Claire Schwartz: Civil Service

In Civil Service, Claire Schwartz sheds light onto the dark corner of the world run by power, profit, property, and prisons. Here’s a chilling excerpt from “Lecture on the History of the House”:

Inside the house, a man hits you.
Then you understand:
your body is the window.
Inside, you are already outside.

Next door, the Soloist domesticates a tune.

Poetry is a door without a house.

Theory is productive of the known.
Poetry is productive of the unknown.

How, then, do you know
what is true? These walls, this foundation,
in the pages of glossy magazines.
The newspapers scratch their heads.
Again, the hunters, budgeting.

At the end of the day, you return to what is not common.

It’s a beautiful, powerful collection with some simple line illustrations.