Catapult | Poetry

Intellectual Property as a Result

recently I signed a contract / which stipulates anything / I conceive of as a result / of the job belongs to the job

Catapult magazine · Listen to T. Liem read this poem

Intellectual Property as a Result


Editors note: T. Liem’s “Intellectual Property As A Result” is a poetic investigation of the workday and its discontents. Liem suggests we are on the clock even when we are off the clock; even a poem written in the late hours of a day might not fully belong to us. Is there a trick to writing against capitalist time or do we “spit / out word upon word / upon word like a pump / in a mall fountain?” Liem doesn’t hand down any final verdicts, but she does strike a note of wonder, however minor, about the “awfully joyous nights” when all we have are our bodies and all we can do is make love with them. The thin walls of our apartments, like “a ceiling / that is also a floor,” index, for better and worse, our interconnectedness in a struggle against exploitation that maybe love and art can be antidotes for. Like Liem, we’ve all “said many words / and meant them.” We have to keep saying them.

— Billy-Ray Belcourt, poetry editor