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from Juma by Isaac Vallentin



Where does all the money go, and how come I see none of it? The water pours out of the faucet, down the drain, back to the faucet. Lately I’ve been having dreams where I take drugs to find a way out of the dream, but when I drug reality my vision turns to pink-and-yellow. I’m talking loudly on my cellphone, freaking out the night-time tourists in my mind: how do we create a future, trying to leave the past behind? And how do we explain to children everything there is today when I’ve never known what hunger feels like, my body is too far away, it never raises any question that I can’t disguise as fate-until a voice comes filling up the silence: where’s the other part of me? Where’s the black misshapen figure dancing in transparency? If I witness everything, what remains a fantasy for me?

If I can’t afford a home, am I supposed to buy domains? If I move into the cloud, could I come back to earth again? If the signal fades away, would I become a refugee? Is there any mortgage for my privacy, some sort of policy?

I don’t think so.

I want a currency that nourishes the human spirit. I want to think about a single thing for several minutes. I want to free myself from working and still feeling worthless, sleeping and still feeling restless, talking and still feeling voiceless, living and still feeling lifeless.

Faced with our grotesque reflection, rather than to turn away, embrace the mirror.

I’m so thirsty I’m made of water.

In the deep Pacific ocean
10,000 leagues below the surface
A sperm whale has traveled many days
In pursuit of a squid the size of my ignorance

And as it consumes
Its only meal for months
I’m standing in the checkout line
With a cart full of liquidation cocktail shrimp
In vacuum-packs

I pay by credit
And I feed a different kind of hungry giant
With the krill of my labour

The whale has one heart
And the squid has three
The bank has no heart
But I have seven billion


from Juma, released April 1, 2022


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Isaac Vallentin Pictou, Nova Scotia

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