“CHRYSOPOETICS I. the world ends softly— systole, then the sudden absence of answer. II. the sky burns in pieces—Beijing first, then Bangkok. The news is full of men and women in surgical masks, suitcoats rimed ash-white. Children are being kept inside, it informs, but you catch round faces at the edge of camera frames, small noses pressed against windows. (how to explain Armageddon to those little grigori, wide-eyed and guiltless?) your town gets hit between Nashville and Kansas City, a few chill-sharp hours before dawn. you stand in the gathering white, death dusting your eyelashes. it’s getting harder to breathe. III. the cities flicker, fall dark. The nights become silvercold bright; the milky way a Jacob’s Ladder—ascending, ascending, and impassible. Sometimes you see dark shapes pass across the constellations, slipping from empty to emptiness. Their wings blot out the stars. IV. you forget how to sing. you forget what it was for. V. you count your ribs one morning—trace the crescive struts of them with your ever-lengthening nails. There is blood in your teeth you did not put there; war rides a burned-out red mustang, and his mouth tastes like the wrong end of a bullet. The pale rider sits on the end of your bed at night, carving and sealing shem into your skull, whispering, the harvest is past. Under the bloated sun, you tear down the last gods. It is not enough, this slow monstering— you have remembered the apple still lodged in your throat and you are not saved. VI. the angels come too late, feathers crawling with mites and eyes flat as snakes’. The smell of ozone lingers in their skin, and glory glory glory sounds like a punchline. They promise altars and arks; the hollow earth, the ascending light. You will be gold, and gold again. You are not surprised when their throats are torn open, revealed to be hollow. VII. it is cold here at the end of all ages.”—by notbecauseofvictories
Clean Bed Sheets
This is the part where you undress.
Say “I love you” with a mouth full of food.
Spit out the words like a loose hair.
Wipe the corners of your mouth.
Tell everyone you went further than you did.
Ruin her reputation like her bed sheets.
She can no longer sleep here alone.
She fills your side of the bed with
condoms and other boys and clean bed sheets.
Convince her that she asked for it,
remind her you did nothing wrong.
Tell your friends that it was easy.
She unfolded like a dinner napkin.
When they ask if she was a lady,
tell them you have never heard the word.
Convince them you only speak boxer sweat.
Say she is fluent in keeping her mouth shut.
Wash your hands before you eat.
This is the part where you get dressed.
Gather her things from the foot of the bed.
Say “I love you” like you bit your tongue.
When she asks if you are grown,
Always answer “Yes.”
Ownership of a Word
“I would like to know what it means to have ownership of a word, and also why it is inappropriate for people to use said word if they do not own it.”
I received this question and wanted to address it publicly. The first thing that needs to be explained is the word, “ownership.”
When someone talks about ownership they don’t own it the way a person would own a car. They are talking about an ethical or moral ownership.
Words have meaning.
You wouldn’t think this would be an outlandish statement but to many, it is. How often do you hear, “It’s just a word?” Words are the number one form of human communication. There is no such thing as “Just a word.” With that said, lets move on to what it means to “own” a word.
Owning a word usually means, “Taking it back” or “reclaiming” it. When a word is designated for a specific hate fueled use toward a specific group of people, it is those specific people that “own” that word.
I’ll be using the word n*gger as an example. This word has a very specific target and a very specific purpose. It was/is 100% negative and it was/is used to be a dehumanizing term toward one specific group of people. When Black people “reclaimed” the word, it was then taken to be used in a positive and jovial manner. They being the sole target, they could also be the sole reclaimer.
When a non-Black person uses this particular word, your intent may be anything but racism. However, the purpose of this word is racist. There is literally no other purpose. The sole reason it is not racist when a Black person uses it is because Black people are the sole target. The fact that Black people have taken this word and made it a common use of Black language, doesn’t change the fact that it has always had, does have and will always have negative and hate fueled racist connotations connected to it.
This is why it would be inappropriate for a non-Black person to use this particular word.
The only, absolute ONLY thing that doesn’t make this racist when a Black person says it, is that Black people are the specific target. With all this said, not all Black people say this word or want to be called this word by other Black people. None the less, it can not have the same connotations when coming from a Black person as from a non-Black person. Even when said in anger.
Racial slurs are usually a very different type word simply based on history. For example, the word f*ggot is a word that once had a different meaning but now means something very specific (within the USA) the N-Word is very specific to it’s terminology. There was never a “Different meaning” to it.
None the less, with the word f*ggot (within the USA) it’s usage has a specific meaning. Only a gay person can/should use this word.
For the bigots: Yes, I know. You have freedom of speech and no one can stop you from saying a word. Yes, you are quite the bad ass and we’re all scared. No really. We totally are. Anyhoo, if you’ll scroll back to the top you’ll see that I made it clear that the “ownership” in question was a ethical/moral ownership. Meaning, you can run around using your freedom of speech to say all the bigoted things you’d like. Just don’t forget that ethical people have the same freedom. When they call you a racist, a homophobe, a sexit, etc. They are utilizing the same freedoms that you are. You CAN but SHOULD you?