Issue 4: Subjectivity vs. Objectivity
A Publication of the USF MFA in Writing Program

from Disaster Lyrics

Rob Halpern


for Yedda Morrison

Having spent the nite dreaming of the attentats that stabilize our regions,

My own stability being this strange effect of structural events and market

Value, I slowly came to understand, by the deafening volleys muting

Local soundscapes—drowning all our broken signs, these puffy vowels—

And the total speech situation in which we’ve been embedded, that all sense

Of connection, all but the most abstract relations (say those aligning

My language and the armored vehicle with the hi-tech border patrol

Who takes yr body as stuff to be processed, identity’s fleshy yield) survive

Abraded in appearance so that barely a ghost of my own outline

This misshapen form (stark lineaments of a single limb or digit like the one

That guy held up on TV to show it had been blown away) remains

A barely legible touch in the space between enjoined imaginations—ours—

And what networks of power hail us still from this place beyond the dream.


Then his voice just petered-out becoming

Strands of pale blue smoke he was gaunt

As an old crane and just as wild as what

I’d be anything to wind you back around

Reacquaint ourselves with lost sensation

Invent a world to save us from the world

Just feel this — damaged roadside fridge


for Lee

This morning feels and lingers fall

Our bodies clot the white remove

Lying wedged embedded pools

The lustrum hides our naked stark

Touting sky’s all-purpose pack

Stiffing up the friction lubes

Opens nothing’s pink patois

Mouthing punks the war with want

Touch my longing eons come and

Goes touch want in longing songs

Organs dreaming products sink

Guns our silent blocks for broke

We’re falling under inquiry stress

Thru which words white phosphorus

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