Adrienne Rich

Rereading The Dead Lecturer

Overthrow.       And make new. 
An idea.     And we felt it.
A meaning.       And we caught it
as the dimensions spread, gathering
in pre-utopian basements    figured shadows 
scrawled with smoke and music. 
                                                   Shed the dead hand, 

let sound be sense. A world
echoing everywhere, Fanon, Freire, thin pamphlets lining 
raincoat pockets, poetry on walls, damp purple mimeos cranking

—the feeling of an idea.        An idea of feeling. 

That love could be so resolute 

And the past?     Overthrow of systems, forms 
could not overthrow the past 
                                                 nor our                                                        
                                                            neglect of consequences. 
Nor that cold will we misnamed. 

There were consequences. A world 
repeating everywhere:      the obliterations. 
What’s surreal, hyperreal, virtual,
what’s poetry what’s verse what’s new.       What is

a political art. If we 
(who?) ever were conned
into mere definitions. 

                                        If we 

(book of a soul contending