The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2019

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APR 2019 Issue
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The "about to happen" / "poetry as forces" when Cecilia Vicuña says that the lies (the words, the language) of the Chilean dictatorship murdered & tortured thousands of people I remember the power of the word & i remember the power of poetry—"made of forces"—that holds something in the action of language—material consequences can occur—not always—literal action is necessary but the line between language & action no longer feels quite as precise as the street vs. the aftermath, an emergence of literature—unrestrained

i ask questions like

how to weaponize my own body

or what's left of it

how do we weaponize our selves

how to weaponize the poem words as weapons1

give the poem teeth

overflow its vacancies

with sharpnesses

momentary, transitory

criminal aesthetics

an unpublished sketch

of affinities

explicit revenge fantasy

& pride orgy

accumulation becomes

a book

a constellation of bruises

a blockade

a dance party

on the freeway

alongside, from

within, erupting

out of

we sharpen

our teeth

& make attempts

glass breaking



  1. Italics from Cecilia Vicuña's reading 2/12/2019 at Hauser & Wirth


Andrea Abi-Karam

Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019), Villainy (Nightboat Books, September 2021), and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020).


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2019

All Issues