The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

All Issues
MAY 2020 Issue

from Alisoun Sings



It is during the wilde months of Summer, just about around Aprils poetic promess, whan it is hotter than July, and the aires jasmine enflamed, after the harsh monthe of Januarie at the hert of Winteres grief ystricken lands, long after the shifting crashing plates of Autumn’s rains and its wacking series of lunar tempests, that May’s luscious soote blooming calls & folks long to go on pilgrimming.


Large bandes of peoples take to the streets in a sea of flags & banners, placards & slogans, blow trombones, shout megafones, take boombooms to the parks, pilgrims bechained to gates or downsail the commons carrying an outrage of demanding, & peaceful wheelchaired tipped over by police insit befront parliament until all chairs be redressed. Bridges occupied with rebellion, squares and streets occupied with rebellion, stations and airports with rebellion, time and rush hour occupied with rebellion. Battling has a rage that grows in the collective heart, passions rekindle what were left unkind yesteryar. Walking with limbes and mindes, from cities to sites, occupyeth all what can be, tent up squares, burn to build bridges, re-own the city, wear armour if moost be, make them well-worne.
Let’s celebrate congregate upbring the fever and collected
energy, all the passionate, angered, urgent, demands of our
crowded multifarious lives as we later take on and manifest
the gr8 rethink:
how to organise
how to salvage
how to soulsearch
how to take back the confiscations
of the streets of the lands of the minds of our physical health
and inner outer mobilities
how to kepe libraries squares bookes open and publik
how to make education matteren
how to change literacy to meet our changing needs and numbres
how to retrain against fear isolation indolence
how to fight mysterious illnesses and lack of available care and healing
how to plan neighbourly life
how 2 grow more edibles out of tarmac allotments
how to wear locally ete locally growe mo locally
how to fucken progress is dangerously outlived outdone
how to live slower lives, togethered cooperatively, open a tacticall hand,
geteth going
prepeth whats coming, get skriking
how to accept to be formed changed strategically purposefully
how to transuse ones privileges diligently favoure broadening vantages
how to rejog frontiers form transnational gossips
respecte across borders and across the hertes
how to share translocally, enjoy unfamiliar offerings
how to bypass official controllers when prevent necessary involvement
and geteth planning,
activating, convincing, engineering,
and sustaining for one longfix with a thousand soluctions
how to reclaim political activision for gooding, for long-haul
futuring, in smaller yet interactive ranges of connectings
how to finally give good bootance all over the places
get riddance your own brand of nasties, romping depraved governing galleries of rats what pass for demockratly lected magpies, bunches of lech & griffs work only for the sake of their behind the scenes, bandit rascals corrupters beyond all hope of usefulness,
get em good kickance offbooted intergalatically!


Too right! exclaims Alisoun. We’ve kept seprate fronts for too long, seprate ponds seprate beds seprate ways ’n battles of kinds, together nat by kin nat by kind, all kings a drag anyhow, ignorance nis bliss. Operatively takes time takes aspiration, sending love out nis simpel matter, naming kept me stumm until I stepped off, until I let the heart speak for me with me, feeling the current rise as I do and the light of intention come warm and crisp. One by one I peel the layers & give thanks. Ne fetish love! Ne totemic love! I speak from the yoni in my Johnny. See, I’m gaptothed I was, and that bicam me weel. The winds whistle thro ma lips when I speech and fortellen things even I didnt know.


Caroline Bergvall

Caroline Bergvall is a poet, artist and vocal performer. She works across art-forms, media, histories, languages. Her practice integrates many ways of working and of collaborating across disciplines. Outputs include books, performances, installations, audio-works, drawings, essays. Alisoun Sings (2019) concludes a trilogy of works exploring medieval and contemporary sources. It opened with the collection Meddle English: New and Selected Texts, and was followed by Drift (2014). It was awarded a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry (2017) and a Bernard Heidsieck Art Literary Prize by the Centre Pompidou (Paris 2017). Judith E Wilson Fellow in Poetry and Drama (Cambridge, 2014), Writer in Residence (Whitechapel Gallery, 2015), Collaborative Fellow (Chicago, 2016). Currently Visiting Professor in Medieval Studies, Kings College London.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

All Issues