Three Poems
James Payne

 

All's Well


That ends
                   
                    Well,
Hell

Then I'm doing swell.

It's the end
Of The End
Of History


The start
Of wodka
Applesauce
And phenobarbital

And I feel fine.

The poem is a gun
In my hand
And an exit bag
On my head

In these end times.



Mono a Mono


I keep telling myself
To stop talking to myself

Stop talking to myself

But then one thing
Leads to another

Like the lecture
To the dinner

The state atrocity
To the state apology

Sure, it sucks to be US
I'm no different though, not really

My favorite dissociative is also money

I had a dream an adidas hat could solve everything

I woke me and we agreed
It's never false consciousness

When it's my own falsity
My own pupils, my own psilocybin

My own Revelations
I keep asking myself the hard questions

Like, what's a darker triad
Than the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?

Artist, critic, and curator?

Author, an authority, an authoritarian?

Man, a man, and then, just one more man?

Me, myself, and I —

Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy

I keep telling myself
I can only be me

I can only be me

But what me will I be?

Miley Cyrus said

Violence is man recreating himself

But it's suicide if you die

It's terrorism if they don't think you're right

You're only right if you're not left
And what's left anymore?

What's left in store?

How could I be left in a store?

Could I reorganize it
From the ground floor

When my enemies list
Starts with Me?

I keep telling myself
To stop writing Me in, that

I do not consent to my narrative

But then one thing
Leads to another

Like the base
To the superstructure

The sinkhole
To the darker, deeper sinkhole

Imagining myself being alive
To imagining being myself, alive

Mono a mono

Until I die.
 

Illustration of Gudrun Ensslin by Pallavi Sen

No One Jaywalks in Berlin


Was it Rosa's six-month swim in the Landwehrkanal,
Or was it the Freikorps finally freeing Karl?

Was it the red, the black, the pink, the purple, the doubled triangle,
Or Wannsee solving the pedestrians' Großeltern, in general?

Was it how the FRG hung Gudrun‬‬‬ — with speaker wire,
Or the distance the squatters were dragged beneath its tires?

Was it each time they'd seen the calendar hit 2 June,
Or simply the Stasi's love for everyone, and everyone everyone knew?

Is it that each U.S. Predator and Reaper UAV
Is controlled through Ramstein-Miesenbach, DE?

Is it the knowledge that the NSA's right at Handy,
Or that the BfV considers even Die Linke an extremist party?

While PEGIDA marches and the Alternative für Deutschland is ushered in —
Whatever the reason, I must say I've noticed:

No one jaywalks in Berlin.


James Payne is an art history graduate student in Berlin. His book of poetry Things Just Aren't They was published in 2015 by Monster House Press. IG: james.d.payne E: james.payne@fu-berlin.de

Pallavi Sen (b. 1989, in New Delhi, India) is an interdisciplinary artist, working with installation, printmaking, textiles, Instagram, and intuitive movement. An uncompromising and invested dabbler, her latest interests include the lives of birds and animals, South Asian costumes, traditional architecture, rituals, altars, deities, the history of pattern, of woven cloth, farming and the artist as farmer, work spaces, work tables, eco-feminism, love poems, the gates to Indian homes, sisterhood, walking, and cooking deliberately.