ephemera: A MANIFESTO for TIP 2017
Touch nothing. Heal nothing. Enter the ephemera slack-jawed and most importantly, unarmed. What will we take? Nothing. LOOK. Our hands continue to betray us, as THIS COUNTRY drags us one by one out of the archive. Let me say this now: our hands are drenched in blood. They tremble.
Written word or strike out, WHAT comes first?
A critical response to active State-mandated Death. No, strike that out.
A critical response to State-mandated DEATH. Show no pity when THEY come with torches, marching palms to god our swift annihilation. Show no fear. Lock arms. Show love. Remember, this will not be printed in tomorrow’s headlines. BELIEVE ME when I say our bodies withstand darkness far beyond the scope of POWER. Un-named colors beating at their chests for one pure nation race. What titan kneels before their statues, offering his neck? “I pledge allegiance to the flag.”
UNITED MASS CONFUSION.
HE who has no rhythm kills.
HE who cannot burn is cursed to crawl among us.
HE whose hatred rots his bones. Citizen knows NOT peace. Citizen leads this empire to plague
, so pray the archive holds us. Pray the world is watching. No, strike that out, as well.
A romance in three parts.
- TOUCH. The poet passes through her audience and touches every shoulder. What is left to heal?
- Alone. The poet writes a MANIFESTO for the conference in which we smatter, speak, surrender, SCREAM into the WALL. The wall, as we define it here, has stood for genocide,
apology,brutality (WHITE limits of the text).
I struggle to write clearly of OUR impulse as performer-artists pushing RACE into the archive.
I write/act out my mother’s exile.The poet writhes.
We LEAP : I LEAP an excavation
: whereas holes in time become
IDENTITY : I struggle ___ ________ clearly.
Let me write about the nure-onna. Nure-onna translates roughly from Japanese to “wet woman.” I say “roughly” to acknowledge a SUDDEN DEPARTURE from the context, thesis, and foci of intellectual undercurrents (of the self-inflicted task) to which I’ve painfully committed. Consider this a POETIC INTERVENTION in the language of this conference, again, to which I writhe.
The nure-onna has the body of a serpent. She disguises herself as WOMAN in distress. She is easily distracted. She is human. Not quite human.
She is loved. And she is feared. She stands ALONE holding an infant, rather, a kicking bundle in the outline of an infant. WOMAN cries for help. The human instinct is to help. The human stops to HELP.
“What can I hold?” he asks.
Suddenly, WOMAN grins. “My archive.”
WRITTEN WORD or STRIKE OUT. I stand before us, picking “roughly” at my teeth.
Translation: We cannot write EPHEMERA without returning to the water, without returning to the night hull of a ship (translation: this country is rooted in GENOCIDE and SLAVERY and WAR and FORCED DISPLACEMENT, but this is KNOWN already, so let’s keep this moving).
We must eat, must obfuscate IF NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL, must find a friend, must be a friend, must sleep, must, once more, write. We meet here in Tucson’s desert at a time like this, however agonizing it may be to name the histories we burn into the archive (ROUGHLY wet and full of holes). We LIVE because there is no other way to LIVE through our erasure.
FUCK the canon. FUCK the silence.
Make new laws, and enter them. Demand. Demand. Demand.