Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Archive

--after Carlos Motta

There is an archive in the sky
Not unlike the one on this earth
Except that it doesn’t forget

Here we are forgetful
An archive, your archive, is specific not general
Because it is made of flesh and blood

And because some people can’t speak
Very loudly an archive attempts to speak
In words and pictures it is a kind of multitude

A swarm it takes to the streets and
Like events is not foreclosed
The composite of a few specific questions,

Of research, it tries to keep a promise
When the dead can’t
The person/people who organize it

Obviously matter very much
The archive being an extension of them
In its organization if not in its content

It bears the mark of their concern
Their burning regard not for a world that exists
But for what will have been

To make an archive like writing a poem
May make a living body of history transmissible
Making us bear witness—especially through what

It’s excluded or lost—to the collective struggle
To remember, the threat of disappearance
This struggle represents.

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