"Richard the Orange" and "The Web Guerrillas"

Richard the Orange

There’s something straining us. Since birth we praised
his lineage, put wealth at his command,
and hubris has obeyed. He lifts his hand,
the throngs align, his inner organs raised

above the swarming crowd. How can our minds
hold this formation? Level playing field
our ancestors have built now made to yield
to his acidic walls. What horror binds

us to decay; as we circle and cling
about his gestures, private thoughts inflame
his skin. The ghost of a decree—some string

holds us in place; it draws our city plane
into a pyramid beneath this king:
societal structure mirroring his shame. 



The Web Guerillas

When the Web Guerillas—who engineer laptops
and carry them in rucksacks, spreading unorganized connected
collectives, a sovereign growth

cancerous to maps, dance parties on the islands
off China, queer undergrounds in Beirut, fuckfests
in former republics, ignoring restrictions

of visas or obtaining and burning government
documents when necessary, coding a web through
makeshift routers and stolen wifi that hisses

and sparks with no time to stagnate, igniting
fleeting revolutions as they burn through the globe
which vanish and regroup before surveillance

can detect, hacking foreign nations, launching
pyrotechnics into skies of tropics and ghost-town
industry—finally enter our borders

and hear the disenfranchised cries, with their
urban mapping, off-grid food, strategic energy,
spreading through state lines, I hope

they don’t wait until next election term
rolls around before they begin
to socialize our cities.



Michael Jesse is living and teaching in Shanghai. He studied writing and literature at Vassar College, and has appeared in The Helicon.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, November 28, 2016 - 23:16