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Eight Poems by Dana Inez

No use lying It was the year of many staples, which was better than the year no one cared. Tommy knew I was about to have an agenda so he said, Don’t have an agenda. I will sleep with my face pressed against a copy of Das Kapital – thinking big, effecting change. If they were asked to define capital they would say, Establishing individuality while walking all over a dead earth. Avi says, When shit gets weird, drink it down. She also says, We’re indecorous. People surprise you. Year after year they keep painting their cabinets. Today everything I looked at was very expensive. I call Tommy and say, Come on over we’ll talk about the year everyone died. I can’t see you and find you at the same time. The road less gone is gone. No use lying this is exactly what it looked like.

One hundred days in

Everything reminds Avi of Tulsa. She finds herself sleeping with a broadly educated work force – a literal translation. She wakes up dying. What needs to happen is nothing at all – a mild passivity. I can understand needing Jesus. We’ll respond to vice by laughing. We’ll say, What’s gotten into you? One hundred days in and we’re working hard to re-elect the president. After that we’ll enjoy staring at the television towards highly opinionated versions of ourselves.

Fatalism When Tommy asked me where I was last night I said, idk tommy I wz probably worrying abt dying. When he asked me how I got there I said, idk tommy I’m a fatalist driving a car. Having read the essay in question is no excuse for being a total dick. Let’s for once in our lives, categorize people by how they categorize themselves. We’ll write a manifesto. We’ll title it, If you’ve been defeated and you remember raise your hand. It was all very typical I tell Tommy that a nude colored bra is not a present. In California, when a boy likes you, he takes you to the beach. In Tulsa, he takes you to the mall and you watch him buy shit for himself. I have to stop describing people as brilliant Direct attempts to build self-esteem generally don’t work. I laugh sometimes and don’t blame Tommy for the blue on the placemats on his mother’s table. Just like I don’t hate the man at the gas station humming Run Around Sue. As I walk out with the Ring Dings I say, The internet isn’t killing me it’s turning my life around. I hear in Rome there are no traffic laws. I hear my ex is doing fine. We used to laugh at ourselves fucking, we used to fatten up to die. He called me his little bird. One, there are images of egrets but no verbs. Two, now people let me put you wise. Three, an egret is a bird. There are pictures of it on the internet. It looked pretty dark If you have the Communist Manifesto in your pocket you should probably have Das Kapital. I say, Das what? Tommy says, Das Kapital. I don’t want my life to become Bacardi Lime or Casual Fridays. He says, On the ground in Syria there is unrelenting anger. I could care less about Das Kapital. I feel fine about Syria. Rituals of Defeat What if I told the president he couldn’t run on an anti-infrastructure platform. What if he stifled laughter or he coughed or said to get over myself. What if I shrugged and said I knew you were going to say that. What if I rested my hands on my chest in what is an easily identifiable personal ritual of defeat. What if I decided to write a letter to Tommy and then I wrote in my nicest handwriting long time no see but then I realized I meant long time no talk so I erased it and wrote it again. What if I then circled my fingers around my wrist bone, observed retrospectively as another ritual of defeat. What if the fingers got tangled that time. What if I tried to be cool or maybe if I stopped doing that or if I subscribed to multiple notions one of which would be, watch out. Feminism Avi says wait for the O and leave, at the bar reading out of some femme magazine. You wish you owned some femme magazine. How am I. I’m fine, fine I tell Tommy. Earlier in the day, he got his tax return and bought Legos. I try to call the president to say, Tommy and I are in the love club and I will never get out of Tulsa. This isn’t the worst thing that could happen, this isn’t even the best thing that could happen.     Dana Inez is a graduate student at Sarah Lawrence College. She is from northwest New Jersey and received her BA in Psychology and Criminology from Rutgers University. Her poems have been published in Bone Bouquet journal and her fiction is forthcoming in Unsaid Journal.

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