The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2018

All Issues
JUNE 2018 Issue


for O



[VINE: Victim Information Notification Everyday]

Ancient viruses entombed in permafrost reanimate in a thaw, but I believe in restorative justice. I work odd-jobs and keep strange hours REM-embering entrapment deoxygenates like microbial reservoir. Dormant morpheme geometrizes into packing ice, that ungodly uniformed authority melting as heat spirals toward the method of measure. Once, a poet said to me, “As a prison abolitionist, I don’t believe in public shaming, I believe in restorative justice, reforming our abusers.” Only death can stop my undertaking. As wraith, I wanted to smack the light out of that person.

dark amorphous
or morphemes
for amphoric breathing





After the sump pump replacement & effacing black mold, I slept between six doors to sunken places. October 14-18, 2010, apnea animates four consecutive nights of auto-asphyxia: from the basement’s back entrance, where flood rushed wholly tomes of water; from the basement’s back entrance, where flood rushed wholly tomes of water widening its wild cat eyes into horizon fire; one-into-two height halved unholy approaching reticently, as if in inquiry, and abhorrent of flesh; in the basement’s back entrance, where flood rushed wholly tomes of water widening its wild cat eyes into horizon fire, no, into nova, mouthing growls, protracting its appendages into my shoulders like a father. O, its name, widening in concentric aura, my name is O, over and over, as if to offer another way.




[“So help me god”]

“The closest to absolute darkness that can be manufactured” I look upon you dead-eyed knowing that it’s over. The last time I gazed into the person who should have killed me, the room could hear our deep exhaling—I don’t know—so told—out of body, then, my mind for violence—a violent squall. No, darkness is not so sacred that it cannot be reengineered. To hack a biome of a million carbon filaments—in my memories, I cannot see their faces, the children—but the one who witnesses as I break each bystander with my treble, no, troubles and trembling. I make my stand as a light storm dissipates into nothing. Trapped between each carbon print. Doof judge. Fucking dumbass judge. Dumbass me. Ambient heat energy in a row of text—his family glaring at me from the back of the room as newer entities of my spirit dominated the entire court.




[Plea Deal]

“I know the likelihood of actually receiving this fellowship is nonexistent, because fellows often have certain accolades and publications in common & I know having a book out with a great press is only a boon in this process… but not all “emerging” poets prioritize publishing a book, or garnering esteem or social capital. To me, craft and voice are in community & it is in their defense, in the face of erasure and insult, in which I persist. It is not self-sabotage, I am simply trying to evade discovery. Truthfully, I’m cognizant of the fact that I was never the right candidate. Hopefully, this year, the evidence of my insurgency might somehow slip through all your vetting.”




[Home in scare quotes]

Today, I am reading a deerskin’s underside, tracing my fingernail along derma until it teaches me something of fresh shoots and panting. I’m pawing dust bunnies around the base of my bedroom altar thinking, sight that does not touch is not seeing.

Redaction teaches me to trap spirits in cracked glass—this broken obsidian dagger will do—mirrors refracting light at strange angles. Magma ripples tamped into solid-state, I apply several seals against sun-worship, disentangling azimuths, like, with my hand.

I used to see a therapist, but now I just openly issue whispers to the shadows; of each death forms of I a phantom—what is consciousness? Is it not haunting a space apart from flesh or a part in partitioned space as flesh? Sounds outside time pleading in the brick dimness of its grouty recesses despite the bright of day?

My neck hurts where you never stabbed me, apparitional experiences as true as flaming circle, as entrusting in spiritual stamina and a whispered directive, you must steal the fires tattooing filched land.




[Ars Goetia]

Of Saturn, of deepest week in Libra, Osé is cunning in liberal sciences, mouth-language, Os, lax leopard tutting spice and fire → aggressive energy; offers true answers of the divine and secret things. ← clavicular, of lesser keyed through hole, peep the trouble coming.

Metamorphose into any shape, full psychic transformation. 57. Osé, Oso, Voso: distortion Voiced labiodental /v/ lip-pinched into beso, ve- v/b- voiced stop. Eo. Mouth unrounded. Kiss. Eos: phoneme into dawn- dawning president [22.3] naming plagues.

The new me is the new rage.
                          ☿: coronal regime into solar prominence O
                          ☍: I become mausoleum shutting out the chaos of moon absence.

Planetary sigil scars Lulu’s child,
but ghosts are not as we perceive.





Mechanics measures lostness in an aura trap

Demonology is antiblackness blasting fire at a firewall
thieving phosphorescence from our kinships

one apprende’s la luz, one apprehends
light with light, an eye for an I’s eye
light itself eyeing for an I’s eye
light’s hold is prehensile, prehandled
light handles, arrests into earthing light, eating light
the eye is a hand
and the sun is a thief, just as ancestor said

so I apagaré la luz
voy a apagar
i voyage to turn off the light
i apaga
a- Latin prefix, ad- as in toward
making peace
I pacify light, returning luz
to O, to 0
I shut off the sun’s oneness
that first point of order

against plenum

vanta—verse expanding fully into filler



Joey De Jesus

Joey De Jesus co-edits poetry at Apogee Journal, is a recipient of the 2017 NYFA/NYSCA Fellowship in Poetry and lives in Queens. Poems appear in several venues in print, online, and have been installed in The New Museum and Artists Space in New York City.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2018

All Issues