This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

July-August 2018


New poetry by Jake Byrne

Jake Byrne

The blond Australian’s jaw is clenched in ecstasy. His jaw
is clenched as if to say I’m having so much fun
you can see it in my face. With a kshink! I pass

my retractable claws right through his thorax.
He hugs me and his staleness is battery acid.
Cultural capital is the only capital.

That’s why the bank has repossessed my studio
in the Mortgage Crisis of the Future.
It isn’t a bug; it’s a feature of the system.
In the Fourth World, the manufacturers come and go
Talking about debt-to-earnings ratio.

Wherever the jobs aren’t, that’s where I fly.
That’s how I do my art.
Dessert in economy class is a Lampedusan blood gelée.
Dessert in this fourth-wave café is a neighbourhood primed to gentrify.
The neighbourhoods are gnashing their teeth
for yarn shops and strollers and whiteness to swoop in.
I work on commission for Lockheed Martin.
The name of this neighbourhood means Christberg,
which is a titanic sinker in need of a rebrand.
History slithers in mysterious bands.
Red touches yellow touches black.
Every man in Xberg (née Kreuzberg) has identical tattoos.
It’s 2024 and they are renovicting all the Turks and intellectuals.
The faggots too.

Raytheon’s market index soaring.
All my wars are foreign.
All my condos foreign.
Bombs fall over Jordan.

Jake Byrne was the editor-in-chief for Soliloquies Anthology from 2016 to 2017. His work has appeared in PRISM international, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, the Puritan, Plenitude, BAD NUDES, and Poetry is Dead. His first chapbook is The Tide and was published by Rahila’s Ghost Press in 2017. He is a guest on the traditional lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka nations, and makes his living as a content writer.

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