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3 Poems || Brad Fest Pt. 2/2



Pop music is the solution to all the world’s problems.

And so are you. B/c you know you are. If only everyone

thought like you, acted like you, was like you, we’d all

be better off . . . wouldn’t we? Yup. Like you. I’m so fucking


sick of you. (But I’m even more sick of “me,” of course,

the “you” I construct out of some imagined addressee,

and then the complexities of you/I/reader/other entity

only make me want to Whitman y’all up into one Katamari.


Or something.) More importantly, we should take

the following question quite seriously: can one write

an effective sonnet w/o an argument, w/o some stake,

whether it be lyrical, metaphysical, ontological? Well,


yes. Of course we can. B/c if we’re in this form, we can

imagine that something is changing here near the end. Where

     ends happen. See?





Pop music is ruining the moral fabric

of America. Sigh. It’s terrible. We’ve

all become writers w/ terribly pitched

consciousnesses, staggering in ignorance,


bliss, kisses, and paragons rather than peers.

We condescend to admit the most unholy

of comparisons as we cavort into the evening,

this flattening sin of imitation, this looking to


a suicide to explain a work, a fullest self.[1]

This is a politics of self, a foppish disclosure

in the depths of the night, a moment of nyah-nyah;

we all coalesce around the truth we couldn’t receive


when we were too busy buying copious amounts

of pornography and too many cigarettes for our shame

     in the morning.




Let’s all go springing into the ball-pit of a nostalgically

reconfigured poststructuralism. Give up sex. Fornication.

Orgies. Internet advertisements. The rest. We’ll bring him


down down. Lyrics lyrics. Yo bro, yo yo bro. Horny. Etc.

We’ll string Baudrillard up by his skinny little neck, take

a Proustian dump on his tits, and throw him back


into the Faustian debauch. Yes we will, Gabriel Garcia.

And still we will be asking for forgiveness. After the orgy,

do you wanna confess, or do you want to suggest a no


apologia . . . probably not now. After the orgy,

what are your engagements and where do

you want me to put your affects? I suppose


in the dresser, or else the post-apocalyptic simulation on the TV?

But I hope it’s up your tight little asshole. You fuck.


[1] Perhaps Bloom has to weigh in yet again on this one.


Bradley J. Fest received his MFA in poetry from the University of Pittsburgh, where he is now a Visiting Instructor and PhD candidate studying nineteenth through twenty-first century American literature. This April he will defend his dissertation, “The Apocalypse Archive: American Literature and the Nuclear Bomb.” His work has appeared in boundary 2, Studies in the Novel, and Critical Quarterly, and he has an essay forthcoming this spring in The Silence of Fallout: Nuclear Criticism in a Post-Cold War World. His poems have appeared in Open Thread, BathHouse, Flywheel, and elsewhere. He blogs regularly at The Hyperarchival Parallax.