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  You could have a big dipper   

A poem by Liam Burke

Ode to Wesley Snipes’ CGI eyes in an alternate ending to masterpiece of early 21st century film, Blade: Trinity


I get it, Wes –

some days all I can do is phone it in myself,

uncooperative as a dead vampire

on a hospital bed. Most days I’m too

obstreperous to love the things I love.

If I had a stunt double

he’d be living my life for me by now.

He’d do my workouts, write my papers;

eventually there would be some debate

as to which of us was the real Liam.

I don’t mean to abdicate – but neither

would I like to die a slow death

by inactivity without so much as a

cheap pair of CGI eyes, hard bargain

for safe passage across the veil.

We see the dead more sharply than the living

because the living are living in flux.[1][2]


[1] In some ways my good days are worse than my bad.

I feel like my stunt double. Unable to offer

the intransigent body a sliver of quarter.

[2] We sit on minor seconds reaching to

resolve to our roots. We wear masks of cotton,

not wax. Our time ever shorter.


Liam Burke (@liamjmburke) lives in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe land. He is most recently the co-author of 'machine dreams' with natalie hanna (collusion books, 2021) and ‘Orbital Cultivation’ with Manahil Bandukwala (2x4, forthcoming). His work has most recently appeared in Savant-Garde, the Jupiter Review, and long con magazine.

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