A Co-Conspirator

Phil Thompson

ISSUE NO. 1 • To Have a heart

I wrote this piece as a reminder of the capacities and limitations of love, especially in these last few months of college.

“Stravinsky’s music identifies not with the victims, but with the agents of destruction” – Theodor Adorno


As rain beats upon a roof

Or marbles spilled on wood

Uneven rhythm taps away and makes a silver cloud


Solid as a cinderblock

Porous as a labyrinth

Around and upon, the truth falls, and down, rapping at the windows of a tightly-shuttered cabin


Duck under the awning of

Aporia and silence

For in the morning you will have to rise and fetch the night-soaked newspaper

Agents of destruction

Meeting on the hour

Conspiring to continue a regime of crime and implication

So atoms beat the inner skull

And other atoms outer

Thrusting at me alibis, excuses, consolations,

Hesitations, so obtuse to make me wonder why I hadn’t realized sooner

That the rain-streaks on my jacket and the ink-stains on my hands

Are not innocent coincidences, traces of remove,

But a jury’s-worth of verdicts on the guilt of my passivity,

Souvenirs of rigorously well-attended meetings

And as I listen, in my ears

Now floats a woman praying that

The next time diplomats convene to work out hostile treaties

And pain like marble hailstones crush everyone in sight

And I find myself in lockstep with pedestrians of night

I will pick a side and pick the right one