island where those things are building courage
to go out and be seen and easily become a nation.
That is, to quote the enemy, “any community that contains
in itself the ability to make war, is a nation.” If that
is still the case, and it mostly is, I want you to let me out
somewhere unsavory with a brown paper bag and a view.
There must still be some of those places.












a real concern may turn out in a dream as “to be continued”
or make you sleep soundly for being common currency
splintering off café tables where free-lance shrinks
keep office spreading patter butter out of which “sex,”
the word, pops up at a higher or lower octave like a pigeon
pretending to ignore the fallen crumb of pizza shining nearby.
so that’s what you sound like, new york, no different than
you always sounded, though more at ease with pop-psych lingo,
and maybe less ability to tie your shoelace or another’s without talk.
In my absence you have acquired a lot of bla-blah underwear.
Newsprint and screens obscure “sex,” the thing not the word,
but what do I know? I can afford to be alone, deliciously alone,
and when I gain the street I am with others tripping over their
shoelaces to get to their café therapists where they can tie their
shoelaces together. Unless they are working for the city
with health benefits uppermost in mind. When these employees
want sex they pay for it. They wear work boots tightly laced.
Dear city, the same always, making twisted nothings and steel towers.
I spent time in america and I can feel your shoelace coming loose

New York, October 2016







Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu ( is looking for an agent, a patron, a venture capitalist and a scribe. His favorite recent books are Whatever Gets You Through The Night: A Story of Sheherezade (Princeton University Press, 2010), The Postman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess (Princeton University Press, 2009), and So Recently Rent A World: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press, 2012).


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 16-JAN 17

All Issues