2021.06, 2022.01, 2022.05 – Bradley J. Fest


No rage at this year’s end, no blaming the date
for our crimes and failures, the sciolism of our
ability to abstract.4 We might lament lost hours,
the subtle clicks foreclosing some specific future

and then another and another. We might have arrived
at historical levels of exhaustion, our eyes igniting,
bodies husks.5 We might embrace the Sfera di giornali6
that appear and roll along the margins of our lives.

“But a home—the three of us have a home now, walls
newly fortified with what can only be called love—
indiscriminate, everyday, ‘too much.’”7 Most of the
speakers of these poems know there’s privilege there,8

some, that our mild autobiographical accomplishments
and a focus on the individual nauseate and bore, sure.
        But it’s New Year’s Eve;
        we’re taking account.


4 A necrostar’s reflection—orange, glinting, wavering—in the waters of the night; a sixteen-bit noir trafficscape in
the most hopeful version of those sunless times ahead.
5 See The Wheel of Time, episode 8, “The Eye of the World,” created and written by Rafe Judkins, directed by
Ciaran Donnelly (Seattle, WA: Amazon Prime Video, 2021), Amazon Prime, https://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Time-Season-1/dp/B09F59CZ7R.
6 See Michelangelo Pistoletto, Sfera di giornali, 1966–2017, pressed newspapers with polystyrene core, Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York, November 4, 2017, https://www.magazzino.art/events/walking-sculpture-performance. Observed on November 6, 2021.
7 As the little one says when she means “so much.”
8 “And one speaker of these poems is now tenured, so there’s that too.”


Time. “It’s always time,9 even if I’ve been busy producing
space,10 a descending world, an exhaustion of crises,11 really,
and too few lines.12 At least I have some new shortcuts;
hardcore bands can rock again. What limits!” And some easy

familiarity will of course evolve slowly into the dent of
a sonnet’s pillow, an exhalation.13 Look at all the volta
available, silhouettes kind on the intentionality spectrum.14
We’ve been ill and we’ve been well. The logistical situation:

mostly optimal. An early megatextual education is on offer.
There’s a family of people around which fate passes, no encore
necessary, but a nagging enervation householdward we’d
push a playlist toward.15 No matter. I’m no longer sure

what setting ourselves free could possibly look like,
each election from here on out despair and thanaticism. ______________________________________________________________________________

9 Aww. Phew. Ahh. That feels better. For recent events, see Bradley J. Fest, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 21: November 16–December 15, 2021,” The Hyperarchival Parallax,January 4, 2022,
“Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 22: December 16, 2021–January 15, 2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, January 15, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/01/15/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-22-december-16-2021-january-15-2022/, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 23: January 16–February 15, 2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, March 26, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/03/26/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-23-january-16-february-15-2022/, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 24: February 16–March 15, 2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, May 25, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/05/25/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-24-february-16-march-15-2022/, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 25: March 16–April 15, 2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, May 25, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/05/25/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-25-march-16-april-15-2022/, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 26: April 16–May 15, 2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, May 25, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/05/25/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-26-april-16-may-15-2022/.
Stay tuned.
10 See “Postrock” (composed June 12, 2021–July 1, 2022), MS.
11 Perhaps: an unkindness of ravens.
12 Haven’t missed covering that twenties grind.
13 Or like, hear Converge, “Locust Reign,” The Poacher Diaries Redux, Bandcamp, MP3 audio, March 18, 2022, https://convergecult.bandcamp.com/album/the-poacher-diaries-redux, and Converge and Chelsea Wolfe,
“Bloodmoon,” Bloodmoon: I (Salem, MA: Deathwish DW236, 2021), 2XLP.
14 Cf. How to Disappear Completely, Mer de Revs II, Bandcamp, MP3 audio, July 28, 2017,
15 Which most certainly includes The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights,” After Hours (New York: Republic Records
B0031991-1, 2020), 2XLP.


An imagination of ruin must burn beneath defiances against personal invention.
    —Mark Z. Danielewski, foreword to The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard

Others’ other days though, against which are held
the morning’s fearmongerings23 —overtired warnings
about the obvious fucking doom radiating from this
or that capital city/war, the miasmatic hyperobjective

plague in us—as they become arpeggiated whispers
crusted atop some barely clinging identity from the over-
clogged boundary gutters catching runoff from the Eastern
Centralized Headquarters and Digital Auxiliary Station

for the Perpetuation of Sanctimonious Grievance tomorrow,
are nonetheless    what          we don’t, won’t        have.
“Gone. Alone. No air of melancholy. It’s just a Saturday”;
it’s the ragged unexercised thews of fancy24 we mistake in yet

others for sympathetic needs uproarious, heartfelt, book-
scanned,      the shock        of knowing
     no one knows
     what everyone does. __________________________________________________________________________

Epigrpah drawn from Mark Z. Danielewski, foreword to The Poetics of Space (1958), by Gaston Bachelard (New
York: Penguin Classics, 2014), https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/316841/the-poetics-of-space-by-gaston-bachelard/.
23 Or, to conclude (a series): see Bradley J. Fest, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 27: May 16–June 15,
2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, August 1, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/08/01/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-27-may-16-june-15-2022/, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 28: June 16–July 15, 2022,” The
Hyperarchival Parallax,
August 1, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/08/01/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-28-june-16-july-15-2022/, “Links in the Time of Coronavirus, Vol. 29: July 16–August 15, 2022,” The Hyperarchival Parallax, August 16, 2022, https://bradleyjfest.com/2022/08/16/links-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-vol-29-july-16-august-15-2022/.
24 That I cling to post-COVID infection, that I fear are crumpling, dissipating on the wind from my eyes, the head’s airs.

Bio: Bradley J. Fest is associate professor of literature, media, and writing and the 2022–25 Cora A. Babcock Chair in English at Hartwick College, where he has taught courses in creative writing, poetry and poetics, digital studies, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States literature since 2017. He is the author of two volumes of poetry, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015) and The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), and his poems have appeared in over forty journals and anthologies, including recent work in Always Crashing, The Decadent Review, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Pamenar, Verse, and elsewhere. He has also written a number of essays on contemporary literature and culture, which have been published in boundary 2, CounterText, Critique, Genre, Scale in Literature and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and elsewhere. Twitter: @BradleyFest, Mastodon @BradleyJFest@zirk.us. More information is available at his website: bradleyjfest.com

Art Banner: Archive/Arc, a visual poem collage by Robert Frede Kenter. Twitter: @frede_kenter.

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