We Outlast Empire: Schneider Rancy

We Outlast Empire is a recurring series which aims to highlight poetry that explores the many angles of our current global and political situation. With words, we hope, we may transmute a part of ourselves—a part however small or large—that can exist without drawn borders, without violence, without injustice.


Phaeton

Let me tell you
what man has done
since
the discovery of
that sawing
luminous
ravenous
beast : fire

we

have stoked
funeral pyres
so that
witches might burn
for
their gross
impiety
& the devil
lurking
in their bones (
&
between their thighs

) have invented
guns & bullets
because
their shells & casings
make a pretty sound
as they fall
like tinkling rain
like children
weeping

have crafted
the atom bomb
because why not
those bastards
in Hiroshima & Nagasaki
deserved
to perish
they were not
men, were not
like us

Damn the man
who says “ Mankind
is a civil race
bent
on peace ” ; I wonder

is man born free?
or born enchained
everywhere
to his slavish desires
& violent propensities
and the constructs of societies?
which burn in him
which strangle him
like hot chains

—ah,

but me?
I only want
a fire
to warm my hands
because
it is winter
& I
am a Florida boy
at heart

 

Decolonization in the Context of Economic Dependence

Build them
a cage
beat them,until
even the blood runs
black, cadaveric, necrotizing

BARK “ work, dog,
on pain of death ”

Hug the fruits of labor —
coffee, banana, cocoa, tobacco, cassava —
to your pockets
& erect empires
Babel-rivaling hubris

When the subhuman
savages
dance(scattering
pig’s blood into the flame
inciting frenzy)when
the masses
politicize//edify//mobilize
awake —

Ungrateful bastards
is this not

Utopia ?

shoot them .

decimate their
‘culture’
denigrate
their claim to humanism
bury their bodies
in the deepest,darkest crypts of
non-History
à la Trouillot

then
dismantle the metropolis
that jewel
of empire ;
withdraw,cowed
to cries of

“¡libertad!”
“freedom!”
“egalité!”
“Trotsky!”
“People’s Republic!”
“socialism!”

from the nascent nation a state
of anxiety
arises: a trembling infant’s
fist
& the infant must
eat .

watch them
take up your abandoned factories
modes of production
trade markets and routes
yes eat yes generate
they will find a circumspect
business partner
in you (what
weakened state
would willingly deny
a customer
?)

morality and intellectualism are a dream
the ideals of fraternity
crumble & fall away
under the weight
of need

yes yes you will build
your utopian people’s state
surely(eventually
)but now
eat : gnash your teeth
participate in the global economy
these engines of power
are already here
& you must produce
& sell
to grow

capitalism
is in your blood
the legacy of (y)our history
no one escapes
the vestiges of colonialism
the brand on the body:on the mind
wisps of
smoke,lingering

they have dismantled
the cage

//crescendo of applause//

only to stand
in the glittering fenced field
beneath
a dream of sunlight
cast on a cave wall (

the image is not the object

)

the colonized subject
is a curious,fascinating
creature
let us study him
as
he works

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