12. 09. 2021

“hadal zone in the age of deindustrialization”

Dominick Knowles

hadal zone in the age of deindustrialization

there’s a smokestack at the bottom of the mariana trench, 
there are people there, and clearance racks, and tendon-long 
whispers. hedgefunds stretch along tinnitus cliffs; the aubade 
splits open like a clam. 

we blame it on the free market. we blame it on the gram- 
mar of surfaces, on the ruined seafloor where a fish rots 
from the head down, dreaming the disease that would 
drown her in debt. 

my boss denies me a raise. the cops find him at the bottom 
of the trench, sucking on a smokestack, screeching out mating 
calls to an ancient seadevil. he looks like a blind machine 
sleepwalking off the edge of a motel balcony, if the motel 
balcony was a tectonic plate, or wet metal slept. 

O pondeater, O creditwhirler, O deepsea shiftmanager,  

read the moon back to me: 
give what’s left of its light a name, 
terraform the waves
to the density of wage—


a soul of worn 
enamel, of tongue
that seeps, that b- 
ends across, rocks 
like traffic lights 
in octave wind 

 neon lots, 
 stung gust 
 hostile benches, 
 branches, beams, 
 paystubs, heads of 
            dented lettuce, 
                     rental vans 

                 a riot of
           pipes that
       bursts from  

                                      the soul 
                                        flails b- 
                                  eyond the 
                               with debt

Dominick Knowles is an adjunct professor, PhD candidate, and poetry editor of Protean Magazine. They are the co-author (with Mathilda Cullen) of Stanzas for Four Hands: An Ophanim, a collection of poems against empire.