by Sean Bonney
This piece is excerpted from Our Death, Sean Bonney’s collection from Commune Editions.
It’s all visible now. Everything. It’s just that all the meanings have changed, and the names no longer apply. We lean against walls, our hands over our faces, and watch the parade. We are naked and frightened. Everything that passes before us we name and the names mean nothing. We mention old publications, old musical forms, and our voices sound like shredded paper in the archive. I would like to gather that paper. I would like to write upon it a charm to the ghosts of the suicided. Those who walked into the oceans. Those who clambered out from their windows. Their lives measured in teargas and visors. In rucksacks, stray bullets and privatized city squares. I would like to write this so they might have some form of revenge, but I don’t know how. We pull our hands from our faces. We have no faces. Sadly, this is not a poem about the suicide of Tommy Robinson.
Sean Bonney has performed his work at protests, in occupations, in seminar rooms, on picket lines, in the back rooms of pubs and at international poetry festivals. His poetry has been translated into several languages. He is currently based in Berlin. Our Death is the follow-up to the widely celebrated Letters Against the Firmament, and his first book to be published in the US.