Home > Poetry > Intimate Democracy Is Seeing the Back of Your Head
Published: Mon Jul 1 2013
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Intimate Democracy Is Seeing the Back of Your Head

We start to stare at hairy skull posteriors. March, march the singing
step of cement and no transcendence. Marching orders for the
chaotic animals. March, the sixth month for global springtime. March
the exodus opposite of occupation. Occupation is what you don’t
have, a job. Vocation, vocare, a calling, to call, mic check, mic check.
A march is stutter. A march is comma. Mob the citizen-stippled
street comma O public struggling awake and singing comma the
steam and yawn of your sweet mouths. Mouth-hole comma the
stamen of your petaled heads. The Public is where seduction is
irrelevant comma for would you have me whisper sweet nothings to
the base of your head? Heads and bodies and hands behind Zuccotti
stocks. Stocks, rallying dance of the animals intangible comma boxes
of pointillism comma the fictional division of entities colossal,
monster capital Leviathan. Bank runs. Intimate democracy is seeing
the back of your head. Back comma eternal return to shoulder blades
and skull base and base camp of shaggy hair and dirty tents
and commas. You the public U-looping from Zuccotti and back. Intimate
democracy, I know you as well as the back of your head.

Ken Chen is featured in AGNI‘s Emerging Poets Interview Series. He is the author of Juvenilia, winner of the 2009 Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. His writing has appeared in Fence, Jubilat, Boston Review, Manoa, The Best American Essays, and elsewhere. A lawyer living in Brooklyn, he directs the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. (updated 9/2013)

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