Cover Photo: This illustration shows an apartment complex detailed like you are looking at the backside of a dollhouse and cut out of black paper. We see various scenes going on in different rooms, but in particular one apartment shows people having sex, while the apartment below it is being banged and rattled around
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

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

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

T. Liem is the author of OBITS. (Coach House 2018), which was shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award, and won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award as well as the the A.M. Klein Prize. Her writing has been published in Apogee, Plenitude, The Boston Review, Grain, Maisonneuve, and elsewhere. She lives in Montreal, Tio’Tia:ke, unceded Kanien’kehá:ka territories.