Trébuchet

The Iowa Review - - THE IOWA REVIEW - Dan­niel Schoonebeek

Th­ese po­ems were writ­ten to land you on a gov­ern­ment watch list. And pub­lished at $14.95 pa­per­back (hard­cover edi­tion un­re­leased) by an im­pos­tor of Faber & Faber of 1232 NE Prescott Street, Port­land, in­side a ware­house for­merly oc­cu­pied by six pinker­ton de­sert­ers in this year of our lord 2015 the year of “the accident.” Or maybe to throw a brick through the wall of the White House and no note at­tached is their busi­ness. Th­ese po­ems come pep­per-sprayed for your health with dirty words par­tic­u­larly on pages 3, 6, 23, 40, and 83 and were writ­ten by D. Schoonebeek an oftentimes trou­bled and defam­a­tory young girl liv­ing among the worst gen­er­a­tion of prof­i­teers in bal­a­clavas and who keeps her­self vi­o­lent through love. Or maybe to start a riot in­side the in­sur­gence in­side of the skir­mish is their busi­ness.

Their weight is 9.356 ounces, they will travel 732 feet in 12 sec­onds when fired from a trébuchet, their burn­ing tem­per­a­ture is Fahren­heit 451, and they were printed in the United States by Mcnaughton & Gunn of Sa­line, Michi­gan. Or maybe to smug­gle the an­them back in­side the chrysan­the­mum is their busi­ness. On the day of its pub­li­ca­tion this book would buy you 3 loaves rye peas­ant bread, 8 white boot­laces, 1 liter vodka fil­tered through cheese­cloth, 5 lbs. goose feath­ers, 0 theater tick­ets, 6 sin­gle rides on Man­hat­tan-bound bus lines, 3 boxes baby di­a­pers, 11 yards steel chain, 0 paint­ings, 3 car­tons eggs, or a starred re­view in Pub­lish­ers Weekly.

What else do you ex­pect for $14.95? No really: what do you de­mand of your money. What is the func­tion of po­lice? Their In­ter­na­tional Stan­dard Book Num­ber is nine seven eight one nine three six nine one nine two five four and this is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since 1986. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since you were first broke. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since you were last fucked. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since you lost the use of your left. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since the so-called accident. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since Flight 370 van­ished. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since god said I de­fect. This is the num­ber of school shoot­ings since you laid down your weapons. Th­ese po­ems will of­fend a num­ber of peo­ple who will refuse to ig­nore them, some of them peo­ple with fa­thers,

fa­thers in law or fa­thers on Capi­tol Hill, and men and women of in­flu­ence with fa­thers of money in Iowa. Their com­mer­cial po­ten­tial is laugh­able, the Big Five pub­lish­ers will spend zero money print­ing th­ese po­ems, zero money or­der­ing cured meat for the book party, the rul­ing class will read them but only on days when a fam­ily mem­ber is as­sas­si­nated or dur­ing na­tion­ally tele­vised tragedies, and they will tell you the mid­dle class is van­ish­ing, but the mid­dle class will beat it­self to death with this book, the mid­dle class will call this young girl a woman of ha­tred of men, the mid­dle class will cri­tique her, the mid­dle class will call her a na­tional trea­sure, the mid­dle class will mar­ket her, the mid­dle class will in­ter­ro­gate her about her sex, they say the mid­dle class has van­ished but it’s the poor of this coun­try who should rear up and throw books of poetry through the walls of the White House and no list of de­mands at­tached.

Th­ese po­ems are ded­i­cated to no man or woman who’s yet been born, to the slugs that will never leave your gun, to milk­men Miss Uni­verse snake oil sales­men Rus­sian vol­ley­ball cham­pi­ons grave dig­gers bribed con­gress­men waste man­agers as­tro­nauts de­sert­ers zookeep­ers mega-mil­lions lottery win­ners knife col­lec­tors ex-mil­i­tary tax evaders ca­reerists doomed politi­cians mu­si­col­o­gists bread and but­ter men buskers anti-defama­tion lob­by­ists gov­ern­ment shills bad fem­i­nists okay fem­i­nists slan­der en­thu­si­asts postal work­ers wall street pro­pa­gan­dists gun­run­ners un­fa­mous po­ets ad­vice colum­nists javelin throw­ers failed nu­clear war­head de­sign­ers beauty school dropouts spam writ­ers cock­tail ar­ti­sans vi­ola wun­derkinds Brazil­ian crust punks mall cops se­cret ser­vice men taxi­der­mists web hack­ers hyp­nother­a­pists stunt ac­tors card sharks bible thumpers porn stars man­chil­dren fire eaters lum­ber­jacks body­guards and whistle­blow­ers con­spir­acy the­o­rists hi­jack­ers chil­dren born with­out throats hung ju­ries and hang­men and whomever death will not love.

If th­ese po­ems don’t throw them­selves through your win­dows burn them. If you are the same per­son build­ing him­self a ham sand­wich in his liv­ing room af­ter you fin­ish them shoplift ev­ery edi­tion of this book you can find tear out the pages and burn them to warm your house through the win­ter. The time of writ­ing books that don’t send us to jail is dead. Drink­ing vinho verde un­der the har­vest moon and put­ter­ing our lines is dead. Ask­ing your­self and ask­ing your­self why a poem is the enemy of money is dead. If you will leave this book on a wood slat and gap­ing down at the world throw it on the floor in­stead. Or in­stead burn it. In­stead fire it out of a trébuchet at the White House. This book was writ­ten to ter­rify the fuck­ing.

Like the last po­ems you read be­fore the hos­tile takeover. Like first lines you speak when the plane dis­ap­pears. This book was writ­ten to break the back of the sawhorse be­tween you and the po­lice. A book like the earth you might salt if you warred against you.

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