on poverty and joy

a hopeful calm as we watch ourselves slip towards extinction together

ZP, Untitled.

.

to regard what I’ve given you

or rather

what we’ve given each other

as little more than a companion that brings a kind of joy

in the same quiet way a cat or dog

asleep at the foot of your bed

might accompany you

as you start to drift off

only vaguely aware of these images which emerge in the drowsy half-attention of your conscious mind

and acknowledging each one before you send them on their way

letting them spread out before you

like stars

growing in number

as they group themselves

loosely

into constellations

the names of which escape you as you begin to connect them with faint incandescent lines

joining them together in shapes that resemble

say

a skeleton

poorly sketched across the black expanse of your mind and not unlike your own

onto which you can briefly project your attention

and as you drift

towards this projection of your corporal body

the latter becoming more abstract as you approach

so that this mental calm

couples with a numbness

beginning in your solar plexus and radiating out to the extremity of each limb

until this muted vibration is pulsating throughout your body

such that the pain that accompanies you in your daily life

the suffering that forms the way in which you recognize that the visual plane you experience is your own

becomes only a distant sensation

that seems to continue to move further away

and as you watch it recede you realize that your own body is not unlike

say

the stars as the sharpness of their edges against the blackness of the sky disappears

the boundaries of the world in which you find yourself embedded

grow less and less distinct

so too does your own body

as if your muscles and tendons

your very flesh

had begun to dissolve

leaving little trace

nothing more than a faint outline

and in this way

we come to understand that anything I have to say to you

now

or what we’ve already said to each other

is of little importance

other than creating something for us to take with us in the quiet of our collective death

so that in this moment of calm we can experience

sitting here

in each other’s company

something

not unlike that moment before

the moment before the last

in which someone who perhaps resembles us

but is not us

will share

before they watch themselves

slip off together

towards extinction


JOEY YEAROUS-ALGOZIN is the author of ~30 books/files. He is a member of the publishing collective, Troll Thread. His book, a feeling called heaven, is forthcoming in 2021.