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POEM FOR SNOWDEN #8: COLLIS



Redacted


Stuck again we came up with something else
Tried gluing the cardboard ends of worlds
To our heads and backs like
The defensive plates and spikes
Of dinosaurs we weren’t but were becoming

Or drove out west like a movie we remember
Where girls feet rest on the dash
Window prism light listening to electric chatter
And music seems part of the sunny world
That is escaping last air from a thought balloon

The gentle breeze backyard backdrop
Of evergreen trees allows a long strand of
Web the faintest visibility floating like
This will be the last word spoken or
Overheard no this will—Kalamazoo

But then the Internet didn’t care anymore
Though it went on recording every gentle
Key caress and whoever we were outside information
We stood together and with our chemicals
And held death a little closer to our whispering lips

When we text it is barely the memory of bird song
There might be some data or DNA left somewhere
But with no readers who cares what bugs
Are expressing remnants of after images and holes
This whistle’s blown and we are unplugged for good


—Stephen Collis



Stephen Collis is an award winning poet and professor of contemporary literature at Simon Fraser University. His poetry books include Anarchive (New Star 2005), The Commons (Talon Books 2008), On the Material (Talon Books 2010—awarded the BC Book Prize for Poetry), and To the Barricades (Talon Books 2013). He has also written two books of criticism, including Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (Talon Books 2007), and a novel, The Red Album (BookThug 2013). His collection of essays on the Occupy movement, Dispatches from the Occupation (Talon Books 2012), is a philosophical meditation on activist tactics, social movements, and change.



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