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Tonight I can’t remember why

everything is permitted or,

what amounts to the same thing,

forbidden. No art is total, even

theirs, even though it raises

towers or kills from the air,

there’s too much piety in despair

as if the silver leaves behind

the glass were politics

and the wind they move in

and the chance of scattered

storms. Those are still

my ways of making and

I know that I can call on you

until you’re real enough

to turn from. Maybe I have fallen

behind, am falling, but

I think of myself as having

people, a small people

in a failed state, and love

more avant-garde than shame

or the easy distances.

All my people are with me now

the way the light is.

No Art

Ben Lerner

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translated from the Ukrainian written by
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