Stop asking if power is derived from ambiguity
And listen for asynchronous love

I’ll chew my mouth to shreds
Before I talk
Tongue scars in uhs like rubble
Sucking topographies
Like the bas-relief of pennies:
No discernible value left rubbed or made molten in your mouth

At first we thought of nothing but
Middle Aged Skin
Low tides in salty exposed pocks

Low tide—an emotion
Dormant until suppertime

We saw change unmoved but ascendant
Cooked in the shell for slurping hunters

 

Did you know
That you’re lit from within now?
Because I’m blind?
No,
In consideration of
Two Blaue Stunden in a day:
An exhalation and an inhalation
The thumb to the sun kind
(Ich erinnere mich an die heiße Erde)

This one’s at 3:30 am
Is no one’s lam
No temple door, but merely
Exposed—braided to a
Tshirt slept ragged
We’re all whores, remember?
Not anchorites in pristine cells

We produce logic with experience
Experience as a paltry bone
Traded with sweat on unfamiliar floors
The angles of a full bladder

We listen for stillness
And hear the voice
Of a constellation or lightning
Born in salt water and Hydra blood
A secretary to the creators of weather
A brother to her rider
Who sings

It wasn’t over when
Lava trumped fire and
I crawled into my still-warm cousin
Her jaws-of-life bones wheezing
My fat wings resting upon
Her deflating organs

She who was Frankensteined
In pursuit of terror
By opportunistic wizards
Swinging in the void

She who was once fire
Breathing from the earth’s pores
The better
To tell truth to fear
To tell truth to fear

That the next earth will not be human.

 

Bitsy Knox · Pegasus Crawling Into Chimera’s Still Warm Body (2020)

 

  • This poem was read at Efremidis Gallery (Berlin), July 2020
  • This poem was published in a different iteration in PORTAL (Tabloid Press, Berlin), 2020
  • Copyright © 2020 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

To hum is to create the first turbulence, to deny the throat the first enculturation, to emmmmmmmmote the power of the first sound—the mmmmmmother ur-sound that denies the mmmmmmmmmouth—to perform shifting interior states in the heat of your own juices.

Shit, gas, sound leave. Perhaps they live in latency before being willed to escape. Expelling carbon dioxide and nitric oxide is a relentless participation in the swooping cycle of purification and (in)toxification that results in breath, speech, song.

“In our common sense, we believe the voice is the body, its very breath and interior shapes projected outward into the world as a way others might know us, even know us intimately” (Cusick).

Are we more in our bodies now? More in our minds, in non-verbal activity (“the non-manifest in full actuality”), shielded from the outside world? “The life of the [mmmmm]mind in which I keep myself company may be soundless; it is never silent and it can never be altogether oblivious of itself” (Arendt).

Let’s talk about openings: borderlands rumbling, and then happening. We find access points marked by sensory properties that are unreliable mediators of experience. The chimerical sixth “comm[mmmm]on sense” is experienced even while we can never be certain of its form (Arendt). Common sense is there to accustom us to the world of appearances, but it has witnessed nothing but glistening pools, trapped reflections of possibility. And then there’s the voice, “performing the borders of the body” (Cusick). The voice, performing relationships of interior and exterior.

We breathe different air according to where we are and where we are from, how we are made, and how we make ourselves in time. We make new music and take different steps according to the metrical and metaphysical shifts experienced through pressure, humidity, and heat. We move through the performance of ourselves as we live it. These are the sounds of shuffling, the sighs of frustration, the murmurs of love, the vibrations of slumber. We breathe in the world around us, and exhale our participation in its ways: fleshy and vulnerable tendrils in bloom.

This sound piece is a few minutes long. It will look and sound to anyone beyond 1.5 metres of your body as if you are standing still and silent in thought, when in fact you are privately trekking the borderlands. It may be helpful to imagine many people standing a couple of metres apart, engaged in producing the same thing, together. Stand until your feet grow roots, as if you have just been rained on. Take a deep breath through your nose, and hold the breath for a moment, then release slowly through the nose with your mouth closed: IN 1-2-3-4, OUT 1-2-3-4-5. Another deep breath IN 1-2-3-4, but this time allow the inhaled breath to hover toward the back of your throat as you slowly release it, lowering your soft palate and the space around your uvula as you do, so that you make a barely audible hissing sound (like gas escaping) with the back of your throat as you exhale OUT 1-2-3-4-5. Keep breathing into that zone, and as you do, start to think about the smallest sound you can make with that breath—but try not to make any sound yet. Try to locate the moment that your throat, your uvula, your sinuses, your nose—this entire system of inner chambers—connect to make a sound, and when you find that sound, the smallest sound you can make, try to stay with it. Don’t let it grow louder, just try to eke it out as a consistent, momentary practice of smallness. Meditate on the borderland between the inside and outside of your body as it is delineated by this fragile sound. Consider what it is: Is it the sound of the performance of the body? Is it the sound of the performance of your body in culture? And if so, who’s listening, and what can they hear? Is it the earliest communication? OUT 1-2-3-4-5. Notice the note you find yourself humming. Is it high? Low? Do you know what key it is in? Is it melancholy? Happy? Hopeful? Is the note that naturally leaves your body related to an inside state? Or are you in a call-and-response with an unheard worldly noise, the Big Hum? Are you, in fact, in a polyphony? Feel that your selves are alone with your body now, and that your selves are swimming inside of you, trekking the borderlands with your breath. Find yourself swaying, forget why you’re here. Your mouth is still shut tightly.

Cusick, Suzanne G.. On Musical Performance of Gender and Sex, p.29 in audible traces: gender, identity, and music, Jan 1, 1999
Arendt, Hannah. The Life of the Mind. Harcourt, 1989.

 

Bitsy Knox · The Borderlands

 

  • Published by S.W.I.M. Reader (May 2020)
  • The accompanying sound piece for this text was premiered on Something Like #10: The Voice
  • The sound piece was also performed for Luzie Meyer’s Situated Feminism in Sound class at Kunsthochschule Weißensee, and for Alex Turgeon’s Poetry as Social Action class at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.
  • Copyright © 2020 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Suddenly shit fuck surprise
Slackjawed mouth teenage scales
Gill agape in terror alerts
Bulging eyes that feel air first
Chickenskin talons you crush bone
Blind unencumbered pain
Snatching swoop from bubble muffle
Ecstatic O M G
Home home home home home home home
Beyond beyond beyond
Pain confusion hot and cold
No no no no breath realm
Talon through the heart yum pink
Swoop, dirty wings, new blue
Silver rip, crimson once blue
New blue so hot it’s cold
See! New sun realm darkness bright
New blue screaming wind light
Dead dead dead dead dead dead dead
Breathing windless no breath
Breathless no breath breathless breath
Black black black screech! No breath

 

Bitsy Knox · Suddenly Shit Fuck Surprise (2019)
  • This poem was published by Undecimals Almanac2020
  • Copyright © 2020 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

everyday i ask myself if i know what a fever feels like
and pull my lower lip over the tip of my nose
looking for
the heat within
35 years living with this body! and still i don’t know
the difference between a chill and a draft
i read that chills occur when the brain feels overheated
stranded and steaming
chills speak in hallucinatory demands
given no choice
skin responds with sudden prickles
shocked only briefly into cooling stiffness
the same electricity sparked by splendour fear or disgust
a test in reading signals new lover moods
shuddering reminders that we inhabit temporary forms
a long-distance ride : a nameless driver
i still marvel that my mother knew when we were feverish
just by holding the back of her hand to our foreheads
(could she tell i’d prepared for her arrival by
hovering my forehead in front of a night light for a full minute?)
i temporarily blinded myself in the process
a day in ginger ale
face pressed against the windowpane the street below
Alone at last
i drew happy faces on glass in cheek print grease
the outside world in suspended peach fuzz patterns
interfaces exist between skin and the world
meeting systems
slept with in bed, now
warmed and lit from within as
evidence of impermeability hastily wiped away
only as transparent as the day it’s cleanedeveryday thereafter
documentation in evaporation
non-porous and adherent
progressive opacity
a material reminder of
transferenceof living
production in migration
traced with the emotional coolness of impermeabilityThe refusal to absorb
separates us from being & self-image
body and the love of another
holds every smudged attempt at reunion
renders boundaries in clear flatness
in covert production.There’s a certain quiet pleasure in cheating yourself
a calm
in possibility made manifest
by intention
i learned to reap
magical thinking
with brow sweat
to conjure
an image into (invalid) physicality
it was on those days,
i learned that i existed in a body
rolling curves
over squeaks

 

 

La Malade Imaginaire was originally written to be read in four ways. It was published as follows:

 

  • Published on the occasion of Perhaps, A Window, at Stadium (Berlin), July 2020
  • Copyright © 2020 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

Bitsy Knox · La Maladie Imaginaire (2020)

 

 

I want it in last light / one trouser leg ankle-side / supine in cold sheets / arranging my ass in folds / I take off my glasses / I’m cocooned in humoral cotton / already sussurating / already blood dilating / already folds distending / the folds will develop their own heart beat/ this is the study of soft parts / this is a sarcology / it’s how the lizard lizard lizard pulls me further further further into its squishy nidifice / spooned by mammals and by humans in kind/ its opening is a cave splayed at the nape of the spine / I’m carried on a viscous button that I open my mouth to dampen / I breathe from my mouth to conjure the its grand chamber / the chamber is a picture gallery / the pictures wince / they whisper my violence / they sell me my most private violence / they say limbs / limbs for sale / limbs / limbs / limbs / limbs / limbs / limbs nobody here has a head / they have mouths / eyes/ but no noses / no ears / no cheekbones / hands yes / fingernails no / no fingernails / this is the study of soft parts / these are my knees in rug burnt pain / these are my outstretched legs yes / this is my ass in the air yes / yes my trunk has shrunk / yes I am engorged in the light of eyelids shut to the sun / yes my fingers / yes these are my fingers they are titanics / yes this is how I make fucking pictures / yes these are the fucking pictures I make / yes these are the fuck pictures I make / they repeat / they rewind / they repeat / they make circles around the button that propels me on a limax trail / I slither through antechambers made of licked walls / they’re painted in fighting / fleeing / feeding / and fucking / they’re draped in velvet rubbed to oil cloth/ these are spaces I can describe no further / I’ve only glimpsed them in stroboscopic epiphanies / alias visions for two fingers / no three fingers / no twenty fingers/ hunting me like a stalking cat/ yes they call for me with familiar purrs / purrs I have known with speech if language is the movement of bodies / who praise me and treat me like shit / who exert their right to exist / whose memory lives under the mattress / in public toilets / whose memory lives on top of single beds / on hotel room floors / under airplane blankets / against table ends / who floats disembodied in metameric courses / serially repeating / sequencing DA CAPO/ floating in metameric courses / serially repeating / sequencing / serially thumping DA CAPO / serially thumping / who only knows me in here / who is totally available / who notices when I show up to the party with someone new / who is nevertheless an iteration / an ornamentation / whose words change / whose story is morphous but whose obsession is passim / whose new script is the same staging / who is a slut theatre DA CAPO / who is a slut theatre / who is joined this time by a special celebrity guest DA CAPO / who is joined this week by a special celebrity guest / who is joined by one night stands / who is joined by friends over lovers / whose guests are ambiguous even to the host / I am the host’s reprise/ who wanders into antechambers of to-do lists that are erotic too / whose dissidence is a submission / who is a repetition / a repetition / repeated in scales of dominance and submission / who “remains non-manifest in full actuality.”

 

  • Performed at OHM Nightclub (Berlin) on the occasion of Mitch Speed’s book launch for his “One Work” Fiorruci Made Me Hardcore (Afterall Books), January 2020
  • Published in TABLOID Press’, PORTAL, Summer 2020
  • Copyright © 2020 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

Perhaps you forgot
Your gestation was
96 million years ago
Followed a raucous
Adolescence a
Union of mud and
Pre-creatures

Your chimeric body
Assured
An interesting life

You came here when your
Sisters lurched away
You settled nearby in
A slurry of debris
Excrement
Trapped in scar tissue
Cushioned or cemented
In common time

Your first lover
Introduced you
To consistent touch
Licked away
Extraneous matter

You are alive
Because you’re
Unfinished
A map of small time
Where water collects
You seek shape
Codependence in
Lapidary strokes
Your polyamory a
Politics of insignificance

She’s more
Wife than lover
She tends to
Business
While lazy, you
Relish in aloneness
Twice a day

She’s under the moon‘s soft control
So you are too

Some lovers make
Indelible grooves but
Most join in
Anonymous
Pockmarking,
Always been there
Ornamental lil’ erratics
Whispering secrets
Like parasites do
To their hosts
Obsequious, they
Pet you, blob queen
But lucky you feed
On wife wetness
Twice a day

You’re only one
Of many:
Lavished by the Pacific
Paid for by the moon
An unstable hierarchy
A deck of cards
Servicing many games

 

In polyparadise you suspect your wife of conspiracy. She wants to dislodge the groans from your nubbly kept body. She’s plotting new curves to the tune of her Pacific routine. She’s working in tandem with the one-night-stands whose numbers you save as pseudonyms pertaining to use. Their voices are so fucking annoying, you moan. You ask yourself how you can fall asleep to their polyphony of squeaks. But with them, you hear no more of the lie of your singular self. You bask in the multi-calmness of white noise.

Did you know your one-night-stands are 96-million-year old captives, scratching at your prison walls? Did you know that their revolutionary ally is your wife, in a war of attrition against you, waged with sex and stories? You’re Shahryar, not Scherezade as you’ve always believed, as your ego has always convinced you. Your retribution is erosion. Your panic is a sheen lapped away in morsels, crumbs, or ashes that fertilise obediently. Your fear is pointless in the face of inevitable change.

You will make peace with the following lessons:

  1. Learn the contour of your shape, and accept that your shape is temporary. You cannot keep it, it is not yours. You may only relish in it as long as the tide is low. It’s a hitherto lifetime with no present. It’s all work, a career of dismantlement, and so a lifetime of eroding excess.
  2. Caress the grooves of your shallow imprints. An unimportant tryst is still inerasable. Feel alive in the conglomeration of their meaningless secrets.
  3. Watch as a human manchild smashes concretions to reveal your origins: ammonites, new dinosaurs, abandoned homes buried in your flesh.

At work we’re alive. In low moments we revel in aloneness, ponder death. We gnaw at present circumstances and question improvisations, which are forms of ornament made by expertise. Ornament, a process of revealing smallness—we’re so small—through elaboration.

Do you ever feel slow inside the day’s brevity?

 

  • Self-published as the chapbook Meaningless Secrets, 2020, available at Hopscotch Reading Room.
  • Copyright © 2019 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

The road to ruin is paved with good intentions
Hell is full of good meanings
Heaven is full of good works

The earth owes you precisely nothing
And you assume she will adapt to your needs!
She’d rather test how little you need
She decides how much she gives
Of what you need

I have a vision
Of panelled rooms in taupe
Carpeted richly
Reminding a nodding audience
That it doesn’t matter
(It doesn’t matter)
We were fucked last night and still slick tomorrow
It was a gross fuck arrhythmic, lacking eye contact
Comes with a squinty rictus, licked one index finger
A foreknowledge of deeds that say
I wanna dig and squeeze and scratch that itch, baby

It’s not wrong if grave consequences
Precede careful reasoning
It’s not our fault, it’s your profligacy
It’s everyone’s responsibility
Maybe it’s shielded in a film of good
But the results are perfunctory

He doesn’t know what to do
He makes excuses down the highway
On the scenic route
He tilts his head to the side
He furrows his brow with careful words
How do you think he pays for all this?
But he laments the light
Because he recognizes beauty
He should recognize the imperilment of beauty
He believes in law and government
(like I strain to)
He sits in the cold
Watching killer whales feast on herring spawn
(My negative number will not, instead knows)
Only exploded stomachs in technicolour stretches
Yeah it’s called plastic and it lives in you too

I have been led to another place
But the room I picture remains the same for 200 years at least
Nodding at hidden truths
We suspect but fear to acknowledge
Yeah the earth is dying, what’s your point?
How rich can we get and how normal can we make it?
“Remember that I have the right to do anything to anybody.”
So let’s get fucking rich.

We are extremely small
And have made up our minds too early
How long will we pray to the god of adaptability?
Like I add repetition to this song
Like I add chance to this unpredictability.

We accept the solidity of expiration dates
Death to ourselves and everyone else, to
The Pinta Island Tortoise
The Caribbean Monk Seal
The Canarian Oystercatcher
The Mariana Mallard
The Dusky Seaside Sparrow
The Mexican Grizzly Bear
The Javanese Tiger
The Saudi Gazelle
The Scimitar Oryx
The Forest Ox
Garrido’s Hutia
The Dinagat Bushy-Tail Cloud Rat
The Wondiwoi Tree Kangaroo
The Japanese Sea Lion
The Golden Toad
The Conondale Gastric Brooding Frog
The Black-Faced Honeycreeper
The Saint-Helena Earwig
The Morona-Santiago stubfoot toad
The Christmas Island shrew
The San Quintin kangaroo rat
The Kauaʻi ʻōʻō
The Socorro sowbug
The Scarlet harlequin toad
The Angel Island mouse
The Aru flying fox
The Cryptic Treehunter
Spix’s Macaw
The Monito skink
The Alagoas Foliage-gleaner
The Danube delta dwarf goby
The Sardohoratia sulcata
The Atelopus petersi
The Manombo
The Po’ouli
Chapman’s pygmy chameleon
The La Hoya minute salamander
The Eastern Puma
The Pyrenean ibex
The Central rock rat
The Yangtze River dolphin
The Kihansi spray toad
The Selmunett wall lizard
The Western black rhinoceros
The Northern White Rhinoceros
The Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros
The Plectostoma charasense
The Burdur spring minnow
The Christmas Island pipistrelle

Every single one of them is a miracle of evolution
A million year old teething splay of small change that is gone
Gone

We peer through portals
At blurry secrets
Of the sky and our futures
Pasts outside remembrance

 

Bitsy Knox & Roger 3000 · Extinction Piece
  • This piece was first performed at Schloss Salon, Berlin (invited by Sofia Leiby).
  • A second iteration of this poem was performed with expanded sound and choreography at Soft Politics, Berlin Project Space Festival, July 2019, commissioned by Ashley Berlin. More here.
  • This piece was released by Bitsy Knox & Roger 3000, and is available here.
  • Copyright © 2019 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

Maybe I’ve always been a cozy animal

A bed bug, nestled in the seam of your mattress
Waiting for nocturnal stillness
Vampiric notation of midnight snacks

An eel, eminently slippery
Underbite crazy eyes
Waiting to crush you with toothy multitudes

Two beans, spooning in amniotic red
A new opening called a womb, later
A mouth carved from goo tissue

I wait in murk
Poke from my pook like a disobedient tongue
Sediment settling all around like a blanket
Like Nyx calling night
Like I sleep with my back to the wall
Safe from stabbing

I knew calcified little ways of eating by month three
Anticipated masserating remnants
Sucking cheeks
Tonguing at muck from birth
Sweet and salty memories turned
Agents of decay

There’s a way out
Of this heavy heat
It’s an obstacle course of infuscate chambers.
At the other lit opening
There’s a waiting room
Decorated in chairs, it’s
Where we’re sitting now
At some point everyone in this room learned to wait their turn
For ritual cleansing
For their scale of rot to be pondered

I have taken it upon myself to imagine us
In one routine orifice
Finally able to smell our own breath
We’re in one mouth
Droplets combined to make one patient reservoir
We have been underwater
Alone together we’re reminded of
What it feels like before and
After we’re alive

Fidgeting together we imagine
Private futures of streets and distractions
Of flicking buttons
Of hot Luft of
Hot bare legs of
Hot divets sealed with cooling agent
Whether rot is decay or digestion

We don’t believe in heaven
We believe in the passage of food

 

Bitsy Knox · Breath Temperature (2019)

 

  • This poem was published in Bastardos (Pure Fyction), 2019
  • Copyright © 2019 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

Who will take

a smile this wide And expectant?

Made into dust

The prying edge The laggard piece Scraped at
With or in search of Misprision

That’s why we carve a slit in plaster On every high rise floor

Imagining pleasure

Or a life of option and Sloppy privilege

Or other mendacious shit Shoved in cracks

 

 

 

 

I didn’t ask
whether it’s alright
If, atop the whale’s back
I can keep you here
And strip you of the aftermath

The eagles were eating their hunt
Two bleached trunks convening
nubs looking forward-
Benches around an erratic giant

Smooth, and millions of years!
Of angry and alone
As in wheelies in your father’s car
Angrily at night, when the ice is
Thawing with painful protraction

Your body revealed
Your body a crater
Your body a boulder
Your body a bolder version of –
Your body the very picture of –
Summer, millions of years
Ago the South Pacific yawned
Gravel grating
A mmmillion days so that I can
Rub my thumbs on the assailant

Isn’t she a
Child of angry glaciers?
Our cold and dirty grandmother,
Who formed the world
Embossed her under foot
and a porous body for us to
Dribble out from

She knows what a trillion years is:
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
Trillion
Trypophobics tumble over this
Sssomatic earth, aware of
Exfoliating my ass, home to
Nine gazillion barnacles
Cutting pink flowers into flesh

Imagine
The picture of
A truly awaited prickly embrace
Like when the starfish came back
Plague survivors clinging
Purple and slowly snapping
Their underbelly mouths shut
They’re stronger than ever
Together or alone
They’ll procreate

I imagined how it would start
Hand on thigh
Food for later
No,
Nose to nose
I’ll hungrily anticipate how your skin feels
It’s so warm and I’ve waited so long
To scratch your itch

I want to describe a kiss
I wanted to show you my best one

 

Tasty oxygen emits
Like apocrine glands
Stroking this excretory duct
That dribbles down hairs
Thicker when shaved an
Oily dribble percolation

I like my
Coffee with cardamom my

Soapy morning disappointment

Your eyes were shut

So I peered over your shoulder

Where garden snakes
Bump
heads and nuzzle cheeks
Horny
Unpracticed

Yes it’s totally repulsive
But over your shoulder
Keratin heard clacking
Feathers heard sweeping

This burned in my brain
Yellow talons on fishtails
Clumsy experts at
Tearing scales

That’s before I told you
I can’t stand to look at birds of prey
By which I mean fear
You were disappointed

But there are
Clumsy predators
Do not ask how
History precedes them
Millions and billions and trillions
of years, those
crazy-eyes

How could you do such a thing
For so long your
Eyebrow cocked
Saliva coursing down your chin

Why didn’t you just swim naked?
It’s as hot out as
Your tongue
Instead weakly perched bathophobic
Floating, my neck finds salt prickling
Dried to the pock-marked rocks

When I came up again
Liquid mercury slinking away
And later your best memory is of
Me wiping your glasses
Practiced since childhood
Better to see pyrite skies with
looming conflagration

 

Is this marrow
A sum of substance?

Blame the weather
this cadmium-sunset-weather
this sun
this cadmium sky
this cadmium sky cuts contours

Curling shapes need the sky
As if the sky is one body

Your breath thickens around my bones
Grows under calculating vines
Your flavour lost after too long

 

  • Tomarrow was first read at Blake & Vargas (Berlin), for “A Guest List is a Love Letter“, invited by TABLOID Press, June 2019.
  • Copyright © 2017 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

Who will you ask to style
your conversation?
Dress you in your words?

Sagging in boredom the
Customer agent
Answered with
Trrransactional Distance,
what you call
Emmmmmmmpowerment,
even though you are not
rich enough
for the shoes you wear.

As if to walk
to be either very cold or very hot
Are all cozzzzzzy impossibilities.

Wouldn’t you rather
Badinage (1) on
Thick carpets, cushioning
Your dissonant whimpers;
The luxuriant little puppy’s
Turned old grey dog

How might your gloveless
hand
tarry a moment longer
In the cold
to witness it’s condition?

I see its impressive grip on
Formality
a pretty grippable silicon mass
Shaped so
that glassy surfaces cannot slip
From doing limbs

Never have I said so little
Mouth and hand and back
Curled clockwise like
The boy in Asnières
My wrist my back limp
My mouth limp, I
Gaze at doing limbs
Gone lax and silent,
Written so:

“She came back now. She stepped so to speak from her tense trance-state like a moth from a split chrysalis. She stepped so to speak from her tense mood and laid a hand become suddenly nerveless, lax across the peak (she still half visualized it) of a minute mountain. The hand sank suddenly and she recalled exactly her surroundings. The hand sank down lax, nerveless as the cold of the fresh green spires of the inner un-sunned grasses (weeds of an inner green pool unfolded) it contracted, tense, shocked from its nervelessness to a marble quality of tension. Her hand lay, separated in her consciousness, a marble hand broken, separated. It was as if a heavy marble hand had been broken from the draped body of some exiled Muse or early unfashionable Aphrodite. An archaic hand, heavy, firm-weighted, of priceless texture, lay heavy white stone on the green floor of some tiny tide pool.” (2)

With this low gaze, comes “a
Woman,
In consideration.” (2)
Actual time in continuity.

 

When I die
Which we all do,
Don’t embalm me in a giant wax candle
Lying curled around a melted moat
of hot wick centre
Paraffin’s perfume like
my myrrh, my
mucous
Kept in suspension

No,
Let my stomach putrefy third
My larynx, my trachea first
My uterus last

Yes,
My sex is the closest to dirt
Fertilizes cotton

So,
compost my last meal
My final privilege will be
To enjoy it
All by myself

“…to flourish we must absorb more than we exude
Of elements, minerals, and so forth.
We call this food, and it fabricates us
From the inside.
But much does drip and escape
From the corporeal tissues and we use this
Excess to make belief.

It is normal therefore for the body to perish From incessancy of belief.

In the meantime

How about a milky pablum, nutmeats
Quickened with liquor, the iron
Our blood sucks from roots, the delicate
And ingenious bodies we call pastries
Or most intimate aspects of animals
Honey, sap and other lucky seepage
Various salts and the slightly bitter textures of leaves:

From a fortuitous concourse of atoms
Blond foams, dripping vineyards, these curved
Spontaneously out of the pleasurable earth.” (3)

I have knelt to feel the pleasurable earth
And found
A rotten mother
Shrivelled
Her tentacles reveal
her offspring
firm and many eyed

And here I plucked in pride
Her children alive as her body fed
The earth with her oozing putrefaction
Her body rendered excess (4)
Used up by proceeding generations.

 

When I die
Which we all do,
Don’t shatter me with sonic pulses

No,
Let my stomach putrefy third
My larynx, my trachea first
My uterus last

Let my last hummmmmmm
Be the longest expiration…

Tongue, low to the floor
Passing roundly through
Space, fills a
Saliva dark
Cave, its vibrating trapdoor
An incessantly vibrating trapdoor
Communicating ease
Making for humid conditions
Ripe for R&R
With red curtains to
Block out the light

To Block the Windows and Change the Date
Like Camilla said,
“Light is used to divide time flow and as a timeline to preserve from the rush of chaos. Ideas receive their date but the space is in camouflage…” (5)

Yes,
A pulsing orange curtain glows
veins pulsing this flesh glows
That only knows daylight

 

In other words
I’ll sit a little longer
In this state

It’s why the chest feels frost
In heavy moments
The way the saffron sheet rustles
Last year’s clothes, dumped
Or chewed
They lie dampening
Catching wet dust called mud
In cold light suspension
“Clots of rubbish washed up on shore became us.
Similar yet unrelated swerves hosted each

Fruit and flouncing pasture, which now with meagre effort
We’re hard pressed to husband.
We use up the cattle and their fields.
We use up iron.
Dirt’s tired of giving.
We sigh at our expired
Work, envious at the luck of our
Parents.
We walk to the bar again with stooped shoulders.” (6)

This life this
Apogetic thud
Autolytically dripping

I’ve seen excess dribble
From here, here, and here
In little spurts or shuddering flow
No cotton for dabbing.

In fact,
What surfaces absorb excess?
Floorboards or lace.
I will never see “the mucous, that most intimate interior of my flesh, neither the touch of the outside of the skin of my fingers, nor the perception of the inside of these same fingers, but another threshold of the passage from outside to inside, from inside to outside, between inside and outside, between outside and inside.” (7)

In front of us
The flesh folds
In fluid inflection,
Drips in continuity
Unbound.

The flesh who formed the world
A porous body for us to
Dribble out of

Its
mud and mire
Is a limax trail
Sliiiiiide or adhere to continue
Dripping from folds
And oozing on cushions

What is the timing of your liquefaction?
Jell-o liquefaction
Your marrow shudders
Under
A generation of hot lights

Born and died
Reborn and revealed
Emerged from
This slimy excess

Emergent from a red orange glow
Cooled by mucous.

 

Meanwhile we read
On a bed of rocks
That cackled as the sea exhaled,
We were
Absorbing”, later “exuding
Feeding on
Bread and cheese
Synasthetic” (8) entertainment to a
Nervous little audience
And conspiring gulls

But then you hadn’t reached the part about
Leaks
Of tipping earth and furrowed brows
Consciously unfolded

I remembered then the hot breath
Glued shut by
Moist layers of
Fundament
I push a note
Through vibrating flaps
To a smile or a salty brow

And here I hummed
Because this does not suffice
To describe
The messy privilege of happiness

 

  1.  Badinage meaning “small talk” in French, but also a piece by Marin Marais, which is particularly dissonant in the Baroque style of the time. 
  2.  H.D. “Palimpsest”, p. 42
  3.  Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”, p.34
  4.  Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”
  5.  Camilla Wills, “Block the Windows and Change the Date”, DRIVEN BY THOUGHTS February 19 – March 19, 2017
  6. Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”, p.34
  7.  Patricia MacCormack, “MUCOUS, MONSTERS AND ANGELS: IRIGARAY AND ZULAWSKI’S POSSESSION”, p.110
  8. Lisa Robertson, “Lisa Robertson’s Magenta Soul Whip”, p.33

Bitsy Knox · Hum Idols (excerpt, 2018)
  • Another iteration of this poem was performed in collaboration with Will Holder on the occasion of And When She Awoke, The Dinosaur Was Still There, curated by Kate Brown and Maurin Dietrich (December 2017).
  • Copyright © 2017 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.

 

 

Hasty lovers
don’t understand
Don’t see this
little teat
Its presence
has no effect
But prickles
When cold

As annual lies
Written in dedication
Mumble in-absentia for

Thirty-four years:
Ear
To tummy
Listening for
whirring cells
Ouroboros tears or
The saddest mad joy
At the vessel
Its blackened lines
Proof of ancient
Female bathing

 

  • Copyright © 2017 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.