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The Separation Glut, Part I by ISOJE CHOU If thoughts are rivers running through the mind What is meant by the separation we speak, Is a river separate from its bottom? There is a separation affected When the body must howl and emit And expel the excesses of the dinner last night The WC was […]

Three Poems by Isoje Chou


The Separation Glut, Part I
If thoughts are rivers running through the mind
What is meant by the separation we speak,
Is a river separate from its bottom?

There is a separation affected
When the body must howl and emit
And expel the excesses of the dinner last night
The WC was created for that.

Professing not to like rap does not automatically
Affirm one’s intelligence, whereas enjoying John Cage
Just might: the separation in these conjunctions
Are layers of prestige and the specie:

Vindicated by fruit flies dying on fruit bowls
The legislation applies the cloture the culture legislated
Bodies no longer apprehended by their minds;
Indifferent, everything is once more named
And comprehended

The Separation Glut, Part II
            (Everything is once more named and comprehended)
It is no right of yours to say
Who can speak the broken
Or not

It is no right of mine of course; watching fruit flies die should be
No past time for one so delicate, and so, delicate,
We move from the bowl
Or so we claim

No longer is the thing the thing, or it is
And it is not. If it is, it is amorphous

The signs and ideas no longer represent the things no longer
Represent the representable: at its fixed points
Are we even present? Speaking the broken is
No fun deal

Speaking the broken we leap only
To fall, defeated

Defeated, I know no ease, I follow shadows into
Corners making strange even to shadows
Who never trusted me.

Lessons for when you are hit by lightening
To know how lightening may kill you does not
Solve the problem of how life may do
Just as much

But there are lessons to be learnt from when a cloud
Ignited by frictions of the soul atomic
Implode to find medium

Poetry is how not to be eaten alive
To pass on from the electric depot
Of our brains,

A question of flesh charged
Smuggled through suffering
To find conduits and a
Connection away
From suffering;

Stand in the way, and you are but
Bad taxi the charred remains
Tabletalk for the unkindness
of smalltalk;

Stranded in your damaged tissues
A sea of electrons lies expired
In subatomic hell

Isoje Chou is an artist born and raised in Nigeria who currently lives elsewhere. Her poems have appeared in journals the most recent being OfiPress, Mexico. 

Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx or odt files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions).

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

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