Chicago poet José Olivarez is the newest addition to the 'List of Five' column, where various creatives conduct personalized lists of five things. The list can be five recipes, five cities, five daydreams. Anything, really. It's a blank canvas. For the September feature, Olivarez honed in on a handful of fears as well as two poems that he can't stop thinking about. Before we begin the list, it's only right to showcase a poem by the man of the hour. Below is "(citizen) (illegal)" and if you want more, be sure to check out Olivarez's newest poem, "Mexican American Disambiguation", courtesy of HyperAllergic.
Five Things on My Mind
Have you thought about octopuses before? I had not considered octopuses until a few weeks ago when a friend showed me this video of an octopus surviving on land. That's right, octopuses are walking on land. They're leaving the ocean, fam. They conquered the waters and they are coming for the land dwellers. Bend the knee, fam. Do not resist the cephalopods. Here's some fun facts about octopuses: 1. They don't have bones. 2. They have 8 appendages. 3. They're building cities in the ocean. 4. They're terrifying. I used to believe that the roaches would inherit the earth after we're done, but it's definitely going to be the planet of the octopuses.
Kind of related: by happenstance, I wound up watching IT in a theater full of teenagers probably under the age of 17, and their reactions to the movie turned IT into a comedy. I laughed way more than I screamed in terror. And I'm a screamer. Ask my friends. I scare very easily. Hence this list. Anyway, clowns are terrifying. Don't come around me in a clown suit because I will definitely want to fight you.
They have eight appendages like the octopuses. I think spiders are secretly octopus spies tbh. Or maybe octopuses invented spiders as land walking avatars while they conquered the seas. Either way, I'm not going near spiders.
04.) Everyday We Get More Illegal // Juan Felipe Herrera
I love this poem. Shout out Juan Felipe Herrera.
05.) Object Permanence // Nicole Sealey
I wanted so badly to say something else was on my mind, but nope. Another poem. I know I'm predictable. But read this. I love this poem.