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“It is equally vain,” she thought, “for you to think you can protect me, or for me to think I can worship you. The light of truth beats upon us without shadow, and the light of truth is damnably unbecoming to us both.”

Virginia Woolf, Orlando

I can’t stop reading the news. I can’t stop reading the news.
It travels, I travel from my optic nerve, through unmoving vocal chords,
past the lump, gut deep.
Can’t stop reading the news and.
It wants to travel back out as vomit and rage.

Hillary tweets in Spanish.
Trump tweets in grunts.
I watch Father Obama while
I make a salad.
The wind is raging.

Think of his affect after Sandy Hook.
(I don’t want to think about it.)
(I can’t stop thinking about it.)

I know what’s coming, as a U.S.–Ameri-kan:

As Americans…
Brutal murder…
Massacre…
Pray for families…
Attack…
We know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate…
FBI…
All the facts…

No definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer…
As an act of terror…
What, if any…

Filled with hatred…
We will go wherever the facts lead us…
This could have been any one of our communities…

As a country…
Carnage…
Law enforcement…

Sacrifice, courage…

Especially heartbreaking for all of our friends, our fellow Americans who are

lesbian.
gay.
bisexual.
or transgender…

A nightclub…
Be with friends, to dance, to sing, to live…
More than a nightclub…
Solidarity, empowerment, awareness, civil rights…

Sobering reminder…

Attacks on any American…
regardless…
an attack on all of us…

Dignity, equality…

Country…
Hate…
Terror…
Values…

The most deadly shooting in American history…
Handgun…
Assault rifle…

Further reminder…

Weapon:
School, house of worship, movie theater, nightclub…

We have to decide…
To do nothing is a decision…

Victims…
Names…
Faces…

Who they were…
Joy to families, friends…

Difference to this world…
Prayer…
Prayer for family…
God…

Strength…
Bear the un-bearable…
Strength…
Strength and courage to change…

As a country…
Heroic, selfless…

Friends who helped friends…
Hate violence…
Love…

United as Americans, protect our people, defend our nation, take action against threats…
God…
Families…
God…
This country.

God, this country.

This fucked up
family.
Attack!

Living in ellipses:
“No definitive judgment…”

Living for ellipses:
“This could have been any one of our communities…”

Thinking of ellipses:
The only way to slow down,
what is said too fast,
what is said is not enough,
Also all wrong, too much.
Can’t speak out every meaning.

Thinking with ellipses:
Going in circles.
On a Sunday.

How is it supposed to make you feel?
Don’t care
How you feel.

Can you feel any other way than wrong?
Don’t care
How you feel.

What are you supposed to do?
Just you wait.

[For Lauren Berlant, “to live elliptically” is to ask a question rather than formulate an answer; a “shrug” is a rhetorical response to a non-rhetorical question of the body – an embodied letting go of future promises in favor of life in the durative present. Revisiting a conceptual grammar drawn from psychoanalysis, Berlant is using “dissociation” to understand it not as a symptom of an underlying abnormality but as a practice of attaching to life. Berlant is dialing back the multiple intersections of subjectivities and pondering what doesn’t add up in social worlds. She is thinking about the content of “being proximate” but not “in community.”

In “Culture@Large,” the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s signature event at the 2012 AAA meetings,  Berlant and her interlocutors thought through the sensorium which overcomes “affective stuckness” but does not jump immediately (as is our social science instinct) to discursive symbolization. For these scholars, this is work that is trained at scenes of social abandonment and lostness, the precariousness of life at large. Drawing from Claudia Rankine’s poem Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and the film based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel A Single Man, Berlant spoke of the way that quick and slow death by racism and homophobia inspires a sociality of not caring, of deciding to be stubborn.
––from http://production.culanth.org/fieldsights/32-walking-around-in-lauren-berlant-s-elliptical-life]

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Warning, I mixed this metaphor myself.

Cruising the OED, we find queer the strange and estranging, queer the perverse, queer the insult, and even queer the theoretical. But we also find a key to the sometimes begrudging currency of its meaning: Queer the counterfeit. Queer theory is also counterfeit theory. (It’s fucking FAKE, okay?) If only we can mimic all the security features, special inks, and supple papers of the real one––which is admittedly getting harder––it’ll circulate, enable exchanges.

Queer theory says, “There is value here.” But it holds none itself. Like any speculative currency, if it works to the fullest of its potential in the system it contaminates, it too becomes worthless.

In the mean time, it is shamefully worth less than the floating currency against which it is indexed: real theory. And so it makes a value out of shame. And we do have a laugh making it up. The offstrikes and the maladjusted colors. And how to imitate that new plastic Canadian currency with its transparent window?

Like any defiant, deviant concept, queer’s work is double: It is to be both the pathogen and the cure. As such, it always calls us to carefully examine the needle with which we, it’s acolytes and its proliferators, immunize ourselves against its putative successes.

There is, as yet, no cure.

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The trough, this feed
a monoculture of horror
In the season of thin veils
and spirit visitation.s.

Who knocks when the
house is empty?
An empty search
bar blinking
cursory kind of
knock.
Because there will
be no answer
among all the replies:

Kalimantan is burning,
Almost by definition,
Rocks for throwing
in Kathmandu’s streets,
Sickening selfies
twisted nation hate
blood leaking from the
body of a Palestinian boy.
Peopled desks
slammed
with the people
still in them.

Pepper
in The North
selling for $18.99
pre-ground.

Beyond recognition.

Just luxurious
dust
blown hot and
bent around
smoke rings
stretched
over-scorched
earth.

Still, flint fast
glimpses of a
language.s.till
never
more than an inch
from the fingertips
of its
author:
the land.

I’m looking
for the last of
the medicine.

To just
justly be quiet
and still
fear
the turning inward
confusion of
twenty-one degrees
and Mercury moving
it’s now Scorpion spiral.

November
as it turns out
turns too
warm before
finally blushing
the gentle
reminder
that solitude
might be
loneliness
over time.

Until such time
I’d rather not
harvest
the feed on offer.
It does nothing
to nourish.
Let it lie.

(The cat vomits
its food
in a sad act
of protest.
I have cleaned it
while she sleeps.)

As
in––and over––
there, across that
static bridge
of stolen memories
banked for
a two year’s
ago from
now reminder
of what! fun!
we must have had
forever
and ever.

Stinging
pixel
sorely
dilutes the
gas leak
gradient
of my
gaze
now turned
toward the

Cool sky set off
from
warm tempered
glass grasping
the last sun
at four thirty
in the afternoon.

I seem to have
left that part of
behind
in the picture
that became a hug
that became a gratitude
that became a reminder
of the gift
of witness
and the struggle
for reciprocity.

One of those
precious parcels
better left
there.
Amid the dust in a
Cluttered but not
unclean
corner
Just a placeholder.

If I ask our Sainte
she sings again
while Seeger
leans on watching
like a lip balanced
mouth bow:
Little wheel,
spin and spin,
Big wheel,
turn
Around and a–
round.

I warble back
at the same
video of a film: a
little wheel
turning in time
a swirl
of soon to be
sleeping
oak.

In the
curled hours
between
thinking
& feeling

Unfurls
a still
true
truth:
that writing
is

what
happens
when you turn
to follow
that
gold &
hair thin
thread
trailing
behind,

which
moors
you to
a
long
ago
snag.

So, you
follow it back,
finger
pinch
over
finger
pinch

To that place
in the
morass
where you
find
her

Gently
crouching,

And drift
into a
Mesmerine
stare as

her
old
soft
hand

stops
scooping
ash dry
remainders
into
a sun
stained
fond

long
enough
to fold
an unwritten
letter

whose
specific
gravity
is
barely
weighted

by a
stone

which you
cannot
figure

neither
how to
put down
nor
how to
bear.

ThothPrudence

Take care, then,
For aren’t you
typically
more than
a little
nagged by the
fire drive

To devour it all
Before you know
which fruit is borne
Of this
p-art-i-cul-ar
tree?

Do devoir,
And so too
They’ll do.

Like you,
They need only
time:
the soil of
trust.

Turn it over softly,
with the sweet
echoing memory
of yesterday’s
Saturnalia.

The next trudge,
may startle
mid-winter’s
precarious root
Unless you shhshh
quietly
the voice
of imprudence.

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