Monday, October 27, 2014

Shifter Magazine's Dictionary of the Possible (Discussion at New School)


Discussion Leaders: Mimi Winick & Thom Donovan
Saturday, Nov 1, 4-6 pm
The Bark Room at the New School
2 West 13th Street, Room M101
Recommended Reading:
Fred Moten “Black Mo’nin'” pg. 59, from Loss edited by David Eng
Jalal Toufic, The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster
Gauri Viswanathan, “Spectrality’s Secret Sharers: Occultism as (Post) Colonial Affect,” in Beyond the Black Atlantic: Relocating Modernization and Technology. Ed. Walter Goebel

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brandon Shimoda's "For Beth Murray"

April 15, 2009*

There is a kind of empathy that so fully transcends both genuine intimacy and imaginative projection that it conjoins the empathic individual to the person or thing or animal under attention with such infusing force that that individual becomes a kind of embracing, breathable liquid. We are, in fact—as individuals, as people—a kind of liquid, an embodied, bone-and-flesh kind of liquid—and yet we are not exactly meant to invent ourselves into the revelation of that fact, anymore than we are meant to be gathered together in this room without our clothes on—shorn of hair and teeth, bled of eye, disarmed, drawn and eviscerated. There is a kind of empathic individual, that by nature of pure, embodied listening and response, makes of herself a pulsing, prismatic community, and by pure, embodied listening and response, transfigures herself into a wilderness—a state alternating between clarified loneliness and voluminous possibility, however the two might be synonymous.

Life is unbearable for its dimension. We measure it both brief and interminable. Yet dimension—or in this sense, duration—is not the province or concern of genuine empathy, nor is it the province or concern of genuine poetry. An island, for example, is singular for the fact that it neither begins nor ends. It is—that is, it is happening; it happens—it receives and lets go. And yet, an island is also not singular at all, for every thing being exactly an island—a body, the inverse of a body, a wilderness, the razing of that wilderness, surrounded by water, and water.

*composed by Brandon Shimoda, on the occasion of his Spare Room series reading with Murray in Portland, OR, 2009. Also check-out Shimoda's page for Murray's The Island.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


The withered breast
With eyes of love
Do we look at gifts
Of death the eyes
Of a God whose
Gaze freezes red shift
In our veins until
The corpse of a sac
Wriggling calls out
Its new name having
Passed that thresh-
hold impassed

Aren’t we embodying it
To meet this way
In a grave summarizing time
As such crouched because
No one is free
From pain so sing
With me a song
Whose words are chronic
Weaning the lover back
From the gradual black
Red shift frozen before
Life began death began
To take away my love from me
Singing in a cadence
Of the unthinkable.

--for Beth Murray, composed spring 2012