Excerpts from Volume 4, 2016

Excerpts from Volume Four, 2016


from Bhanu Kapil‘s Folio Note, en route

I want to make my note correspond with the feeling in my body when invited: to curate. A folio. I have been thinking a lot, this year, and perhaps the years before it, about selection. To select, to choose, to desire, to disturb. Nothing is being disturbed in this case. To celebrate, then. To choose. To select. Yes, I must celebrate [select] [desire] these three writers – who, all over the place, when I have encountered them – or their work – are doing something to make contact or make visible: material: that typically – we might look away: from. I feel like my English is deteriorating as I write my folio note! The words are taking my time to leave my mouth. Why?

What arises, as I try to make my folio note, is the following image: a woman, in Kashmir, glimpsed – so many years ago – when the area – was still accessible –in ways it is not now — slipping – a red straw – made from a glossy silk – or plastic – through or between the lily pads – of Dal Lake in Srinagar – into – the murk. She was fishing. She was testing the water. She blew into the straw or put her mouth to it. No, my brain makes that so; in fact, it was her ear.

I like writers who put their ear to the murk, or perhaps their lips – to blow a bubble.

To listen or attend. To the shit that produces biological or pretty flowers.

That the shit or the murk is somehow nutritive is something I learned from goddess culture: Padma, the dung-lotus goddess, for example…

You can’t have the lotus without the waste that rises up through its basal compartment.

What I am not saying directly, having used up such a large part of my folio note on the image of a red straw being slid – into a lake – in another era – and also by placing a goddess at the threshold – of speech – is this: I selected [celebrate] these three writers – Samiya Bashir, Eunsong Kim, Lucas  de Lima– because they were the first three writers who came to mind when I thought, who is doing this?


from Samiya Bashir‘s: Maps::cartography in progress


she taught you | how best | you should make use | of your own body | she assisted you

like the day’s shadow | from the | purposelessness | of our own body | your soul | your brain | she couldn’t hurt herself

not then| anyway

was this why she went | ?

she nourished you | a body | totally her own | young as you were | needy and self sufficient | she could choose to be herself | walk | about | in the nude | if she wanted | when awake | if you were the only person in the room | she cursed people | in her language | it didn’t matter whether you understood | or not | what mattered | was the look in your eyes


or incomprehension | yours and | hers | because of her relations with you | you | became a controversial topic | to many | she was

from somewhere else

, up north”

they treated her | despicably | calling her | all sorts of things | no one took trouble | to reach the bottom |

who was she really?


from Lucas de Lima’s because:

while they gallop their horses to death
the men’s eyes get bigger
the swelling of the roots that upheld the sky
merging me & pinto, rainbow & cloud
the crisscrossing of myths in a scream so loud
it wakens the razorbacks
a ripple across the herd
every cowboy unhorsed by the roaming
of continental horses 8,000-10,000 years ago
the unseeing no longer allowed when
the arc of our chicken bodies
emboldens the point where sky meets earth
where me & pinto wash our feathers
we don’t know what we’re preparing for
but the infinite seeding of our constellation in the horizon
this place & unplace
a point already red & black
where me & pinto wash our feathers
we don’t know what we’re preparing for
but the hurling of a rock thru our bodies
our thrashing & singing on every scale


from Eunsong Kim‘s Working Towards 31 Letters and 13 Dreams

You take a greek mythology course and learn about women who wait
men roamed—your beautiful professor tells you
women wait.
you know there’s a gender critique of this but you don’t care and split
your head open in hopes of someone born not of a man
you remember every fight you’ve had and paint your nails a mermaid color
and begin packing
you remember the superstition—korean, who else—that instructs
against buying lovers: shoes
they’ll run away they say
you want to ask them to take you but you believe they already know
so you say nothing
you have a boat four umbrellas and a salt water aquarium filled with brooches
you pack it all
you never wanted to say goodbye but here you are
in love with how many runaways


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