today we are learning how to read a poem

Two poems by Rhys Feeney

we will be successful when we

take our shopping trolley back to

its trolley home even tho nothing bad

will happen to us whatsoever if we don’t

which is the ultimate trolley problem &

doesn’t rely on those trolley-buses we used

to have in this city which always made us late

when the driver had to reattach the wires so

tht we could continue our journey through the

streets lined w expensive wholefood places

out to the parts of town where the mountain

tops have been sliced off to fit in

townhouses arranged in neat rows

like plums in a freshly-opened supermarkets

those little pyramids of imported fruit

made for less than the living wage

which i suppose holds sound historical accuracy

but what do i know about ancient egypt

tht wasn’t from                   an ancient aliens documentary watched

         on the reputable nat geo channel               on a rainy school day

when i stuck my head under the polyester sheets to

           warm my cheeks enough to fake sick

all those years of learning              & being inadequate &

                                                                                                  what do i know about anything

working has consumed my mind so tht now

              i am like a failing AI in a blockbuster

                                                                             singing phoebe bridgers in slo-mo

fifty grand of student loan debt evaporating slower

                                       than the knowledge of dialectics & implied authors

who i think were the people we made up to hide

          from the horrible truth tht

authors were probably all terrible people

                                                                                      except for frank o’hara (i hope)

how does a nonbinary samurai kill someone? they slash them haha

for my LGBTIAQ+ / Takatāpui akongā

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rhys feeney (they/them) is a high school teacher in Te Whanganui-a-Tara. rhys' debut chapbook, 'soyboy', was published in AUP New Poets 7 (2020). They would die for Frank O'Hara.