STONE AND FLESH(1)
50.4423 N 30.5188 E
Heed my words and you may discover the seams and sutures in yourself.
– Susan Stryker (2)
Today not a single Lenin statue remains standing in Ukraine. There has been no consistency in their handling: they have been variously toppled and left unclaimed; stored away by the authorities; broken up or tampered with beyond recognition; or repossessed by hopeful locals.
– Myroslava Hartmond (3)
t h e s e a r e t h e s o u n d s o f s t o n e & f l e s h
“He was here with us to play, re-define
what kind of mess we [were] going through.
, because no one was possible. I
keep facing time;
to go and build a decent past?
To bury your face in the ground as if it were your lover
To fly as you eat dirt
To never let go of what you clutch in your hand
To take up all that space
To not get back up when you fall
s c a t t e r e d , stone and wood, your
eyes rest, s t i l l , tugging at your suit
pining for movement. Is
no one there? I am trying to become an expert , &
you tell me
resist mastery. (4)
impossible to separate [from you]. T h e b o d y
is vaster than pictures and
p a r t s , alive ,
lips in the emptiness, say: You and I are also
fictions, and we live in this collective dream. (5)
Now become ,
the poet, my
house my friend my world my tree my son. I try to find
limits, words &
your cold flesh suggests I am only
I can barely make out your words:
No illumination, but feeling around in the dark. I'm talking about discovering the
surface of an interiority with your skin. (6)
Is this the answer? I ask, eyes closed and crawling on the damp soil next to you. We
have no other solution than to lick at being. Suck it, as the sole mode of knowledge and
apprehension. (7) My arm hits your stone body as I open my mouth and put my tongue
to the dirt.
VLADIMIR ILYICH LENIN DIED IN 1924.
LENINISM WAS BORN BEFORE THE FLESHY LIVING MAN DIED, & LENIN’S BODY
AFTER DEATH BECAME A PIECE OF THE BODY OF LENINISM, A
THE PRESERVED BODY WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE SIBERIAN CITY OF TYUMEN TO PROTECT IT FROM NAZI TROOPS DURING WORLD WAR II.
THE JOINTS IN LENIN'S BODY ARE STILL FLEXIBLE.
THE PERFORMANCE NEVER CEASES.
I w a n t t o k n o w w h a t i t w o u l d l o o k l i k e t o p r e s e r v e u p h e a v a l
The time is already over
I call and I worry about
our inevitable [horrors]
worse? I only say
that the brutal
desire distinctive of
being both [is]
. . . In other words, there is
living e n t r a n c e
My God, they cut it all in pieces. To be honest, I don’t really understand what is happening .
I h a v e t h e h e a d o f e v i l i n m y g a r d e n . I d o n ’ t w a n t t o
t a l k a b o u t i t – d o n ’ t b o t h e r m e .
My God, they cut it all in pieces.
“Now I [am] no longer, I have no
landscape. [It’s] not important. [I am] of the past,
with the present and anxious. Imagine:
to be honest,
an old risk. It’s the strong nature
wild plants and vines all over
the monuments here in my garden. The people can
bathe [themselves] like history.
To me , I [am] the statue outdoors.”
How is it to look at yourself? To have a child sit on your head? To become her seat, her canvas? You are remade in her image – covered in red paint and bird shit,
dirty and joyful.
You are surrounded by wildflowers. They grow into you and your stillness.
You hear my thoughts. I wonder what it is like to
be destroyed remade melted painted
tucked away toppled protected left alone all at once.
Is t h i s existence?
Are you over it? P e o p l e still want so much
from you & yet:
We owe each other the indeterminate. We owe each other everything. (13)
( I t ’ s t r u e . W e w i l l s i m p l y b e p e o p l e , a l l o f u s , a s [ i f ] i t w a s o n l y t h e b e g i n n i n g . I ’ l l b e w a i t i n g f o r t h e s e b e a u t i f u l e v e n i n g s , d i s t a n t & u n f a m i l i a r , w h e n t h e f u t u r e s t o p s s t a n d i n g i n i t s p r o p e r p l a c e . )
Paul B. (Beatriz) Preciado, Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy's Architecture and Biopolitics (Zone Books: New York, 2014), 24. ↩
Susan Stryker, "My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage," What Is Gender Nihilism? A Reader, 87-113 (Contagion Press, 2017). Originally published in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 1994. ↩
Niels Ackermann and Sébastien Gobert, Looking for Lenin (FUEL Publishing: London, 2017), 13. ↩
Jack (Judith) Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure (Duke University Press Books: Durham, 2011), 11. ↩
Preciado, Pornotopia, 7. ↩
Paul B. Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (The Feminist Press at CUNY: New York, 2013), 154. ↩
Ibid., 142 ↩
Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton University Press: Princeton, 2005), 138. ↩
Ibid., 142. ↩
Ibid., 122. ↩
Ibid., 127. ↩
Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (Minor Compositions: New York, 2013), 20. ↩
Ibid., 20. ↩
Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets (Random House: New York, 2017), 11. ↩