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SPECULATIVE / Denizen / Kenning Jean-Paul García


This Is An American Synthetic Lyric


What blood was squeezed by stone from skin

            while being rolled?


How have hands given way to calluses

            from sores

                        open and wet?


remember back in the day

when a cyborg was new,

shiny, and shy?


theres a saying. maybe even plenty more than that one that nobody says anymore or ever did and so silence is sort of a cliché and alternatives are another sort of jargon. nostalgia has a vernacular. anticipation, a slang whose intentions are good but whose sight is failing and thus all it sees is misunderstood.

and when the robots

are filling the junkyard

will the factories

have a moment of silence

for the spare parts?


how does the old cyborg

compute and equate

human adjacency


especially when people are

so prone to becoming zombies?


if the fingertips had more prep time

            would they change themselves

            when the nerves


                        send them the signal?


could the details be in the dermis

            or maybe this time

                        small means fine

as a toll to be extracted


a cost in a course of digits


            less flexible

but can still be counted on


this café could house something more than the acoustic. give space to something other than folk. in the air of wooden notes how knotty and knotted is the melody holding onto older days? who first made the mistake of making listening so easy when hearing is so temporary and transitory. hard to catch a meaning before becoming an echo.


when memory can fill to capacity

be more selective with sentimentality

don't let a little sensation


more input

than it needs to be

needs are for flesh

cravings are what crash the grid


unused files are stored on devices / devirtues

in digital formats less susceptible

            to degradation


cached advertisements are a background

            painted into the pastorals

                        of slopes

            of which there are rocks

                        and hard places

and no moss to speak of nor to gather

            as descent isn't so much slippery

                        as eventual


the future is fragmented. history, inseperable.

party animal free to find

            a new way to enjoy anxiety, dread


this moment the moment a moment

            is contraband



1 credit 1 automaton

1 credit 1 automaton

1 credit 1 automaton


nano, please


better get them bitcoin, android

better get them bitcoin, android

better get them bitcoin, android


shit, wish a microchip would 



collect all them cryptopennies

keep it all away from the archaisms

of the analog


and the hatchet buried in scene 1 will return in act 3 as settlerspeak. in a colonial colloquial. a tongue left in a locked room could just as easily lead to the reveal as to be the weapon itself.


the pebbles and sand are wet

                        are red

            are proof of purchase


no buyers remorse

                        the brand was trademarked

            before the product was patented

before the codes were uploaded


before the laws,

            punishments were still distributed



dried riverbeds and rubble decimated

            rarely remember

            when days were good

before the oblivion      

            meant to forget

left the land catalogued, categorized,



synthetic, electric, mechanical

designed, debugged

repurposed with each new performance


inorganic, pragmatic, retooled

existence is a proposition adjusted

retold as details unfold


machines on liquid diet of oil and gasoline to satisfy the fantasies of movement and maneuvering but there is no now only tomorrow and day after that with life as only a concept/code. nothing to wait for. nothing to live for either. but to continue on forever or as close as nature allows.


part and part



built to be conflicted

rust and wrinkles


stainless steel stated bliss

knives, bread, butter

            crumbs down for the count


unwelcome to this strife, stride and struggle. home was what it wasnt and thats how it went. it isnt always what it is. transformation and fluidity rule and break the rules of every world in every aspect.


Language communicates in terms of what is already known; it chokes up when asked to deal with the entirely unprecedented.   (Vivek Shanbhag  Ghachar Ghochar)


now, the rain has been soft, has been hard. questions can come to a volta. to inquire can become a spiral. inside as well as out may push and press. lungs flood as easily as gutters.


in the . . . in the . . .

where the sun don't ever shine

anxiety rules

the whole night through


troubles switchback up

bushwhack through

problems find new lines

            to hide between

Kenning (FKA Kenyatta) Jean-Paul García is the author of the notvel OF (What Place Meant), They Say (West Vine Press) and several lyrical speculative ebooks such as ROBOT: the Waste Land Reimaged. Xe is a diarist and performer living in Albany, NY. Xe has degrees in English and linguistics but has spent xyr adult life doing blue collar work. For a dozen years xe worked in restaurants doing everything from dishes to managing. These days, xe is a maintenance worker in a massive two-story box store. Xe has been doing the graveyard shift for 11 years now so writing is the day job but not the job that's called xyr "real job." In addition, xe posts way too much foolishness on social media and tries to go to lots of conferences around the country preferably by train. Xe is also an editor at Rigorous.