future somatics to-do list

Jen Hofer

                                                            a love letter to traci akemi kato-kiriyama
 

does a voice have to be auditory to be a voice?
 
where in the body does hearing take place?
 
which are the questions that cannot be addressed in language?
 
which are the questions where promises lodge?
 
how do we hear what is outside our earshot?
 
when does distance look like closeness, feel like velvet sunrise cheek to cheek?
 
what are the objects, ideas, or experiences we drop beneath the more evident surfaces of our lives to the air or water or ground beneath? do we drop them purposefully? are they forgotten?
 
what word makes the body?
 
what body defies the word?
 
which figures, shapes, presences, haunts, methods, media, modes, ephemera, gestures, abandonments, models, anti-models, breaths, harmonics? which soil? which fields?
 
what does beginning sound like? what body does continuing form? what note does perseverance hum?
 
is a word a body?
 
which apertures? which hinges?
 
where does a body stand without settling?
 
through which holes does history break into our day?
 
where in the past does the future excavate?
 
where in the future does the past propel?
 
what are the distinctions between proximity and simultaneity?
 
where does a body resist without refusal?
 
can borders be exceeded? can borders be disintegrated?
 
where in the body does hearing take place?
 
where in the body does loving take place?
 
how do we make family with someone we do not know?
 
what do we carry with us and where in the body do we carry it?
 
might we be permitted a we this evening?
 
may I hold your hand? to feel your hand as its actual shape, clothed in its papery useful unequivocal skin, bones stacked like tiny branches, the balancing act of a bird, joints unlocking, span from thumb to pinky octaving out toward unfamiliar harmonics?
 
what space does the body occupy despite everything?
 
what does despite sound like? what does with sound like?
 
where does at take place? where does respite take place?

Related Poems

Silence Is So Accurate, Rothko Wrote

Accurate like an arrow without a target
and no target in mind.

Silence has its own roar or, not-roar,
just as Rothko wrote “I don’t express myself
in my paintings. I express my not-self.”

A poem that expresses the not-self.
Everything but the self.
The meadow’s veil of fog, but is veil self-referential?

Already, dawn, the not-birds alert to what silence has to offer.

The fog, one of Rothko’s shapes,
hanging there in the not-self, humming.

Mikel, before he died, loved Rothko most.
When he could still think, he put his mind
to those sorts of judgments.

If I pull the fog away like theater curtains, what then?

Sadness shapes the landscape.
The arrow of myself thwacks the nearest tree.
Fog steps closer like a perpetrator or a god.

Oh. I’m weeping.
Tears feed the silence like a mother drops
into her baby not-bird’s open beak

some sweet but dangerous morsel.