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from We Are Nothing and So Can You

Jasper Bernes

The army and the people are one.
If this is correct, please press 1.
Every face that you see has a shame like a sun.
Is he one now? Is she one too?
From the towers, the deputies point and shout: That one! That one!
No one you know has been outside of the zone.

The army and the people are one.
I walked right into the house and turned it on.
A wall slid in front of the sun.
One plus one is one.
The risible boys and fungible girls
Build up their angers into a facsimile of one.
The army blockades all the bridges, the tunnels.
Through loudspeakers, they tell us: the people have won.
You’ve had your fun, taking a hammer to the hard drive
In advance of the first waves of the Hun.
Little is known about the things we have done.

The army and the people are one.
But has anyone seen a people?
Was it holding a gun?
Do its movements coincide
With the price of bullion?
For those of us who lived through rebellion
What remains is Monday, mostly, an abundance of Monday.
One taken away from one is one,
Like Chronos eating his young.

A century is not so long.