Ever More Useful Forces


Ramona Itule-Patigian lives in Berkeley, CA, with her boyfriend and cat. She recently completed her MFA at Mills College and has had her work featured in Boston Literary Magazine, Quantum Poetry Magazine, Shot Glass Journal and Bijou Poetry Review. She teaches, tutors, and loves live music.

Here and There, a dim fleck of the ideal figure
He had to learn that we move like spirits , turning
out and getting to business

Nag, nag, nag along, become something that can be made, a suit of armor
without any pockets, standing against a wall
The obligatory rhythm, yet not get-atable

The correct use of the body was scandalous
rattled like a crate of dishes
A distance now about my neck, now around my back

The habit: first it is one place, then another, then another
A disciplined body: at last the territory is all occupied
I could only shake my head

As time wore along, a meticulous meshing
considering its inconveniences, fastening them to one another,
churn and buzz by the week, and never stop to oil up or blow out

Arranged as a machine, accustom the children to assigned movements
A number of excessively artificial soldiers, more or less fleshy

SOURCE: Language collaged from  Chapter 12, “Slow Torture” of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and the first 5 pages of  Michel Foucault’s “Docile Bodies”


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