the poetry that matters

Nicky Tiso

Nicky Tiso is a student studying literature and creative writing at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. His work has been published in No Record Press' 2008 The Red Anthology, as well as Slightly West, Evergreen's literary journal. He is now co-editing submissions for No Record Press, and editing Inkwell, the student guide to writing at the Evergreen State College.

it is what we do



it is what we do;

haha, I cry.

who plays host in this industry?

able to produce its own "reality"

nor endings

of all that fame

nor this

to detect a pattern and a play of forces searching for that identity inside language

who plays host to this striking unity?

our skin on the billboard

we follow that space, this is that space

nor time

a rhythm seeking revival

the emotive vessel of disavowal from ourselves

"the unthought is the ground of all thinking"

insofar as it's useless

nor avoid

this writing itself challenges to not succumb

we build maps to guide us towards mysteries

so how do we move?

nor false

waves upon waves of narratives that one cannot trace back to one

within this rigidity we grind and push

nor avoid

reading becomes an act of rebellion

against barren dogmatic principles

that comes with it

nor place

we know this

nor that

an interaction on par with "reality"

nor repetition

for that would insinuate the holocaust as the pinnacle of cultural achievement;


how's that for hidden?

for that would insinuate progress

leading us away from the landscape already traversed and colonized

we expose our hidden commitment to things

a space for space

"the splintering word within every word and the piercing cry that is the unhealable wound of language"

but the burned bodies lay testament to a hollowness we cannot echo

and there are no wrong turns

when there is no ideologically free form of language to inherit

the pursuit of non-knowledge

under the monolithic sway of that particular darkness from which my eyes do not turn

the whole is the false

nor nor

but what is happening?

consumerist state of tongue

shedding like snake skin

reading becomes an experience


to create our own space

for space

nor repetition

peeling in the sunlight,

as it transcends the physical between all subjects, geographies, ideologies

capable of deconstructing or reproducing every level of interaction in sociality

nor true

even my homework, quantified on the refrigerator

the spectacle writhes

nor are there beginnings


as it defines movements – financial, human, material

convulsions produce meaning

multiply the space

of a continent dressed in violence and market sensibility

we are each, in our own way, in our own wounds, discovering the methodologies of healing

the unintelligible demands we have muttered so our silence can be heard

the perpetual revolution; the to what? from what? for what? is the question we don't answer

we are each, in our own way, in another's words, discovering ourselves in otherness,

the question is continual

the rest is quarantined

a rejection to closure by a swarming pool of writers whose views coalesce within


"the sterility of the bourgeois world will end in suicide or a new form of creative participation"

in the space of such definitions,

that pattern is a play of forces that criss-crosses into a moaning drive of material;

we choose both so as to prolong the diagnosis that we are dead

once upon a time All functioned as a totality to the ideological network of a concealed monopoly

as it follows highways to their undeniable ends – the spaces where monsters are kept,


as the damned, we embrace

to bask in the non-glory

lest we run out of reasons to write

we enlist a surrogate self to compose existence and make amends through irony


once upon a time, identity became imitation

or deny?

points of contact became painful mimicry

that comes with it.

We know not what we do.



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