The Pleasure and Satisfaction of Living

Amy De’Ath

after Denise Riley

Since there is still profit to be made from none,
Then I who will tread lightlyOn my own head without realizing
And you who will empty out money fromForm without caring or realizing and
I who go about my dayBeating down like a sun or a factory,
Without knowing or caring or realizing.And so we do, and we go about
Those shadowy things and their thingsA battery a fulcrum a stack of sheet metal
We go between the light and the nightA Personal Assistant a MALM bed frame
We have no plot, we are completelyUngrounded, nothing but dependent
And changeable forms of praxisThere are still wild berries bitter but edible
And root vegetables generally dislikedTurned on their heads without realizing
There are still people who do not want toKnow what they want, there are still
People who like me know howTo earn enough money to reproduce
Themselves but don’t want to reproduceThemselves that way or this way
There are still clients and patients and colleagues allWaiting for their moment in the sun
Beating down like a sun               Made of chocolate and dreams and automationI feel desperate to show you a category
But there are still people who have noneI feel full of impersonal compulsions
But it must differ it must be uniqueAdvance on the hill of implacable concepts
A loyalty day a demand for free speechThere are those of moralizing aspect
Keen to point out our consistent defeat butThe meagre turnip the meek rutabaga
Can’t be the only impossible visionGo about your day as you really are
In the growing gulf of dying starsThere are still people who like a long arc
Or a long march or a long day on your feetAppear to turn unfettered yet there they are
And there in action still is the moonImitating its own waxing and waning
making it difficult not to commit arsonI resealed the box that made you better
There are still people locked out of it, thusI reinvented the loaf of bread
There are still tactics like this roaming free

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Amy De’Ath’s most recent poetry publication is On My Love for Gender Abolition (New York: Capricious, 2016). She has written a number of essays on contemporary poetry, gender, and value-form theory and with Fred Wah, is the editor of a poetics anthology, Toward. Some. Air. (Banff Centre Press, 2015). She is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory at King’s College London, and is currently working on her first critical book, Unsociable Poetry: Antagonism and Abstraction in Contemporary Feminized Poetics.

The Brooklyn Rail

July/August 2018

Brooklyn, New York

Managing Editor
Charles Schultz

Managing Director
Sophia Pedlow

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Anselm Berrigan

InTranslation Editors
Donald Breckenridge
Jen Zoble


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