February 2016

XII

when did history become so thick
and fat you could no more find purchase
for thought or feeling on its moving surface
or in its soft back for your hooked head
and fingerholes than stand on soup or plot
the action in the atmosphere of each atom
on every other when exactly did it become
slippery so no one could gain a hold on
its heaving neck or break its horizontal rush
but only sink in without a single thing
sinking in to the limitless vertical depth
we are all of us in suspension still animate
carried on in aspic limbs congealed
with carrying on where we gesture with
one another our chins tip forward meaning-
fully eyes roll and brains progress on jellied
wheels from one thing to the next and back

point to point

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stop the signing of the TPPA

The government doesn’t understand the TPPA just like you. The Prime Minister is not your representative, he is your friend and equal. A likeable guy. I pay him to be your friend, a likeable guy. You pay him too. He’s a nice guy. Tim Groser doesn’t need to know what’s in the TPPA. Smarter guys than him, experts from overseas, have put this deal together and as a country we’d be stupid not to sign it. I knew Tim as a kid. He was a likeable kid. I wonder what his mother would say. But as a country we are not signing it. Representatives New Zealanders have elected are signing it on Thursday. Have New Zealanders elected these representatives and have they elected them to sign the TPPA? Is the signing representative of a consensus? These are academic questions. If you object to something your government is doing, there are channels to get your voice heard. Just as if you object to something your neighbour is doing you can complain to the council, which is obliged to, I feel like repeating that, obliged to respond. The Right Honourable John Key does not respond to any individual complaint because he is not answerable to anyone. He is not Robert Muldoon: he is not his own man. He is a man who belongs to the memory of a likeable kid, like Tim Groser, who as an adult and as the Prime Minister of New Zealand has put in place strategies to ensure his ongoing likeability. He is a bully about this. He will not be remembered. He will be liked. We’d be stupid not to. Why wouldn’t we sign? Why wouldn’t we like him? He is like us, likeable, just richer. And the Prime Minister. Elected. Part of the government. Representative. Signing on our behalf. Signing on behalf of our better selves.

What I feel like doing at this juncture is nothing. Inaction. Not industrial action, striking. But nothing. Not declaring, not striking, not acting, not accusing, shaming, judging, educating, but stopping what I am doing, whether I am driving the bus, tending the aged, signing the deal, any deal, selling the house, writing the paper, reading the paper, writing the article, talking, walking, teaching, arresting, selling, buying… stopping.

Who is protecting your job if you stop too?

On this day, stop your car. By all means take your keys. Turn off your computer. Walk away from your desk. Stop believing in social media as a tool for social activism. Turn off your phone. Leave your phone alone. Everything that ties you to this world of action is also a link in the chain binding you to the actions of your elected representatives. Who will sign. Who think it is better to act. Stupid not to. Stop.

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coming soon

Ἀκαδήμεια

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XI

things could have turned out differently
you might be forgiven for thinking
but I wouldn’t presume

if you’d taken another path
where the way forward was somehow
clearer instead of walking in deliberate

error even while knowing better it
would appear to me you had nothing
nothing left to lose does that mean

something
someone

what difficulty can excuse and
ought judgement ignore
dark within the heart of disbelief

or neglect that negligence

point to point

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