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Citizen Grammar

by Gaelan Gilbert

Brick wielders and career options
        loiter inside the futures
of syntagma - yes, Square (though the
        anarchists there mingle with monks)
- but also that primordial morph
        of subject-verb, predicated
before pounded bronze,
        exarchic blip on the surface
of unfurling might, history’s standard,
        parsed to say
the failure of might, its vacuity, our desire.

        We need a more determinate image.
Thank goodness at least
        for the first-person plural pronoun,
that generative collective assumption
        or trust that togetherness is grammatically
and therefore politically possible.

        Returning to Athens may help.
She was there in the cloud
        of fear when plexi-glass shields stormed,
forms of phenomenal presence,
        power flagrantly, merely physical.
I was not there to hold her arm,
        or pull her into the café
where voices continued, quietly.
        It is a moment I forever
regret not having, but the very
        impact of its told affect is itself
felt truth of rhetoric’s facticity,
        that grammar moves makes shakes
and bakes in the oven of dissent,
        opening wavy hot to futures with
collective intent ripening
        in the grain of a word,
a syntagmatic bud
        of revolt.
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by Gaelan Gilbert


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