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We Are Nothing and So Can You


Manufacturer: Commune Editions

Product Information

We Are Nothing and So Can You is a book-length poem for the long 21st century to come, a poem of revolts past, present, and future. In alternating passages of rhapsodic verse and speculative prose, Bernes plots the dynamic movement of history, both irreversible and recursive, moving forward directly and by twists and turns, in sentences and lines, standing still and hurtling toward the abyss. This is an epic for an age without heroes save collective heroes, leaping from the occupied plazas and rioting cities of the aughts and teens to futures alternately desolate and full of promise.

From We Are Nothing and So Can You

As for the rest of us, we learn
something important about ourselves
watching from the loading dock
as the mushroom cloud
announces the end of another season –
e.g., that each riot really is
an assemblage of other riots
washed up on the boulevards,
from whose faded corpses
one dresses and arms one’s comrades
the total inadequacy of which
as equipment for the task at hand
traces out in negative
the seat perilous of the party historical
the poetry of the future
whose sweet new sounds
will fill with meaning slowly
while the seas rise.

The Author: Jasper Bernes is the author of a previous collection of poems, Starsdown (2007), and is currently completing a book of literary history, The Work of Art in the Age of Deindustrialization, about the role of poetry in the postindustrial restructuring of labor. Excerpts from We Are Nothing and So Can You have appeared in Lana TurnerThe American Reader, The Capilano Review, Hi ZeroPrelude, and elsewhere. His writing on contemporary politics and political economy can be found in venues such as The New InquiryLARBEndnotes, and Viewpoint. He lives in Berkeley with his family and teaches in the English Departments at UC Berkeley and Stanford University.


Product Code: WE 7XPU218

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