“I’m in no hurry, I’m not choking, I’m not destroyed, I’m not buried, I’m not surrounded, I’m not destroyed, I’m breathing.” [Christophe Tarkos]
May-June 1886. La Vogue magazine publishes Rimbaud’s Les Illuminations. The poem “Démocratie” [written after the suppression of the Paris Commune] details the stifling colonialism, the unreasonable demands of capitalist conditions [the ice-cold laws of traders], & the slaughter of the revolts that logically follow.
June 1872. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx & Engels report on how the Pope, the French right [including the neoliberals] & the German police are all busy hunting down the “spectre of communism.”
April 1933. Antonin Artaud gives the lecture Le théâtre et la peste at the Sorbonne, in which he explains his thesis that the plague & persistent uprisings lead society toward a cathartic point, at whose culmination energies & violence are set free, bringing about revolutionary changes. Absolute freedom in revolt.
July 1970. Carla Lonzi & Carla Accardi found Rivolta femministe collective. November 29, 1991. Poet Miyó Vestrini commits suicide after taking an overdose of Rivotril. There’s always a good reason. Telling the world around you to go fuck itself. Focal points of invisible symmetry.
April 1993. In a lecture at the University of California, Riverside, Jacques Derrida analyses the modes of appearance of spectres, especially those of Marx & Engels [the spectre of communism, which neoliberalism has declared dead for ages], & postulates a point of departure from Hamlet’s existential juxtaposition of being & non-being, & its Marxist implications.
2008. M. NourbeSe Philip tells/doesn’t tell the story of the massacre on the Zong, a British slave-ship. Due to navigation errors, the Zong needed twice as long to return from the West coast of Africa in 1781 as planned, which resulted in the captain trying to compensate for the resulting food & water shortages by throwing 150 slaves overboard, thereby hoping to make a legal insurance claim re his loss [of the goods!].
May 25, 2020. George Floyd, 46, is murdered by police in Minneapolis.
1| Everything forced into invisibility must become visible.
2| The glass moments of poetry & its poetics, which are locked in specially designed rooms. While art continues in its complicity with the contemporary filth.
3| Verses initiated through the transmission of a plague or with the detonation of a grenade [Antonin Artaud’s Théâtre de la cruauté & Miyó Vestrini’s Grenade in Mouth]. Since poetry tries to escape definitions & fixations.
4| The suicidal impulses of Miyó Vestrini. It takes time & patience to die. Death as a resource in their poetics. The inner gravity of intersecting contaminations heading towards an incalculable truth. The watery graves, liquid systems – after all, one keeps oneself alive one way or another. In the cellar, a group of frozen precursors [César Vallejo viewed from a different perspective].
5| A poetics of vulnerability. To have survived oneself in an inconsistent form, the structure of a vanishing apparition [de l’apparition disparaissante]. Psychoses, depression, neuroses, schizophrenia: the pain caused by an ugly world. The rancid smell of false confidence. The rat lurking at the foot of the bed.
6| To write as the dead person society has made of you. Buried alive, gesturing wildly out of a pile of dirt, sending out a few signs. The emergence of latent layers of language.
7| As if one were pulling through the pulsating surface of an organ with one of the pieces of glass flying by. Diagrams of the same reflexes. Until external forces act on the central embers of the poem.
8| Plagiarism is the first step towards sabotage [like the wooden shoe or wrench inside / the gears of power]. Creativity understood as a myth of sacred shamanism. Poetry, the medium of ostracised political radicalism.
9| That the writing of a work presupposes the rejection of this world, the refusal of secret agreements.
10| The contradictions in the organization of language. The author, a fragmented subjectivity, a shadow of an absent figure, a body in advance. A protester trying to evade the policeman’s baton, to escape the unconditional surrender to idiocy & violence.
11| The condensation & shifting of the poetic in the face of crises, the contrapuntal repetitions of a complex web of memories. Social integration as a built-in trap or optics dismembered by a swarm of crows, a fragmented view [work in progress], the mendacious arithmetic of “white supremacists.”
12| Where there is no position to take a picture, but rather a continuously changeable psychogramme of inner unrest. The abolition of a principle of minimum coherence.
13| Red squares of randomly defined crime zones. Predictive algorithms that only reveal the pathogenic character of capitalism. Circulating inventories of semiotic facials.
14| When it dawns on you that the destructive mechanisms of systemic racism need 8:46 minutes to underline their goals, the will to enforce, namely the final confiscation of property & life. To erase different spectra of individuality within a framework of visualization [it’s hard to describe how one feels about it]. This persistent blurring of the discourse.
15| Should one know the lie before the truth?
16| Hear & understand the moods & their sources. The experience of revulsion wrapped in neglect, hurled at micro-intervals. The image trapped in a ball one rolls in front of oneself.
17| The crisscrossed spaces of terror that M. NourbeSe Philip maps in her flowing texts. A chorus of gradually blackening absences, ghostly erasures of meaning. The vocalising phantom tongue.
18| A poetic practice that undermines the obvious & allows a second look that is composed of countless fragments of reality & perspectives of complex possibilities.
19| This story that must be told; that can only be told by not telling. M. NourbeSe Philip [Zong!]
20| Traces, footnotes drawn on the water surface. Within a closed cycle of mythological hierarchies. A calculated massacre masquerading as insurance fraud.
21| Perhaps, the fragment allows for the imagination to complete its missing aspects — we can talk, therefore, of the poetics of fragmentation. M. NourbeSe Philip [Zong!]
22| The inner topographies, illusions & false coordinates. The whispering of fake algorithms.
23| Everything you can lose gets recorded on the credit side of this or that billionaire.
24| Hell [where it moves towards humans, expressed as endless repetition] as the subjective status of events, sirens & syllables, vowels on display
a]] the tangle of black gestures broken down into its smallest parts / a declination
e]] that storm the Police Station of the Third District & set it on fire
i]] light magicians who try to influence the development of events, more than a decorative alibi, more than an antidote to racial profiling
o]] as if one wanted to scrape off the remaining remnants of light from our retina
u]] a face hung on a nail / the decreasing, dried-up force of gravity
25| The story that simultaneously cannot be told, must be told, & will never be told. M. NourbeSe Philip [Zong!]
26| Word storages that try to establish a balance of partial fragments of knowledge, fragments of sounds, word clusters, lists of suffering [cadastre] spoken into water.
27| The immediate emergence of things believed to have been completely forgotten. Imploding traces of fleeting clusters in seemingly endless combinations. Requests you cannot ignore.
28| Those who proclaim the best & fear the worst, the revenants & zombies. The phantom that is there without being here & a Marxist code [Spectres of Marx] that interrogates the environments of infectious toxicity, the carelessly-dug graves.
29| The coded nightmares you recall. Completely unknown forces of attraction among socio-political gravitational systems we thought we already knew. “Acid Communism” as a kind of counter-exorcism of the spectre of a world that could be free [a post-pandemic, post-capitalist society].
30| While the Soviet Union already had its problems with the writings of the young Karl Marx [especially The Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts from 1844, which could only be published as a result of the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1957], Putin’s autocratic regime is the property of Marx’s Capital under suspicion of terrorism [seven young men in Penza & their confessions obtained under torture].
31| To reinvent oneself on the basis of the rejection of the previous, to dissolve the actual, predominant structures & modes. In Autoritratto, Carla Lonzi conducted conversations between 1962-69 with 14 artists, recorded on tape, transcribed & then put together to form a text based on the principle of montage, fragmented & non-hierarchical, wildly composed.
32| All that is, is the opposite of what I am.
33| To see how your own experience is reflected in that of others. The practice of autocoscienza [after Carla Lonzi]. Practices of self-awareness that only work in a community. The immanence of collective intelligences.
34| “The personal is political.”
A poetics that breaks or undermines various language prohibitions [the disciplining of stubborn poetics] & leads to the manifestos of the Rivolta Femminile [S putiamo su Hegel]. After all, Marxism designed its revolutionary theory on the basis of a patriarchal culture.
35| Such fragments of the struggle as Benjamin describes in the opening chapter of the Einbahnstraße that arise from the alternation between writing & action. A practical theory of poetic survival. Since poetry multiplies possibilities. The mental exertion of tastefully burning dreams.
36| Do words bring you closer to the truth? What can the truth tell?
The moment in which a worn-out language loses its symbolic power [has nothing more to say] & drives language into poetry.
37| “La vérité c’est la vérité du texte.” [Christophe Tarkos]
38| In an attempt to gather one’s strength again. The irreducible fields of struggle. The chatter about the misplacement of the means of expression. The language of the dead can be imitated by any dog.
39| Vai pure is a four-day dialogue with the artist & long-term partner Pietro Consagra. At its end Carla Lonzi records the imbalance of their daily get- together.
She asks him: Do you understand me? Consagra replies: Definitely. She says: Then you can go now.
40| A pile of words poured-over with gasoline & set on fire.
Translated by David Vichnar