Bradley J. Fest: 2016.09


‘More delicate than the historians’ are the map-makers’ colors.’
—Elizabeth Bishop, ‘The Map’

Enough. “The fraudulent light of early March descends
the slope of the afternoon in Squirrel Hill. This coincided
with spring break torpor. Time is measured through
the cerulean membranes of the sky—images are all

we need—the correct notes often escape me—it is difficult
to modulate the present, with all its noises, its reality-
interludes—the people on the bus.” The librarian is here
experiencing all the excitement of binary emergent assemblages

through the hallucinatory memory of its own birth. It cannot
see hares nor women, however1—fears its own realization
in the topography of the internet, a slow burning of all
the images in our future ice age. (Is Donald Trump

the slow metallic deathrattle of contemporaneity? Or
is he merely an avatar for the glacial obscenity to come?)


1 Or really, many objects, clearly

Bradley J. Fest is assistant professor of English at Hartwick College. He is the author of two books of poetry, The Rocking Chair (Blue Sketch, 2015) and The Shape of Things (Salò, 2017), along with a number of essays on contemporary literature and culture. He blogs at The Hyperarchival Parallax (

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