Richard Oyama: This is Not a Poem

Richard Oyama has had his work appear in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, The Nuyorasian Anthology, Breaking Silence, Dissident Song, A Gift for Tongues, Malpais Review, Adobe Walls and other literary magazines and small presses. The Country They Know (Neuma Books 2005) is his first collection of poetry.


(A Cinéma Vérité Video of the FutureNow)

The only realism in art is of the imagination.
–William Carlos Williams

1 The Last Dispatch for Awhile

Partisans have attacked the Bawadi Mall. Luxury items are burned & obliterated w/fertilizer-based explosives ricecookers & caches of weapons stored by hunters anarchists libertarians tattedbangers & survivalists after the Brady Bill lapsed.

The partisans are directed by revolutionary love. They
lay down arms for an

interval of silence & ask to be
forgiven by ancestors of the fur.

Many die.

Art is

2 Communique from Comandante O to the Insurrection of the Imagination

Commoners have stormed the gated communities & barricade them w/ bulldozers paving stones Lamborghini Roadsters & Hummers, barring egress. Old man Dylan & seers of O Canada are allowed to keep their guitars. Genius hackers bring down the online systems by which big capital is transferred & goods & services are shipped to elites. Lisbeth Salander was appointed by no one in the no-hierarchies no-director of Counter-Information Technology (CIT). Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning & Marcel Duchamp are co-no-directors.

Barter has become the medium of exchange in the scarcity economy.

Undocumented maids cooks sex workers nannies gardeners & construction workers walk out of mansions high in the hills, joining the general strike in the flatlands w/minimum wagers student debtors the redundant early retirees on a fixed pension the bankrupted the foreclosed Bangladeshi factory workers & Chinese dissidents.

Race & gender are become an anachronism.

We’re all commoners now.

We crowd the streets. Conversation is ecstatic Dadaist visionary, questioning
the master narrative. Cell phones are silenced (The blips & bleeps of unsympathetic magic disturb my dog. She’s a Luddite who barks @ any crazy humanbean who cups his

hand on his ear talking to the invisible air. Duchamp embalms the offender in Plaster of Paris & puts the sculpture in a Santa Monica gallery).

Talking drums & saxophones sanctify the village.

We hear the sound of a heat-sensitive drone that detects the absence of human presence created by Milagro Laboratories converted to dissident uses, dissolving the New South China Mall into rainforest.

3 Saxifrage (A Fable for Children of All Ages)

With apologies to WCW

Partisans control Beverly Glen, Avenue de Champs Elysées & Causeway Bay.
Animal gods are restored. Christmas has been
decommodified. Jesus is a person. Commoners hail one another w/
Day since the script is an improvisation. Pieties, like social media, fall into disuse.

The muezzin lies down w/the chant. Our actual dream-like begins.

Elites are teleported to reprogramming playgrounds in Iowa to sit zazen & practice egoless acts of compassion. They audit free classes in The Wounds of Class & White Privilege, Phallocentrism 101: Deconstructing Masculinity & Unlearning Racism & Phobia.

The unreconstructed violent & pinché maladjusted Type-A billionaires are entrained to huge stadiums to participate in blood sports. They love the fatalistic beauty of smashing one another & incurring brain trauma. Simian fans are housed in anonymous compounds & trailer parks south of the city centre that look like

private asphalt runways w/edge lights, receding into a horizon of cul de sac. Beer is served on tap at corner drinking fountains. Nonviolent offenders are granted early release from penitential facilities & offered free teleport to western states for employment in the marijuana growth industry. Others repair the 100-year-old infrastructure of East Harlem tenement brownstones.

Corbusier is out, Gaudi is in.

Multiplexes 237-inch TVs & tanning parlors are trashed.
Indie bookstores repertory cinema & vinyl are spared.

M’ija, every sister is created in her own bodily image.
Everybody’s a star therefore nobody’s a star.

Parenthood is no special dispensation.

The childless are valued for non-
Exploitation of planetary resources.

Children are neither idealized nor abused.
Rights of the unborn is an oxymoron.

Parenting is entrusted to the lovingly wise & good.
Non-biological families form

convivial arrangements. Declare
the nuclear option dead.

Free condoms are distributed to the active.
Sex is recreational, not procreative.

Sangre is not destiny.

The teach-in the preferred mode of education.

Elders are venerated. The last chord of Sergeant Peppers crashes onto their
gray heads, the vertiginous tolling bell of the old culture, ushering in

a white riot of cities. Punk is cold turkey for Aquarian nostalgia (Pussy Riot on
the putrid putin air.

The differently mentalled are enshrined for weird angles of vision
& perception. The slothful don’t harm nobody but laze around in the sun.

Low-emission tuk-tuks colectivos cyclos & bicycles crowd freeways & interstates.
Rusting husks of Volvos age into occult earthworks in the wet hills above Los Gatos.

No one’s on the clock. Everything’s
infinite. Bankrupt malls are repurposed into tented organic pot farms under

controlled conditions. Neighborhood dispensaries supply
multiple addictions of choice at no cost.

Partisans take names that suit them better
donning new disguises every day. LGBT is accorded a vanguard position in
the new culture for a radical alterity. Hirsuteness becomes
the respectable badge of outlawry.

We begin to build non-intentional communities of the
nameless mutable fallible identityless misfit & amorphous.

Beneath the recuperating ozone amid
the elite’s platinum rubble
& reconstructing ice-shelves

the rock

A new study sponsored by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center entertained the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality, so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth.

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

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