Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a poem by Matt Shears for the latest in a monthly series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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Quinn Dombrowski, “Allegory for the Modern Age” (2012) (via Flickr.com/quinnanya)

& the engines swam against the gleaming
slipstreamed horses
& the undreamt feathers winged forth, bodiless,
sketched amidst perfunctory clouds
the canvassed canvas clothed my essence,
the Blessed again, shrouded, immovable—

I post-scripted into History (riding gallantly, egalitarianly)
that Allegory, that unprovable object—
How those soldiers loved my finicky linens,
my rosepetalled metal,
the smelted whoop of a castiron charge
recharging in the lounge over at Central Command.

& the rocketships of the few erected the nightsky
& we silhouetted the by&by in those forbidden landscapes
architected by impetuous philosophes
& technical technocrats.
How the autodidacts soapboxed the masses
& the lathered latherer cleanly foamed.

Our disabled system radioed some future self:
Beware! Be war! Bear! Bear!
& the Automatic Pilot hurried back
from his dystopian phantasy
to the widened seats of the Business Elect:

‘O scattered matrices of my flitted flight pattern!
Splattered chapters of my lifestory
(post-migratory, post-post-history),
whither shall I wither now?
In which hypoallergenic sun?
Dear Valued Members: My tale has spun.’

& so the Riot Police teargassed the Innocent
& we wept for our Mythologies
(indecently, obligingly)
& the Caretakers arrived at the fair Fairgrounds
restoring what ontology could be restored:
some oversized pumpkins, a funnelcake, & a Model A Ford.

& what should we tell the Inquisitors, I asked
the Forms of liquefied livestock
braying & baaing & mooing & clucking over the loudspeaker—
What airbrush remains? What face paint? What Fortune Wheel?
Which carousel horse shall now I ride
into these immaculate pastures of the Infranational?

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Matt Shears

Matt Shears is the author of Where a road had been (BlazeVOX) and 10,000 Wallpapers (Brooklyn Arts Press). He lives in Berkeley with his family.