030.1: Thom Donovan:: For Fred Moten & For Adam Pendleton 030

Thom Donovan’s poetry does not allow for distractions. Like notes with “Mirrors inside them,” Donovan’s lyrics reflect and distort the rhetoric we use to protect ourselves from ethical decisions. The effect manages to be profound and also beautiful—a high-mark for elegy in post-modern and post-human lyrical expression.

In Donovan’s poetry, worlds end so that products can be created at the cost of figurative and literal life. We might remember different rhythms, different social structures, but we cannot reclaim them. Line breaks shatter words into separate units, a formal register of the dissonance between the faceless, global thrust of industry and the victims of that industry.

Industry affects a “sense of ruins,” yet this sense remains only an intuition. Industry sweeps away the actual ruins from the consumerist gaze. Consequently, our garbage, our victims, and our history escape from our attention. The only way to “unfix” the false certainties of our lives lies in a commitment to not look away from what we mistakenly believe “we are not”. Ryan Winet

For Fred Moten


What worlds end
So we can create

Sustain scarcity
A death of each

And each recall
The sea a rhythm

Of this place pul-
sing under what

We dream emer-
gent in the ones

We name emer-
gent in what we

Cannot possess
These children of

Slaves won’t colla-
borate with history

Since history
Won’t corroborate

This sense of ruins
Revealing you

Dreams me up
Not the other way

Around the sun
Clicks off and on

Abandons us sound-
lessly to events.


Death will come
For us it will call

Itself scarcity
The wind in the

Trees and meadows
Recall ruins re-

verse a process a
Social process if

We will be on time
And dust collects

What dust collects
On the things we

Built unsustainable
Like love unifies

The ego it is a lan-
guage but I don’t know

What it says shit
Builds like sound

Concrete in my head
No longer dreamt

Nor will waking
Discover me a memory

Trace a set of planes
Traversing blue

Ghosts of a geometry
Your horns blow.

For Adam Pendleton


These shiny
Stone-like cubes
Obsidian of what

They speak an
Alphabet cannot
Be said it is

Too much just
To feel them
To have to

Form words
Before pictures
Is a problem

Of history but
You know this
The glissando

In our politics
Of attention gliding
Cannot know

Us or call
Us back to
Kill whitey

So easily as
Antagonism art
Thrown into

History and
Not wanting
To be

Thrown into
An archive
Becomes responsible

For opacity
Assume this
Power not

Quite one
Making nothing
In particularity

It waits the thing
Itself to know


Least wish
For tankers subdivisions
Of labor control
No context yet exists
For this

It is the wind again
Blows a national
We grieving
Strategies substance
Grown black again

System growing blacker
Unclarified by who
The methexis
Of the tenebrous
Where we see only dust

Justice a line ran
Through it
Crossed it out
Preserved a content
Those below just below

The cut
Hung like the blues enacts
Hung like black frames
Fade to black
On a background

Of black paint
Mirrors inside them
Make history pop
With what we are not
And letters unfix.