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The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2021

All Issues
SEPT 2021 Issue
Poetry

An Unbecoming


imagine the possibility of singularity unbecoming

imagine the possibility of unbecoming



It is imagined because

A nazi who shot a protester in seattle is let out of jail within a
             couple days


It is imagined because


A bounty is placed on the head of the person who punched Richard
             Spencer on J20


It is imagined because


The gay face of the alt right is coming to Berkeley next week


It is imagined because


Civil disobedience just got banned in 5 states


It is imagined because


A mosque got torched in seattle on MLK day


It is imagined because


They have the $$ to take us all down


It is imagined because


A bulletproof vest costs 400-700$  


It is imagined because


I try to read theory but just think of you fucking me with your
             entire hand


It is imagined because we have yet to



imagine the possibility of singularity unbecoming
imagine the possibility of unbecoming



It is imagined because we have yet to articulate a collective desire





I think about the limits of what I will & will not do to stop this


I think about the limits of what I will & will not do in order to stop this
I have the limits of/what my body is capable of/what my body can
withstand/how much trauma I can absorb


I think about the limits of what I will & will not do to stop this
I have the limits of my resources/my networks/my friends


I think about the limits of what I will & will not do in order to stop this
I don’t want to think about the limits anymore but I feel as though they
are not thought of enough


I think about the limits of what I will & will not do to stop this
but I don’t want to think about the limits because all of us together are
expansive


I think about the limits of what I will & will not do to stop this
while a friend texts me & says she saw my mugshot from 2012 while
reading about the J20 DC protests







I put a rush on my FBI file b/c I need to know where I stand in all of this



Just a whatever singularity / collective spectator violence / anti-narrative / A CLOSED WORLD / A SOCIAL SPACE / Language as a community made out of signs / A PURE WORLD OF SIGNS / THE STORAGE OF TORTURE / Dissemination as colonization of the mind / WHEN THE RITUAL WENT OVERBOARD / B/C THE PHOTOS FROM ABU GHRAIB GOT DELETED / B/C OUR RELATIONSHIPS TO EACH OTHER ARE DOCUMENTED / BE WARY OF THE FRINGE





In order to transcend national boundaries I think
In order to transcend the limits of a whatever singularity I think





I think about wanting to document everything & how I also want to
             delete everything
I think about wanting to free up space to document new things
I think about wanting to document new things & how I have to delete
digital relationships in order to do this


I scroll through correspondence from people I have fucked before I
             delete them
I scroll through correspondence from ex friends before I delete them
I scroll through correspondence from ex friends that I did performances
with before I save the photos & delete the text
I scroll through correspondence from the dead & can’t bring myself to
             delete them


I scroll through the names of who is showing at the SFMOMA & think about
how the wrong people get deleted & how art institutions continue to
support murderers like Carl Andre & forget people
who were actually important like Ana Mendieta
I scroll through public family records I have tried to delete from my
memory but am now trying to uncover & once I have finished scrolling
I delete them in hopes it makes it harder for the FBI to find me





A nation built up like a secret everyone knows


A nation built up on a global web of lives


A nation built up like powerwashers that clean cum off the sidewalk


A nation built up against a simple villain


I am the villain.


But how dare u think me to be simple





THIS MYTH


IS HARD


ON


THE


BODY


///







I WOULD ABANDON MYSELF FOR SWEAT


FOR THIS LOSS OF FEELING / UP AGAINST EVERYTHING / AS
A WHATEVER SINGULARITY


People work for the US military to get visas & then get denied entry
after 10 years of service


Thousands occupy airports


I want to go to sfo but stay up too late & sit in the sun instead


PPL ARE RIOTING AT SFO
PPL ARE RIOTING AT JFK
PPL WHO ARE CITIZENS GET SENT TO PLACES WHERE
THEY’VE NEVER BEEN


I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING SURROUNDED BY DEATH
I WAKE UP EVERY MORNING SURROUNDED BY SOLIDIFIED &
AGGRESSIVE RACISM
BASED ON TERROR
ON THE PLACES CAPITALISM HAS LEFT
UNTOUCHED FOR NOW
WHERE THE TENDRILS HAVEN’T WRAPPED THEMSELVES
AROUND YET
HAVEN’T EXTENDED CONTROL YET


NOW THEY EXERCISE POWER IN A NEW BUT ACTUALLY
AN OLD WAY


I NOW WAIT FOR MY RIBS TO STRETCH & WIDEN OUT SO I
CAN LAY DOWN FLAT


SO I CAN SLIP THROUGH THE BORDERS & BARRICADES &
WALLS & SCREENS


SO I CAN SLIP THROUGH THE TIGHTENING ENTANGLEMENTS


//



I WAIT FOR MY RIBS TO STRETCH & WIDEN SO I CAN
LAY DOWN FLAT SO I CAN SLIP THROUGH THE BORDERS /
WALLS / TIGHTENING ENTANGLEMENTS / TV SCREENS
FLAT GLASS MEANT FOR CRASHING THROUGH
PANE AFTER PANE
THE KIND OF MOMENTUM THAT NOTHING
IN THE WORLD CAN STOP
I’LL RUN THROUGH ALL THE GLASS PANES ONE AFTER
ANOTHER AFTER ANOTHER
& I WILL BE BEAUTIFUL
I’LL GET CUTS & ENJOY EACH & EVERY ONE B/C MY POWER
WILL BE MARKED UPON MY SKIN FOREVER
I HOPE THAT OTHERS WILL NOTICE THESE MARKS & BE
REMINDED OF HOW
I HAVE ENDURED
HOW I WILL CONTINUE TO ENDURE
I KEEP RUNNING THROUGH THEM SHEET AFTER SHEET & MY
BOOTS BEGIN TO FRAY / THE SOLES SPLITTING FROM THE
CRUNCH OF SO MUCH GLASS BENEATH ME MY CLOTHES
BEGIN TO UNRAVEL
I LET THEM
I AM BECOMING UNBOUND
I AM UNRAVELLING
I AM UNBECOMING
I AM TRYING TO TRANSITION INTO A WORLD W/O SO MANY
SHEETS OF GLASS TO RUN THROUGH
BUT HONESTLY
I DON’T RLY KNOW WHERE TO LOOK RIGHT NOW
I JUST SEE A TRAP / OF ENDLESS SHEETS OF GLASS
STRETCHED OUT
BEFORE ME


/////





A nation built up like a secret everyone knows


A nation built up on a global web of lives


A nation built up like powerwashers that clean cum off the sidewalk


A nation built up against a simple villain


I am the villain.


But how dare u think me to be simple





THIS MYTH


IS HARD


ON


THE


BODY

Contributor

Andrea Abi-Karam

Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019), Villainy (Nightboat Books, September 2021), and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020).

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The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2021

All Issues