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by Jeanette Beebe

“They form an organism whose arteries spread throughout the army …

carrying wherever they go the same continuous stream of principles and doctrines.”


— Major E. W. O. Perry, Australian Army Journal

  April-May 1949 (UNCLASSIFIED)

Facts alone won’t “change your mind”,

read the headline — as if you have a right to,

as if you have a you to go back to, an eternal

thou, but cyber it/is — who now would say u.

Make it loud. This you puts the body there.

Oh Napoleon! Consider Autonomy, self-law,

from the Greek nomos: the body a vessel,

a parcel to govern, a script obscure, a body


politic and surely civil. If states work best

when imitating what’s there, what of too-small

armor? Self-law? What must we bind? Enforce


the covering of the holes? Whole beings, we

are not. In this self, this inside, this outside,

opposite and aligned, we exist, we are only spheres.


We orbit some sort of consciousness, some sort

of subject, a position abstract. Are you out there?

Jeanette Beebe is a poet and freelance journalist based in Princeton, NJ. Her poetry has recently appeared in Crab Creek ReviewDelaware Poetry ReviewRogue Agent, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, though her first poems were Xeroxed and stapled in chapbooks to support her spoken word community in Des Moines, Iowa. As a teen, she founded Moving ForWords Productions, an arts collective. She holds an A.B. in English from Princeton, and reports tech, science, and culture stories for WHYY-FM/ (NPR, Philadelphia) and other outlets. Say hi: @JeanetteBeebe (Twitter) and

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