Antonia Petschauer's Reading Recommendation:
Something that’s been on my mind recently and which has made its way into much of my writing is the question of how we reconcile our personal identities with our role as consumers under capitalism. Many of us are worn thin, our time divided between work and consumption—which I believe tends to draw out tendencies greatly at odds with our vision of ourselves and the world we want to live in. Debt is a poetry collection by Mark Levine that explores similar themes in a highly associative style of writing.
The poem “Morning Song” in the collection has a final stanza I always read multiple times: “Here I am ringing all the alarm bells!/ Here I am lighting the ovens!/ Here I am waking the guests, here passing out numbers!/ Look, I’ve armed the corpses—they’re angry, Boss,/ they don’t feel like talking./ What—am I your dream, that I can be/ so many places at once? Am I your future?/ Am I the teeth in your heart? Boss, wake up!”
Levine’s poetry in this collection is the kind of writing that makes you care, instead of asking politely for your attention and sympathy. I highly recommend it to those exploring what it means to be a worker and consumer in contemporary times, and to those drawn to arresting poetry.
Antonia Petschauer lives in Victoria, where she is Vice Editor-in-Chief of the open-concept art magazine The Warren Undergraduate Review. Antonia's poetry will appear in the upcoming Autumn issue (289) of The Fiddlehead.