morgan parker


who speaks for earth?

"History is full of people who out of fear or ignorance or the lust for power have destroyed treasures of immeasurable value which truly belong to all of us. We must not let it happen again."



“Who will survive in America?” -Gil Scott Heron

“They say (who say?)/ Who do the saying?” -Amiri Baraka, “Somebody Blew Up America”

It’s 2014        I get it
I’m here but I’m not really here

When we are not pleased we proclaim
the year as if remembering suddenly

We have just counted all the tree rings in
Sequoia National Park then fallen into deep sleep

We are addicted to linear time/ Who did what
to whom when/ We use verb tenses

For example, Chased into a white sheet/ Is haunting
or, Wasn’t an angel/ Isn’t breathing any longer

We make a lot of trash but whatever/ There is
a particular way in which we are always in awe

It is 2014 and still          I always have bad dreams
I have been blowing in this breeze so many nights

I mourn my other selves
My stupid body in the dirt

This ritual tide        this blue myth         This
indictment     I rent

My stupid body stiffening on a dark road
My stupid body and my stupid memory

You speak/ I say the word return
I never learned the word escape

I say Oh My God/ I am speaking
to myself/ for my pleasure

It is 2014 we say we cannot believe it
Nothing belongs to me

Sometimes I’m like please please please please
I kiss my mom at the airport and kiss the soil

You speak/
I am afraid to stay here

The opposite of space is the ocean
They are both my beginning

There’s this life of sage and piano
I speak         I ruin          What else





Morgan Parker is the author of Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books 2015), selected by Eileen Myles for the 2013 Gatewood Prize, and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Coconut Books 2016). A Cave Canem fellow and poetry editor for Coconut Magazine, she also contributes writing to Weird Sister. She lives in Brooklyn and at www.morgan-parker.com.