"sweet refugee these are (our) bodies wet & terrible teeth marks in flanks fecund & monstrous rebar pierced through the neck dear you dragged"sweet refugee these are (our) bodies wet & terrible teeth marks in flanks fecund & monstrous rebar pierced through the neck dear you dragged under the bush"
"Again & again, I crawl into the skin I wake from."
"the slow anemia of language precipitated by Whites."
"The night poking its tongue in through the open balcony door smells of other people's clothes they wore while doing things they won't tell."
"Asked to translate, I cannot translate myself."
"The law makes demands of the body but never of the soul. If interpretation is what you need then that's more than I was hired to provide."
"The mind's hand lets go."
"mouth of stones mouth of ship's bones rats caught in the trap"
"Well, indulging the maintenance of the thin emotional line of balance is what I call life these days."
"Is it all even now? The way time spends time?""Well, indulging the maintenance of the thin emotional line of balance is what I call life these days."
"Is it all even now? The way time spends time?"
"Meanwhile in Bill's dream salon, I shake out the evening's blankets."
"Writing poems, at the beginning, was a place to put some untidy emotions. Until I realized nobody wanted to read about them."
"Where is my round table, my little white desk."
"dreams of many rooms all actively complicated with people everyone trying to talk through a gauzy mask called "soul""
"It's alright to feel glum while cooking the oyster stew."
"Remember how the heart is always located by its place in the body, by the bottom of a mountain, on the slopes to the sea watching it all go by as if owned by no one, the watcher sneezed and disappears momentarily."
"Psychotherapy begins with the traditional psychogram that produces a digital image of a patient's soul. In healthy patients the image looks like an a"Psychotherapy begins with the traditional psychogram that produces a digital image of a patient's soul. In healthy patients the image looks like an apartment building with a million glowing rooms, each a lit box connected by squiggly lines. Island therapists explain that every box and line represents one of the many apartments in the mind and the connections between them, which are staircases and elevators one must take from time to time. Usually a person resides in one apartment or another, depending on her job, spouse, or state of mind." ...more
Beautiful book. Painstakingly precise language. This is the experience of blackness in America; the visceral, inescapable, "hypervisible" identity ofBeautiful book. Painstakingly precise language. This is the experience of blackness in America; the visceral, inescapable, "hypervisible" identity of it reflected through instances of micro-aggressions pinned up one by one against a broader canvas built out of terror, violence, and racism.
"It is not only that confrontation is headache-producing; it is also that you have a destination that doesn't include acting like this moment isn't inhabitable, hasn't happened before, and the before isn't part of the now as the night darkens and the time shortens between where we are and where we are going."
"...a collapsed relationship that had promised to play by the rules. Perhaps this is how racism feels no matter the context -- randomly the rules everyone else gets to play by no longer apply to you, and to call this out by calling out "I swear too God!" is to be called insane, crass, crazy. Bad sportsmanship."
"...you begin to understand yourself as rendered hypervisible in the face of such language acts. Language that feels hurtful is intended to exploit all the ways that you are present."
"The world is wrong. You can't put the past behind you. It's buried in you; it's turned your flesh into its own cupboard."
"We never reached out to anyone to tell our story, because there's no ending to our story, he said. Being honest with you, in my opinion, they forgot about us."
"...a throat sliced through and when we open our mouth to speak, blossoms, o blossoms, no place coming out, brother, dear brother, that kind of blue."
"America turned loose on America --"
"Will you write about Duggan? the man wants to know. Why don't you? you ask. Me? he asks, looking slightly irritated."
"The state of emergency is also always a state of emergence."
"It's the White Man who creates the black man. But it is the black man who creates."
"You are not sick, you are injured --"
"Some call it aging -- an internalized liquid smoke blurring ordinary ache."
"A feeling that feelings might be irrelevant if they point to one's irrelevance pulls at you. Do feelings lose their feeling if they speak to a lack of feeling? Can feelings be a hazard, a warning sign, a disturbance, distaste, the disgrace?"
"And so it goes until the vista includes only displacement of feeling back into the body, which gave birth to the feelings that don't sit comfortably inside the communal."
"That's the bruise the ice in the heart was meant to ice."