Undoing: an anti-manifesto.
In the spirit of helping, we began to work together, and in the process, unmade ourselves. Now we live in a hall of mirrors of our own creation, accompanied by nightmares and jokes. Some of these are our creation, others not, but there are no guards at the door. There are no doors either, so you get all kinds.
Don’t walk through here barefoot. There are shards of utopias all over the floor. If you look at certain times of day, the light playing in these is a wonder to behold.
If there are any unbroken ones out there, you can keep them. Heroes, too. We are done with all of that. Keep your mastery, your individual agency, your sense of your own significance. In our madness, we think human beings would be a good idea.
Let us play. The game is you are not yet and neither here nor there. The game is care. The game is adapt. The game is laugh. Let us begin. Begin by stopping right here.
Inspired by, and with borrowed phrases from, the opening of Hyposubjects: Becoming Human, by Timothy Morton and Dominic Boyer.
The transformation of silence.
How to speak, that what would live may live,
even if bruised. Even if misunderstood.
Death will come anyway, with its final
silence. Why rush its hand?
If fear is here anyway, let us use it. Your
silence will not protect you. There is
love here, even in war. And company,
in the refusal to swallow a tyranny
of silence, the refusal to comply
in becoming the next casualty.
In becoming, may we live visibly
to speak, share, spread life
creative and continuing
Inspired by Audre Lorde’s “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action” from Sister Outsider. Italicized phrases are Lorde’s.
Let me take it back, what I once said about the flesh, before I felt the teeth of this machine. Now I say, give it back, my breath, a firstborn placenta, let me bury it. Don’t touch, I say now, but the cameras are everywhere, groping.
Now an overhead voice like an airport announcement, what do you think you are doing? Anything unattended in the age of terror will be removed by airport security. What do you think you are? What does it mean, in at this point, to answer back?
I’m keeping the body, take my voice. Watch the tent as it tears, this is the belly of the whale.
Kick, Jonah. Do you think this is time around us, and was it here before now? Let tired vows disappear by this remaking while another womb confronts us, an old beginning.