i go to the place where i become pure transmission

From Jackie Wang’s Alien Daughters Walk Into the Sun, her presentation for the Colored Bitches in a White Boy World: Innovative Others and Identity Aesthetics panel (published in The Brooklyn Rail).

Jackie is pure wildness. Harvard is fucking lucky to have you, girl. Reading I FOUND MY SOUL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL and the accompanying talk this morning at 6 AM I felt watery and lush after a tight sleepless night. So much love for Jackie and her soul, her work, the underbelly and the rats. ❤

bottom of pool

I FOUND MY SOUL AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL

PART I

i found my soul there

i found it at the bottom of the pool

she saw

no i saw

no she saw

no i saw

i saw my soul vibrating at the bottom of the pool

i saw my soul just out of reach

i saw my soul go for a swim

i found my soul in rainbow diving sticks at the bottom of the pool

i found the years i lost to sleep at the bottom of the pool

i found my mother’s womb at the bottom of the pool

i found my mother’s watch at the bottom of the pool

i found my focus in chlorinated water

i found a feast spread out on a dining-room table at the bottom of the pool

i found 2 cups of coffee and waking up at 6am at the bottom of the pool

i found the world at the bottom of the pool

there is water at the bottom of the pool

there is a comfortable bed at the bottom of the pool

there is skin at the bottom of the pool

i found the continuity of dust and mommy at the bottom of the pool

i found my manuscript at the bottom of the pool

i found centuries of strangled mirrors at the bottom of the pool

i found a cop looking back from the mirror at the bottom of the pool

i found the first day of my mother’s fall from grace at the bottom of the pool

i found unnamable deities at the bottom of the pool

i found particles of my past repeating themselves at the bottom of the pool

i found Nietzsche at the bottom of the pool

i found directions on how to say no to your tongue and walk away at the bottom of the pool

i found the reason why it is so easy to forgive everyone except myself at the bottom of the pool

i found the mystery of gravity at the bottom of the pool

i found myself untamed and inside the feeling at the bottom of the pool

at the bottom of the pool there is a basket of loneberries

and the pool is the spreading-out and becoming-full of the pool

the pool is tautological

the pool is at the bottom of the pool

the pool is a hum that settles blood and everything terrible

at the bottom of the pool there is the choice to get mad or just be a silent witness

at the bottom of the pool there is a house that can’t get rid of the stench of animals

at the bottom of the pool there is a body that inhabits itself without the fear of being common

at the bottom of the pool there is a rocking chair and an old woman in it, waiting for her friend to return

at the bottom of the pool there is a way back to the fever pitch of receiving your letter

at the bottom of the pool there is a way back to the joy of writing and the discovery of eyes you never knew were hiding beneath your hair

at the bottom of the pool there is an eye opening for the first time, a furry creature prodding its babe alive

i am creaturing at the bottom of the pool

at the bottom of the pool there is a cocktail of all the best drugs

at the bottom of the pool there is here

at the bottom of the pool there is a way to be here

at the bottom of the pool there is a toilet and the toilet is a portal to heaven

PART II

the Haymarket oracle whips her hair to the beat of the bleeding toes

we are as we should be, she says, even after swaths of our inner topographies are swept away by the flood

be quiet and admire the way other people strain to exist

let there be nothing inside your head except the image of women walking into the sun

you’re looking for a fancy way to shoulder the night while knowing nothing of the night you wish to speak, the way the undertones chime like the voice of a distressed woman on the phone

the woman on the phones says the red dress crumpled and limp on the wet street is what it means to suffer as a daughter suffers, 14 hours a day

her phone is not plugged in

and on she goes about how she would like to crawl into the dress and sleep and sleep and sleep for a fierce arrival tomorrow

“i am a blackberry covered in spider webs” she says

but all you take away is a passing impression of being caught

“i am a shrill bride anxiously anticipating the moment of negation,

which is also the moment of being made into someone normal enough to be a lawyer”

what do you know of the way lawful people count the days left to have a baby?

or the way people devote themselves to being vegan or a poet because they’re not normal enough to be a lawyer

let them laugh a little because they are sick and need to feel unrestrained

the sun is rising over the hill and there’s no question about it, you have reserved your tenderness for the WRONG people!!! for the people who deserve it least

oh Haymarket oracle, will you be a reason for me to take note of where i am?

he’ll never love the crack and the way the world flows out of it

as blood spurts from the mouth of the one who is a little too excited after having spoken to God!!!!!!!!!!

a word vibrating in the body is way to know God

a gold coin glowing at the center of a damp street

or the way you knew, at the end of the night, that the truth of God was to be simple and kind to yourself

the gift of the word has been given to women who are not afraid of the rapture of turning themselves inside out

you weren’t afraid of dying but only of being ejected from your life while alive

don’t let yourself not be in your life

let there be nights spent at your desk, howling ecstatic

howling—oh Haymarket oracle of pithy mystery!

oh trains! oh how many people carry the hideous Metro rag!

oh spectacles of bodily disfiguration!

oh nose grown on the forehead of the one who weeps for a new face!

when the body is undone, some words are released

inauguration of a state whose book grows cosmic in scope

in a cup that says “relax” there is the juice of life

i’ll be near God, from now on the pieces of the world will spring luminous into this vision

the way karl marx’s words sprung luminous into the mind of the drugged-out jewish boy

you’ll know yourself not afraid and so confused you know everything, finally!, which is to say nothing at all

there was always a bible in the silence of the room

pursue that state until it becomes dream and you are a young man on your way to study abroad, top hat and valise

eyes huge with money

what the desert did to your dreams

what the desert did to you

never had you felt more true to the state of waiting

buried alive

when i look in the mirror now i think, the desert aged me

i feel this haunt in my neck bone, where i carry everything left behind

i said, “dimension”—i want to know life in all its dimensions.

come down and see me

witness my slaughter oh world felt in a gilded instant,

when we step out of unhappy rooms

into the sun we are shredded into our sons

tell him we will become what we never thought we’d have the courage to become

tell him the sky is waking up to the finitude of tomorrow’s coming

and we are to receive the memory of our childhood bedrooms

i remember the room, the way it bent down to meet me in my sorrow

and how many nights spent in bed drowning because, i don’t know where my head is

i don’t know where i am

there are two ways of drowning in fire and i am the way of blood

i am the tiredness of this room, its low lighting

the way i bent down to meet the room in its sadness

you are the hypocrisy of light when your soul is dark

the sanguine countenance that betrays your inner disorder

together we dreamed of drifting down the river

and because it is a day, we are this miracle of day

the way we kneel and beg the day to shine its mercy on us

i was drawn to what i believed was his self-possession

and i used this to punish myself

because i will never be a man—

i’ll return to Caspian Sea with a book on how to begin

out of this we are born

we are born on the train

watching the morning spread out across the earth

i like the way the frumpy girl wears her headphones and never takes off her jacket

i like everyone and everything

i like you

i like my life, my whacked-out way of being

but i can’t say for how long

and when i didn’t care about being smart, it was easy to just you know kind of be a person and there was the love i wanted to be and i had a mission i wanna oh how to be, did my emotions go flat? no no, there was the desert but um i think that that was more sad than euphoric but there was psychic yes i am losing my psychic powers because i dont remember the dream, and the dream has nothing to say to me when i am not bending down to meet the dream in the creek. what there was: profound appreciation like crying because the world wakes every day even though you are never ready to be in it. or how the ocean makes an infant of you, or the moon becomes “i appreciate your big hands” because of the way they remind me of the moon remind me of a pale heart remind me of the butt in Butt Magazine remind me of the cheeks of my father or a passing cloud

soon it will be cold. there are too many directions inside you. finish your books. be an amorous dolphin. remember the way everything fired at once but you have some pills to curb your mania you have jolts of awareness you have a way of un-stating everything that matters. you have a way of sitting on the floor, falling asleep you are sad on the train because you remembered the way you’d weep on the train at the beauty that was the feeling that life was coming rather than receding. now, only the feeling that life is falling away from you, like clumps of hair fall from an unnourished body. yes there was the swelling and a way of being more and more in the space until you were the space while at the same time you could see every little thing that constituted the space, in that moment and beyond. mistakes were exciting, inroads in the art of unknowning. the rush of not rushing, of just being, how marvelous!, this appointment: to be alive.

let your mistakes be a way of remembering what it takes to be free.

in the dream i discover the origins of the film

i return to where i began, in pitch black, at the bottom of the pool

i return to feel life coming

i return to where there is still someone waiting to meet me and be changed

to where the mystery of lost objects is audible

yes i live inside the feeling of embarking

and i have finally come to terms with the fact that i will never be the kind of person who can read on airplanes

accepting this, i let myself daydream of inverted skies

in transit the world is too large for demands to narrow my attention

my life becomes distinct and spontaneous

i go to the place where i become pure transmission

transforming, sensual and holy

at the bottom of the pool

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