Place[meant] is a recurring series that explores identity beyond the geopolitical and physical parameters that have come to define our sense of place. From a train in Queens to the cuff of a bodily spell, the poems in this series navigate place as both material terrain and residual traces of one’s memory. Place[meant] delves into how migration, diaspora, borders, technologies of power and control, biopolitics, and historical violence shape our identities, the powers of which are anything but benign.


 

Junk Poem

with lines of Win McCarthy & Lawrence Ypil

 

 

“[Junk] confronts us by remaining unavailable to existing representational languages and to the dualist logic of subject and object. From this place of overt negativity, junk allows us a radical critique… of the mechanisms of separation and exclusion through which subjective and collective political identities are produced.”

 

                                                                           Maurizia Boscagli, Stuff Theory

 

 

 

Queer trash. Looking through it, past it, sure
all good.
But really, how to not point
towards the landfill. A gleam
of hope to be recycled,
but to be in that hope: to be
life-changing or life-hanging?
This city cannot commit

to trees. And numbness arcs away.
A family tree in ruins.
Perhaps, to queer

this city is to think of junk.
Fallen leaves are a risk
all trees bear. All trees
are a barrier between hetero-

intuitions. This city recycles

 

selectively. Not forgetting that
to speak

is to carve
into air; to carve

is still to touch

 

a younger version
of someone you are
not going 

to meet. If childhood
is much about
motion,

why were you sad
watching your wind-up
whale swim

across a lawn, intending
to be nothing.
Nothing it is not

 

but mechanical
like toilet flush.

Childlessness:
a choice, a sensation.
All good. A ditch –
all good. But really?
Yes, it signifies the passage

 

of time. Swim in it, with numbness.
Time is a breaking
in dirt. A glove

found by a creek
that has drowned a city

of hands that have touched
a younger version
of yourself. Having
occurred, as yet,
unprotected, like this city.

Sad. This city is
uncut. Its phimosis
coefficient. The glans
closing against its tone.

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