The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues
APRIL 2020 Issue
Critics Page


There are laws
internally generated knowledge,

syndromes and causes,
curses, prophecy, destination,

country self, city self.
Every day a new problem,

ironic hyperbole, limited omniscience,
launch, voyage, arrival,

alter, avatar
downward spiral.

There are (delayed) consequences,
double voicing, terrible

danger, asymmetric warfare,
not quite spring dawn

becomes the present
disequilibrium to which,

not great, fake, safe,
inevitable, or eternal,

but disenchanted,
able to win,

in advance.
We don’t give in


to our hunger
for thought,

creature comforts,
and pretense of

freedom whose
symbolic victims

as oneself withdrawn
into daily life’s

fearful interdiction
Please not me!

nonviolence wish
exists because

I don’t understand violence

as lucky or protected
but in my mind

privatized as it is
this unsettled

awareness settles in
of subjection’s evil

incessant, incantatory
lies displayed

here as real


solved not
by anthem
but promise,
chance, stance,
support system,
commitment, and


Laura Moriarty

Laura Moriarty is the author of Personal Volcano from Nightboat Books (2019). She lives in Richmond, CA.


The Brooklyn Rail

APRIL 2020

All Issues