Essay in Six Parts

You so material so networked we

 

The chronic indebted finish no programs possess no degrees

The half-baked idea author no books win no grants deserve no feedback

The aging on the temporary gig friend no contacts find no mentors schedule no payments

The lazily reverent dispense no advice teach no classes read at no readings

The yelling have no collaborators

The exhausted object have no body of work

 

 

The good life

 

There ought to be a career of slow inhale exhale

There ought to be smoke breaks from self-actualization

Some days we should read nothing

Some days just one sentence

A paid leave from poems working hard

A recess from fundraising

A holiday from our keeping before we were done in

 

 

Ask for everything

 

A phase of eccentric middle-aged dress

Where everywhere and

No event is an occasion

Unfit for a five-piece uniform

 

 

Ask everything

 

Does live-tweeting the death of an industry earn you a job in death

Does pounding out choice conference aphorisms count as community work

Does updating a relentlessly upbeat Facebook feed win you the emerging person’s award

Does digital labor create a taste for your pay-walled peer review

Does public vulnerability count as a brand

 

 

A factory someone with a nice salary

 

one long decade
in clutched vestments
overwrites the vapors
lush with ethno-mania
these all process words:
relational janitorial
karaoke
glitter a post-
an anti-
a muffin top
re- and de-
thigh touches
dis- the end of -izing
earnest proposals
a half nod
camouflaged precariat
fester and rot
I’m afraid every word
jargon I can
childish play
like flip you through
relational modes
pages of a book
oh that pessimism
there grit
emergent  sub-
sub-field
karaoke studies
an -ism of a -ness
late to camouflage
she’s the serious grievance
now
become subject and simile
a verse to someone or other

 

 

All the Pinays are straight and all the queers are Pinoy but some of us

 

hold our femme gaze straight into the cosmos

behold a supernova of fat negation

know Mark Aguhar as the real babaylan

have mothers young enough to be our sons never to reach 26

 

************************************************ Blessed be

our ugly grief

our helpless beauty

this very moment of utterance incarnate in an absent brown body

joining us

alive painfully so

strand us alone together

 

************************************************ I will never not

want to be violent with you (dare you to say

this isn’t love, queen)

pray for

her resurrection every easter

“I’m just so bored and so pretty and not white”

 

 

 

************************************************ Thinks you need some deflating

LOL YOUR PINAY SELF

LOL YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS DECOLONIAL INDIGENEITY

LOL RECOVERY AS AN ESCAPE HATCH FROM REAL NEGOTIATIONS

LOL CARING THAT WHITE PEOPLE THINK OUR BODIES ARE CHEAP

LOL THINKING ONLY WHITE PEOPLE THINK OUR BODIES ARE CHEAP

LOL THINKING WHITE POETS MATTER AT ALL

LOL FRETTING OVER OUR FAILED TOKENIZATION

LOL AGENCY AND THE COURAGE TO SPEAK

LOL CENTERING OURSELVES IN THE NARRATIVE

LOL PRETTY TRAUMA POETRY AT OUR NATION’S CAPITAL

LOL RESPECTABILITY POLITICS

LOL SLUT SHAMING

LOL LANGUAGE SHAMING

LOL MOTHER TONGUE

LOL THE MOTHERLAND

LOL PRECOLONIAL PARADISE FOLK TALES

LOL UTOPIA UNTOUCHED BY QUEER PINAY RUIN ACROSS TIME & SPACE

LOL YOUR LOLA

LOL YOUR HIYA

LOL YOUR WALANG HIYA

LOL OUR TENDER EMOTIONALITY

 

***

 

Kimberly Alidio is the author of solitude being alien (dancing girl press, 2013) and the forthcoming full-length poetry collection, After projects the resound (Black Radish Books, 2016). She is a contributing writer and dramaturg for the Generic Ensemble Company and currently collaborates with the dancer-choreographer Andee Scott.

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