The building

March 14, 2016 in Poetry

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Rebecca Seaberry

1

Once upon a time it was imposible to wonder.

Once upon a time a city, another city, every space that’s known as a city and what they hold inside

their guts.

Once upon a time the tar, the concrete, the noise, the windows facing nowhere.

Once upon a time a buildings and streets complex, the kind of anarchic government that rules it,

the dense and numerous population inhabiting it, busy with their own most important occupations.

And You. And Him.

What are two men living in the same building?

What are two men living

What are two men

What are

What

What are two men?

Two male sexed human beings

What is the male inside the human body?

What is the male sexed body?

What is

What

What is sex?

2

Once upon a time You had your own name.

A proper noun, they call them.

A proper noun is the special word that we use for a person, place or organization, like John, Marie,

London, France or Sony. A name is a noun, but a very special noun – a proper noun. Proper nouns

have special rules.

Once upon a time walking meant walking towards You. Towards a proper noun with special rules

but without a metaphor. Tramping around the small section of the city that kept my body away from

the place that you called home.

A building.

A last floor.

And You.

It was around these days when I started to walk around the same path everyday. Looking for

reasons not to go there. Not to get there. Not to go up. Thinking about the other girls up and down

the elevator.

A building

A last floor.

And Him.

An older man who wasn’t You, who wouldn’t take off his sunglasses while in front of a camera with

who he discussed his job.

A job around, through and about the body.

A job from flesh to flesh.

In front of the camera.

A video camera is a device that captures images by converting them into electrical signals, in most

cases turning them into video signal, also known as television signal.

In other words, a video camera is an optical transducer.

3

Once upon a time Him, an older man, spoke about a world unbeknownst to me. About the control

that happens when a body above another body. About the flesh we are and the flesh we desire.

About the flesh we are and the flesh we’ll become. About the flesh we are and the flesh we

consume.

A carnivore, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “An animal that feeds on flesh.”

In front of the camera Him, who wasn’t really You but could have been, spoke about desire and

capitalism while actually speaking about the videos in which flesh against flesh, flesh rubbing flesh

penetrating flesh pushing flesh consuming flesh feeding on flesh devouring the flesh.

I’ve heard that what hurts of love it’s not love itself. What hurts about love, they say, is not what

they taught us when we were children. What hurts about love, I heard, is the language in which

love develops.

If I have learnt my lesson right.

Still, it takes us one conversation to learn that what hurts of love stops hurting from that darkened

place called lust. Or so I heard.

That’s why some of the us prefer the possibilities held inside our bodies.

That’s the reason why Him understood the organic relationship between money and flesh.

A body is a body is a body is a body.

A body is also profit.

Sex, as cinematography and love, exists inside its own language.

A video camera is an optical transducer.

I’m proud of turning regular girls into porn stars.

Eyes are also made of edible flesh.

A body is a body is a body is a body.

A body is also an optical transducer.

A body is also a translator.

A body is also a credit card number.

4

Once upon a time that older man lived in the same building that made You appear the first time.

What are two men living in the same building?

That’s why I have already crossed the threshold one first time far before meeting You.

What is the male sexed body?

That was also the first time I learnt what flesh means through a lens.

What is sex?

Very few things prepare you for life as the notion that you can go body shopping.

What is love?

Flesh collapsing. A close up.

The sound that befalls penetration. The click of the tongue. The percentage of water loss. The

percentage of water exchange.

The consuming.

What is a camera?

The process of running camcorders begins with the decomposition of light from three components

(red, green and blue) through a prism of dichroic mirrors. On the other side of the prism are

sensors, which reconstruct the image and forwarded to the circuits preamplifiers.

What is pornography?

Cameras, as the body itself, are built with a gap to allow light coming through.


 

MarieJo Delgadillo is a Mexican journalist and multidisciplinary artist. Having worked for over six years interviewing artists, politicians and everyday people to find out about them, and publishing in newspapers and magazines both nationally and internationally, she is now expanding her own creative work. Currently interested in finding ways poetry and journalistic investigation can work together, exploring topics as pornography, fashion, capitalism and the idea of the body as a commodity. She is also a dance instructor. Her literary work in spanish can be read athttps://mariejodelgadillo.wordpress.com/ and she tweets as @MarieJoDel.

The Defendants Are Found to Be Highly Intelligent*

March 14, 2016 in Fiction

“Red Adidas? Now tell me, who wears red Adidas? No wonder he got killed,” says the one with the pigtails. (Who makes pigtails?! Are you in kindergarten or something? She must think it’s cute, Lolita or something.) One girl looks at her condescendingly, one can see the contempt in her eyes. “You think this has anything to do with the red Adidas, you dimwit?” says one girl’s best friend. The best friend is the smartest boy in the Sharon area, if not in the entire state of Israel. And one girl is also very very smart and pretty, too. One cannot disclose all the information about them here, due to discreteness and modesty. Let’s call them one girl and the curly one.

One girl and the curly one are best friends, ordinary human beings can’t even imagine this kind of friendship. It is friendship ordained from above, by blood, by poetry. They have an understanding, as they say, that goes deep. So deep that an ordinary person could drown. But they haven’t drowned, they’re good swimmers ‘cause they were sent to swimming lessons at a young age at the ‘Brawn Swimming pool’, Kfar-Saba’s public swimming pool. One girl was a bit pitiful, everything was handed to her on a silver platter, a silver platter bought at the nice department store. For others this was a privilege, for her it was a hardship, she wanted to end it all already. The curly one also got everything handed to him on a silver platter, but in a different style. He was like a prisoner in jail, they would leave him the silver platter outside his room door, knock and leave, leaving him alone with the silver platter.

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Rebecca Seaberry

Every single day one girl and the curly one met at the mall and they loved and destroyed everything. They set their little city on fire, burned houses under heavy mortgages, air-conditioned shops and huge parking lots. They set on fire public gardens, public toilets, curtain shops and candy stores. They felt great hatred for their city, they feared never being able to get out of there, even though they would always see bus number 149 driving back and forth along Weizmann Street, taking passengers to Tel Aviv, the big city. They never took it. They would go from the mall to Ussishkin woods, from the mall to the ‘Defenders Garden’, from the mall to the Kiryat-Sapir neighborhood. The mall was their meeting place. They’d say, Let’s meet at five by the water fountain. They hated the mall.

One day they had enough. They said, Let’s do something, let’s kill, ‘cause we are kings of the world! They walked and walked around the city. The curly one said, “Who shall we kill, my dear?” One girl answered, “Anyone.” They laughed hard. And then, boom, they met someone else. Someone else says hi to the curly one and they start talking. “Have you seen this movie?”

And the curly one says, “Yes.” “Have you read this book?”And the curly one says, “Yes.”

One girl taps the curly one’s shoulder, signals someone else to wait a moment and they move away. She whispers in his ear, “Let’s kill him okay?” The curly one nods in approval but doesn’t make a sound.

One girl asks, “Do you have anything to smoke?” Someone else takes out a bag with a bud, “This weed is the shit, it grows in my parents’ yard, organic fertilizer.” One girl is impressed and the three take off together to the Rabin High School sports facility. 

Darkness falls on the small city of Kfar Saba, only the white light of urban streetlights brightens the sky. The three sit by the running track, there’s no one in sight. Sometimes, fired up soldiers-to-be practice here, with fire in their eyes and fire in their arms, wanting to puff up their muscles, wanting to kill Arabs, grrr grrr grrr, but today there’s not a soul in sight.

Someone else has black dreadlocks, perfect blow-job lips, and red Adidas. One girl can’t stand it, naturally. The curly one doesn’t care, he can’t stand anything, nothing at all. One girl notices a discarded iron rod behind them, one of the sports facilities had fallen apart and no one cleared the trash. One girl taps the curly one’s shoulder, signals someone else to wait a moment, and they move away. She whispers in his ear, “Kill him with this, okay?” She points at the iron rod. The curly one nods affirmatively but doesn’t make a sound.

One girl goes back and sits down by someone else. The curly one is lagging behind them, pretending to be peeing.

“Where are you from?” she asks.

“From Hadarim,” someone else points westward.

And then, boom! Crash! What happened? Someone else’s forehead suddenly bled and now he’s dead.

“Run, Run!” One girl shouts and they run, just like that, running off from Rabin High School. Luckily, one girl’s house is really close, just a few hundred meters away. They run, skip, go up the stairs and lock themselves in the bathroom until there’s not a drop of blood left on their bodies and their breathing becomes regular. Now they swear, they swear so much. Now it’s real friendship, there’s no such friendship in the whole world.

Someone else’s body is discovered the next morning.

That night his mom was worried, she said to her husband, “Where’s someone else?” The husband said, “Pfff”, they fell asleep and whatever happened, happened.

*Excerpt from the book Kfar Saba 2000, to be published in Hebrew this year by Penn Publishing, Tel Aviv.


Julia Fermentto is a writer and journalist from Tel Aviv, Israel. Her debut novel, “Safari”, was published in Israel in 2011 and became a Bestseller. Her work has been published in newspapers and anthologies in Israel, Germany, and the United States. Her second novel “Kfar-Saba 2000” will be published in Israel in 2016. She’s a first-year graduate student in the Ph.d program and her main research interest is early 20th century Jewish-American literature.

Julia Fermentto on Autotranslation: Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language somewhere between 200 and 400 CE. Modern Hebrew, my mother-tongue was revived in the late 19th century. Being a Hebrew writer I carry this history whether I like it or not. My mouth speaks an ancient language but my life is post-modern; shopping online, eating skittles, getting bored. This tension is a great source of playfulness in my writing. In English however, this tension doesn’t exist. A new tension arose while translating this short excerpt from Hebrew to English. By undressing the Hebrew speech, my characters can be seen more clearly, which allowed me to understand their feelings much better.

Si/Re/No/ A Transgender Swimming

March 14, 2016 in Poetry

SI/RE/NO

Un subtítulo aparece mientras nado:

Aquí se ve el cuerpo transgénero nadando.

Desde cuando que no he visto al mar,

tanto tiempo que me siento incomodo

en su presencia.

Somehow, coming out to the ocean (the interpersonal and geographical event) is different than coming out to family or friends. I’m swimming in a pool and this (woman’s) shape displaces water in a way (that makes no sense). Wouldn’t it be sweet if a shark came and bit off  these parts I have (ceased to want).

Le hago promesas de novio al mar:

algún día regresare con un pecho liso y firme.

Entraré a el océano sin camisa,

un hombre entre la olas sin tetas que desplacen el agua fuera de este ojo marino. Jamas (seré hombre.) Este cuerpo, tal como es,

esta hecho de papel

que se despedaza en la boca mojada del mar.

You,

my salty,

do you still love me (if I am to become a man)?

Do you desire me, want me, need me, forgive me? Am I your dovefish? Your lovecruise?

Turning over in the serpentine water,

a warm thing,

fluid thing, it ripples around me,

transparent when wet,

then drying to white crystals on my skin.

Cerca, muy cerca,

unos hombres han subido su lancha a la playa.  Están limpiando tiburones muertos, c

ortándoles las aletas y las cabezas.

Si me quito la camisa los hombres van a ver

que no soy hombre. Pero si nado con camisa

no sabrás lo tanto que te quiero.

The men in the boats are men, aren’t they?

One is making a thing with his hands.

He is weaving slowly a beautiful net

for catching fish.

He is making lace to eat with.

“The sea belongs to Mexicans,” says the man who is my uncle without being my uncle.

Este momento en que estoy nadando es

un matrimonio arreglado, es el deseo de morir. Este momento en el agua, no tiene nada que ver con mi cuerpo, este

cuerpo cuya geometría rechaza el desplazo de agua en la forma de un sireno.

The men in the boats watch me while they cut and pile pieces of dead sharks. They pile them so high that the towers topple and create a land bridge from this beach to Japan, which eases the export of shark fins. But the sea belongs to those Mexicans not to this

(Mexican?) body.

This body doesn’t even belong to itself. The sea, meanwhile, (belongs to men). These men. And if/when I become a man, I ask not if you will belong to me, o sea, but, will I belong to men?

Cuando era niña soñé dos sirenos andróginos que se alineaban perfectamente, labio a labio, pecho a pecho. Esto sirve de comprobante que una vez fui lesbiana y que nunca he sido lesbiana. No lo soy (y es imposible que lo sea en el futuro.) (Incluso, jamas seré tu lesbiana y jamas lo fui.) También es posible que siempre seré lesbiana.

(My anatomy is a shark attack. It preys on people en route between Mexico and Japan.)

No soy mujer.

No, soy mujer.

Sí.

Soy hombre.

Ahora. ¿Hoy? No.

No soy hombre.

Si soy hombre, soy sireno.

¿Sí o no?

Sí, lo soy.

Soy

re

no.

A Transgender Swimming

As I swim, I caption my actions clinically:

Here we see a transgender swimming.

I haven’t seen the ocean in so long I feel awkward around it.

Mi confesión al mar es un momento

geográfico, geológico, interpersonal,

un suceso incomparable al mismo momento replicado con amigos y familiares.

Nadando en este ojo azul de agua salada,

este cuerpo (de mujer) desplaza el agua

(en maneras que no tienen sentido)

y tengo un deseo profundo: quisiera que un tiburón me quitara a mordidas estas partes de mi cuerpo (que he rechazado.)

To swim in saltwater is to make lover’s promises. Someday I will return with a

hard, flat chest, shirtless,

a man between swells withouts tits to

displace the water in tidal pools.

I will (never be a man).

This body is made of paper

and comes to pieces in the wet mouth of the sea.

Tú,

mi amor sabor sal,

me amas (¿aunque me convirtiera en hombre?)

¿Me deseas, me anhelas, me perdonas?

¿Seré tu pez, tortolita?

¿Tu lancha de besos?

Volteándome bajo las aguas serpentinas,

cosa calorosa, cosa fluida, serás siempre

esa presencia transparente mientras mojada,

que queda seca en mi piel en forma de cristal.

Some men have pulled their boat onto shore nearby. They are cleaning dead sharks and cutting off their fins and heads. If I swim topless they will see me in this pool, so I cannot show my love in a gesture of swimming.

Los hombres en el barco,

¿son hombres, qué no?

Algo esta pasando entre

las manos de uno de ellos.

Esta tejiendo pausadamente

una hermosa red de pesca.

Esta tejiendo encaje con que comer.

“El mar le pertenece a los Mexicanos,”

dijo mi tío sin ser mi tío.

I go swimming like an arranged marriage.

I go swimming like a deathwish.

I go swimming like I am unrelated to this body. This body who’s geometry refuses to displace water in the shape of a merman.

Los hombres me miran mientras despedazan los cuerpos de los tiburones haciendo columnas de sus cuerpos sangrantes. Una de estas columnas se cae, formando un puente de carne entre Mexico y Japón, que facilita la exporta de mariscos. Este mar le pertenece a esos Mexicanos, no a este cuerpo

(¿Mexicano?).

Este cuerpo ni se pertenece a si mismo, mientras el mar (le pertenece a hombres, estos hombres.) Si yo me convierto a hombre, mar mío,

no es que me pertenezcas a mi,

si no que yo le pertenezco a los hombres.

As a child I dreamt about androgynous merpeople aligning perfectly face to face so that their nipples would touch. This is clinical proof that I was once a lesbian and I have never been a lesbian. And I will not (and cannot) ever be a lesbian (or your lesbian) again. Also note that I may never stop (being a lesbian.)

I hear a wave crashing,

rolling, then pulling across the sand.

It’s sounds like it’s saying,

“Cunt,

tits,

ass.

Cunt,

tits,

ass.”

 


 

Migueltzinta C. Solís was raised in Mexico and California. He earned his B.A. from The Evergreen State College in interdisciplinary studies. Migueltzinta’s work has appeared in Midnight Breakfast, Lunch Ticket, PANK, and Apogee, and he is an alumnus of VONA/Voices. He is a graduate student in writing at UC San Diego, and also works in performance and textile art.

Migueltzinta on this translation: “The first draft of this poem was in both Spanish and English without any translation across the two languages. That draft lacked narrative strength so I wrote a second draft in Spanish and a third in English. I was going to set them side by side and be done, but when I did that they were just two separate poems with a thematic connection. By shuffling the paragraphs together I hoped to bring back that sense of lingual inter-dependence that existed in the original draft. There is also the reward, if you know both languages, of finding out that the poems do not fully, literally translate. The poem in Spanish ends in a completely different way than its English version. But even if you were bilingual you might still miss this because you had decided to read it only in one language.”

Sobre la pureza

March 14, 2016 in Poetry

I’m not a pure man

You want me alba You want me foams You want me nacre Like an amaryllis

is it necessary

possible

does it taste good

Above all, chaste With faint perfume Closed corolla

have you tasted absolutely pure water

Hispanics in 2012 represented 8.2 percent of the total Federal workforce. Whites made up 65.4 percent, Blacks represented 18.2 percent, Asian/Pacific Islanders 6.1 percent, American Indians 2.0 percent, and 0.1 percent of the workforce was of unspecified ethnicity

lab water

no grain of sand or manure

Not a moonbeam Filtering me Not a margarita May call herself my sister

I love

I like to eat pork

potatoes

chickpeas

sausage

eggs

chicken

lamb

turkey

fish

seafood

Hispanics account for about 15 percent of all jobs, but a whopping 36 percent of all high school dropouts

I like to drink rum

beer

brandy

wine

I fuck

Hispanics make up about half of all farm workers and laborers, 44 percent of grounds maintenance workers, and 43 percent of maids and house cleaners

impure / completely impure

You want me snowy You want me white You want me alba

thinks that are shit

the purity of the 90 year old hymen

fiancées that masturbate each other instead of getting laid

boarding schools where pederast animals open up their provisional semen flowers

the clergy

the academics

the grammar Nazis

the purity

If you believe race does not matter in America, you are wearing a powerful and dangerous blindfold only education can remove

of those who insist on being pure

of those who claim they’ve never had blennorrhea

of those who never licked a glans

of those who never sucked on a clitoris

You who drank all The glasses by hand With fruit and honey Purple lips

the purity

You who at the banquet Covered in grape leaves Let the flesh Celebrate Bacchus

of those who never got to be

impure enough

to know what purity is

You want me snowy You want me white You want me alba

These figures suggest that at least two separate, simultaneous things are happening. It’s likely that network effects within racial and ethnic communities have contributed to certain professions having far-above-average concentrations of certain groups. The stratification of work probably suggests that there are underlying education (and family) differences.

impure enough

to know what purity is.


Marco Antonio Huerta featuring Alfonsina Storni & Nicolás Guillén

Marco Antonio Huerta is a Mexican translator and post-conceptual poet. Won the Carmen Alardín Poetry Award in 2005. Is the author of the poetry collections: La semana milagrosa (Conarte, 2006), Golden Boy (Letras de Pasto Verde, 2009), Hay un jardín (Tierra Adentro, 2009). During the summer of 2009 he decided to kill his own lyrical self. Magnitud/e (Gusanos de la nada, 2012) is a poem-in-progress written together with Sara Uribe and translated into English by John Pluecker. His work has been published in several periodicals and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, and the United States. He has performed on experimental writing gatherings such as Not Content, curated by Vanessa Place and Teresa Carmody (Los Angeles, 2010), the &Now Festivals (San Diego, 2011; Paris, 2012), and Los límites del lenguaje (Monterrey, 2012). His interest is now focused in language as a community builder, especially in virtual contexts.