Terms for The Reader
(Big Words)

Shazia Hafiz Ramji


I don’t want to call it capitalism.


I must articulate it to reclaim —


I don’t want to call it neoliberalism.


I must tell you because we have each other.


I don’t want to call it Confederation.


I must not feel lonely every day.


I don’t want to talk about suicide.


I think about myself all the time.


I don’t want to deterritorialize.


I must allow you to find me.


I don’t want hermeneutics.


I learn to think about you.


I don’t want to say “system.”


I think I understand you.


I don’t want biopolitics.


I am now inside of you.   



Shazia Hafiz Ramji received the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and was a finalist for the 2016 National Magazine Awards. Her writing has appeared in Quill & Quire, Vallum, ÖMËGÄ, The Puritan, and Canadian Literature. Her first chapbook is Prosopopoeia (Anstruther Press, 2017) and her debut book of poetry, Port of Being, is forthcoming from Insomniac Press in 2018. She lives on unceded Coast Salish land where she teaches creative writing and works as the poetry editor for PRISM International magazine. She runs the Ennet House Reading Group devoted to Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.