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04.03.12
I, Inc.
I incorporate gneiss and coal and
           long-threaded moss
           and fruits and grass and
esculent roots, a gravity dam
           550 feet high on this
           the continent’s steepest
river machine, with 13 other dams, a system
           of locks and
ladders for commerce, continuance

of species, twin cooling towers
of a data center
           for the world’s most powerful
           search engine,
installed where a lost
           indigenous Babel once converged
in that universal language—trade, night-spearing
           of salmon by torchlight
           lost (men’s faces aflash
           in archives), expressionist
           petroglyphs eerily
           contemporary, photographed by
professors before
           the big sink, I incorporate

           with irrigation ditches, thousands of gridded miles
of piping, hoses, scaffolding for sprinklers, 
insecticide banners
           over alfalfa terraces greenshining to the edge
           of the glacier-cut gorge,
and on the ridges:
white windmills, futurist
           crosses, revivalist
architecture of potato magnates, societies
           for the preservation of automatic, semiautomatic,
           Gun Hill, Gun River, without judgment—
that sucked candy—I incorporate

the leaden
           groundwater under
firing range and echoing
factory, the capful of phosphates,
           Chicago River run backward
           to Mississippi, algae clotting
the Gulf’s left ventricle, plumes of oil filmed
           by unmanned cameras designed to sustain
unearthly pressure, ingenious inhibitors
           of serotonin reuptake
present from sewage in measurable amounts
           in the Great Lakes,
           and calm

as the not-I appears, I incorporate
the not-I,

the talkers
in headsets talking to no one present,
Bach and baseball and
           tobacco stocks ticking, the screen-lit
           lotuseating faces staring,
clicking—disgust me, and I incorporate them
           with the disappearing

bees, defense drones
undetectable except by ordnance flowering
           skull, sternum, uterus, I am born
           at many removes
from Thoreau, who paused to notice
           the thickness of surface ice,

and, tormented
by his still form in the hut doorway,
sun on skin, outside time, I incorporate it and it binds
           the mettle in my blood,
           the compound sinking
to my feet—impossibly heavy, I drive them

into mountains topped with blinking
towers, zigurrated by
           logging roads, in motley
           of clear-cuts and
necklaced with triple-stranded cables whose buzzing
sounds like rain, and up there
           walking the ancient

Cascade Volcanic Arc, I incorporate
the green company of grunts
           on leave in sunburned skulls, who go
           silent posing
on a high promontory—premonitions
           of Hindu Kush—they frighten me
           with politeness
on the trail, acne, and large vulnerable ears,
I could clap their shoulders, clasp them, pretend

to spar as with my brothers,
but I am helpless to keep them
           for their families’ sake
           from disappearing
into the photograph’s digital veil, can only
           incorporate them as I must
           these actors charging the hill
           on a screen in a window
I walk under later, many rooms are lit this way,
the allegory literalized, and I am outside

in another cave
of streetlights flicking on under cameras,
I pass through these and incorporate their recordings of me
           into that Gordian nerve-net
           of me not recorded, firing
           charges down too many
           forks to be
           reliably
           modeled, the loops
           of its feedback with external
stimuli so intricately in-nested, a representation

of them would curve its outer ring
           through the Oort,
           and I must go farther,
           into imagined futures, incorporate
cornstalks 12 feet high with black leaves modified
by photosynthetic silicates for 90% efficiency of capture
           and acorn-sized kernels,
           they are beautiful if not yet
           realized, and I am afraid
of them, utterly, as I was in Chicago homesick

for Trask and Kilchis, Siletz and Nestucca, and found,
at the Eastern end of Pratt Street where it abuts the Lake,
           frozen corpses of
           Chinook Salmon
washed up like grotesques out of my memory—
transplants are everywhere, translations of
translations, no place embodies itself, all

overlap, and so I
incorporate them, unifying
them in one brand,
           Brandon, meaning
           from a flaming hill
as claimed by a bookmark given me when young—
           I place it in the book of grass
and the book catches fire and illuminates
           the undersides of clouds,
           an advertisement like the orange GE
glowing on a building in Midtown
           seen by the lovers
           naked in infinite
           regress of two walls of hotel-room mirrors,

and, full disclosure: it was I positioned against her
           in the mirrors’ smallest frame
feeling I lived in invisible abstract cornucopia diminishment
           of frame within frame where
only images propagate—invincible-distant
as the acronym halos guarding Mannahatta’s skyline—

corporations are all.

Resist or acquiesce, I incorporate
their paltry specializations into this brand
           whose acronym is every star in the night sky,
           and in the day sky too,
           for though it is invisible, it is nevertheless
           present, totalizing, undemocratic
as every corporation aspires to be,

           and, reader far hence,
face lit by a little held charge, a little water’s motion,
           a million-stranded rope of sand,
all of my swindling and evasion is for our certain merger,
           for I am corrupt as every other,
           and you must absorb my assets

as I have absorbed this
           broadcast image
from Stalin’s Ukrainian famine—the infant automaton
           in the street still nursing on
           its starved dead mother.

Swallow me and go.
I do not wait for you I am in you already.
There is commerce between us. 

Brandon Krieg is the author of Invasives (New Rivers Press) and Source to Mouth (New Michigan Press) and a founding editor of The Winter Anthology.