Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry, poetry

intentional attention | Lonnie Monka

denying our disdain for the loneliness of honesty 

…heaped up chaos of knowledge
which fails to have an external effect…
denying our disdain for the loneliness of honesty
we emerge in these capitalistic space-time territories
where to be courageous you must hunt
beyond the bounds of automatable actions
staying at least one step ahead of the exponential hunger
as totalities fiend to feed off our labor:
this constant conversion of potential into actions

we devise devices to combat the need
to feel grounded in any given place & any given time
we manipulate ourselves with screens
distorting our sense of presence
with far off times & far off places, as if soon
     we'll never think
(thanks to this grace of our disgraces) to be where &
     when we are
transforming "when" & "where" into all time, all places

but please, let's not deny our purpose
let us instill intention into this attention

would you perhaps pretend to bother

would you perhaps pretend to bother
now that my current has begun its seduction
(dear timbre of distracted trees) now
my mind’s continuous & chaotic river
pulls you along as driftwood wishing to be burnt:
will you perhaps pretend to bother
to be my equal, my friend, my merging water?

the chaotic & continuous river of my mind
hostile & bitter, nourishing & sweet—this river
is playful deceptive, defiant, contiguous
rivers accept all confluence but mine contains residue
from Santa Fe, Austin, & New Orleans,
stretching from Sḥem to Jerusalem
& roaring with the ambiguous sounds of musical intent
—do I dare submerge you
into the unseen world of emerging re-emergences
merging—as equals, as friends, as water?

would you perhaps pretend to bother
to prevent malicious voices of the dead
from igniting false fires of renewal—those voices
that consume all that has yet to merge
with the water?
please merge, my merging, friendly water…
my mind’s chaotic & continuous river
carries your rolling body, soaked but still separate from me,
more present than any molecule & sharper than any atom:
pretend, pretend, pretend to bother
to be my equal, my friend, my merging water

Puck’s Glen, Scotland
Photograph ©2023 jsburl

our future is not the future if we choose

It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not                     
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever
so many generations hence.                                                
our future is not the future if we choose
to hide what we don’t choose: mortality
is not a mask we wear like relative morality
blind to its ends & aimed at exhausting what we know of
like the lifespan of a picture presenting some present
as impressive because more important than choosing
is to be chosen: seducing potentialities sings immortality

actualities! potentialities! being human & being born
into the condition of choosing choices that forget
the disdainful desire of being chosen to help
in this endless string of bearing: bear the future,
     bear the present,
bear these projected fractions of the self
presented to impress whoever might next approach:
new patterns emerge from the pain
of our having chosen & our having been chosen
because once the desire to defer presence was entertained
time & distance formed—allowing us to betray
one another, forming tears that tear out pain
of actual sadness from potential futures:
thinking of how everyone eventually will have been
we are all statisticians, analyzing time & space
for the pleasure of losing ourselves between patterns:
pattern forming—pattern finding—each pattern
      a seductive song
so go measure—measure & then deduce probable solutions

how do abstract thoughts suggest that they can affect?
whether as geometer or statistician, our wonder
ought to discover the pleasure enjoyed by those who
impart projections of future forces to imagined objects
because even abstract objects have the power to
     affect the world:
from the rivers of Babylon to the mountains of Sinai
from the cedars of Lebanon to the salt of the Dead Sea
all these times, places & songs—once measured—
     can be chosen

©2023 Lonnie Monka
All rights reserved

Lonnie Monka…

……founded Jerusalism, a non-profit organization to promote Israeli literature in English. He is a PhD student at Hebrew University, researching the intersection of modernist art and orality through a study of David Antin’s talk-poems, and is an OWL Lab Fellow.


The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins


Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

Kindly phrased comments welcome here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.