The Place Where in the End / We Find Our Happiness

Anne Boyer
The history of revolutions is the history of vague ideas,
Shrugging shoulders, not shrugging shoulders,
Standing around, acting without thinking,
Acting with thinking, being penned or penning,

Being a woman or a girl standing around,
A woman or a girl with some flour in her pocket
    for tossing up a cloud of flour
           to obscure the martial men's sight.

That white cloud of whatever
Among the moving and unmoving bodies
Is that history-like unhistory
        of the ahistorical average,
That lovely inexact and provisional something—
                          weaponized or never. 

How totally under-theorized is breathing,
Walking and not walking,
Wanting to have a good time or just having it,
Like everybody is gunning toward Eden 
      and nobody is in school with their bodies anymore.

The history of revolutions is a history of the orthodox
     weeping over their faltering
                      orthodoxies:

Any precise thing—dumb these days:
The very idea imprinting nothing
        on the air between the general buildings.

No human space—a printer's paper.
Nothing exact—impressed.

More by Anne Boyer

A Sonnet from the Archive of Love's Failures, Volumes 1-3.5 Million

If you were once inside my circle of love

and from this circle are now excluded,
and all my love's citizens I love more than you,
if you were once my lover but I've stopped
letting you, what is the view from outside

my love's limit? Does my love's interior emit
upward and cut into night? Do my charms,
investigations, and illnesses issue to the dark
that circles my circle? Do they bother

your sleep? And if you were once my friend
and are now my villainous foe, what stories
do you tell about how stupid those days
when I cared for you? Because I tell stories

of how you must tremble at my love's terrible walls,
how the memory of its interior you must always be eroding.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

 

The coven of bison
          brought here as wishes
                    bore 80 million calves
                              in a year

                              This was the epicenter of the nursery
                              of the palace of the monument
                              of the battlefield
of the resurrection of the biome—

170 million acres aggressively
                                      self-returfing &
            a new state slogan:

                        AD ASTRA
                        THE TALL GRASS
                                 PER ASPERA
                                 ITS REVENGE

The public-private partnership1
          was lesser prairie chickens & very large cats.

Even the sky could hear the wolves returning.
The grasshoppers were strategists. 
The Koch brothers melted plows.

 


1 After decades of contention between park advocates and local agribusiness activists, in 1996 a unique public-private partnership was formed to create a tallgrass prairie preserve in Kansas on one of the few undisturbed patches of tallgrass prairie left in North America. In less than a decade, the park fell onto hard times as the private wing of the mostly private public-private partnership could no longer financially sustain it. The preserve looked like it was going to have to be sold. Then the Nature Conservatory, led by a former managing director of Goldman Sachs and assisted by a $1 million dollar gift from Wichita's Koch brothers, took over. They introduced thirteen bison to the Kansas prairie to unexpected results. The bison quickly returned to their pre-Columbian population. After a controlled burn of the entire great plains in the spring of 2019, the tall grass prairie ecosystem of the U.S. restored itself from tap roots that had lain dormant at the earth’s core since John Deere invented the steel plow in 1838. The interior U.S. radically depopulated as prairie dog colonies caused irreparable damage to the infrastructure of its cities and towns.