A People’s History of Trash: On Rejecting Anti-Blackness In the Most Racist City You’ve Ever Lived In by Tatiana Luboviski-AcostaA new piece by Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta, author of The Easy Body, titled "A People’s History of Trash: On Rejecting Anti-Blackness In the Most Racist City You’ve Ever Lived In" is now up on SFMOMA’s Open Space.Here's an excerpt:Perhaps you know what I affectionately refer to as trash as the precariat: that portmanteau of “precarious” and “proletariat.” Or as the lumpen, the disregarded (ahem!) class whose potential was overlooked by earlier revolutions, but recognized by the Young Lords and the Black Panthers. In short: trash is a political position of abject disenfranchisement, who’s not here to make the neoliberal phoenix look good. To be trash is to not be pandered to, or courted.
The mythical White Working Class is not trash.To be trash is to be forgotten, disposed of, razed, evicted, poisoned, gaslit. Policed. It is to be detained, incarcerated, deported, murdered. We are living in a now spectacular trash fire, surrounded by ourselves being burned at the stake. I say “spectacular,” because while yes, this fire is eternal, it only seems recent that others have taken notice and watched our destruction.What makes trash so dangerous is that it has absolutely nothing to lose.
Read the rest of the essay here.
Photo Credit: Andrew Kenower
"Cataclysm's Open Road and Burnt Rubber: A Conversation Between Jamie Townsend and Ted Rees" is now up on Entropy! Here's an excerpt:
One of my aims in the book is to interrogate this history of devastation and its reasoning, while also extending that interrogation into more recent gentrification and development efforts, thus connecting finance vampyrics over time.
The voices in the poems about Oakland, then, are very much attempting to be in concert with the environment, giving aural space to the interstices, the histories, and the present interpretations of the urban scape. There are a lot of rhythms and tones that are somewhat easier to suss out— hyphy music and older rhythm and blues tracks make a number of appearances— and some that are more obscure, but what connects them is that they are situated in a location that is roughly fifteen blocks by twenty-five blocks.
The other poems in the book are more geographically dispersed, but I think share something of the wailing of disaster, of “cataclysm’s open road and burnt rubber/ one long drift across the continent.” That this wailing never ceases no matter one’s location needs to be recognized and reckoned with, particularly by those who benefit from (and often cause) its reverberations across time and space.
You can read the whole interview here
And make sure to get your copy of In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame by Ted Rees, whose writing has been described by Cassandra Troyan as "brilliant effusive baroque, styled by the trash of capitalist excess".
Here's an excerpt:
To be born again is to be ecstatic, to stand beside oneself in fear, rage, or grief (Judith Butler, Precarious Lives). It is simultaneously in the body and out of body. It’s fucking God, then forming the words with the goo from that encounter. Born Again is my bildungsroman. All these themes, the etymological link of rape and rapture with the disembodying effect of consumerism, trauma, heteronormative white patriarchy, could not be separated. Once I got started, I didn’t want to stop.
You can read the whole interview here.
Also, make sure to check out Ivy Johnson's artist book, As They Fall, which just happens to be the first book published by Timeless, the one that started it all.
Forthcoming Timeless Author Lauren Levin recently wrote "Genre Wormhole #1: Archive For Future Memories" for SF MoMA's Open Space on the connection betwween queerness and the archive in the work of two visual artists Joel Gregory and Ellis Martin.
Timeless co-founder and editor, and creator of the Craigslist Personals Instagram archive @craigslist_personals__; this project has continuously been erased for "Violating the Community Guidelines" of Instagram. Gregory’s source material is close to 1,500 images pulled from the now defunct Craiglist Personals section. This project has since evolved into a series of Craigslist Personals adjacent videos and paintings. Levin writes:
Gregory did not explicitly begin Craigslist Personals as an archival project, but as the work grew it began to amass bulk, stylistic and formal variety: a language, visual and verbal, people used to present themselves as they sought connection, sex, friendship, or exhibitionism in the personals section of the Craigslist website.
Internet-adjacent projects like Craigslist Personals are often thought of as interrogations of narcissism and voyeurism, the shallow mirrors of the social media age. While voyeurism as it relates to the desire for connection is certainly important to Craiglist Personals, I find it also generative to read its politics along the axis of the queer archive: preservation and self-preservation, bodies speaking themselves, and (in the wake of SESTA and FOSTA) community grief.
Martin is currently co-editing a Timeless project that salvages excerpts of journals of gay trans activist Lou Sullivan from the archives at the GLBT Historical Society (with Zach Ozma). They also are the creator of an NB GQ T4T GQ NB enamel pin that uses imagery from an SF fisting party, "re-cod[ing] gay masculinity with reference to nonbinary trans identities. Martin also recently created a piece, Contact, an installation and chapbook that pits gay French author Hervé Guibert against Sophie Calle's flattening of Guibert's life and work, defining him only by his death from AIDS. Levin writes:
Martin performs a subtle intervention [into Calle's project "The Graves"] by captioning each image with an iteration of their own identity: for instance, beneath the gravestone marked “BROTHER,” “Queer Ellis.” By placing themself humorously into the gravestone text, Martin disrupts the po-faced vision of straight inheritance, in which an immutable family role displays hierarchy and subsumes the personal name.
In just 12 brief sections, forthcoming Timeless author Ted Rees writes an incisive, erotic piece on Lisa Robertson's pedagogy. and language's role in violence, vulnerability, collectivity, and the "potent failure" of both pleasure and revolution. Here's a teaser from "To Make A Livid on Philosophy":
6. Someone asks the question: what is the point of writing poetry? The room stutters. Adnan's "impossible rememberance," to quote Donovan again, has very purposefully barged into the lie of the neoliberal university's program, throwing into doubt our reasons for being in it, much less being at all.
7. Here is when Lisa Robertson said that "we must continue to write in order to resist the language of genocide." The gasps for air are remarkable even in memory.
You can pre-order Ted Rees' book In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame here. And save the date for the Oakland book release 4:30-8:30pm at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park on Sunday July 1st!
When you pre-order your copy of Face Down, we'll also send you our brand-new FUCK THE POLICE enamel pin, a month before it becomes available online.
Our newest full-length title, FACE DOWN, by Brian Whitener is now available for pre-order!
Face Down is an abject, fantastic inquiry into forging new ways of relating, set against of the brutal materialist realities of empire. With unflinching wit, Whitener connects “literature’s devices, knowledges, and affective relationships… to the new problematics of experience, worlding, and its sensorium of trauma.”
In the Classroom and the Club, Get Your Damn Hands Up!
The S.L.o.T. is an irregularly published feature that hosts critically-engaged, outward-facing, serial essays. We named this series after The Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that entropy will either increase or stay the same; entropy is the measure of the amount of energy that is unavailable to do work, and we hope that these essays will make you a little bit less productive.“Ordering my life working overtime nights / holdin’ wires and mics under these lights, but besides that / always find time to get love and give it right back” – Blue Scholars “Ordinary Guy”“The unwillingness to approach teaching from a standpoint that includes awareness of race, sex, and class is often rooted in the fear that classrooms will be uncontrollable, that emotions and passions will not be contained. To some extent, we all know that whenever we address in the classroom subjects that students are passionate about there is always a possibility of confrontation, forceful expression of ideas or even conflict.” – bell hooks“...conflict does happen. But so does engagement and empowerment.” – Linda Christensen, Reading, Writing, and Rising Up
This is the remix. It is happening now and will continue into the future. The tracks will not skip. They might scratch. The music can’t end. Can’t fade away. It will blend, cross, flow, battle, and change. They don’t stop. They won’t stop. This is the cipher. And the remix is inevitable transformation, and the music is the schooling process. Music can go on and on and on, but if we don’t cut it every now and then – if we don’t put it back – or turn – if we don’t make it work – or make it pop – or drop it to bring it back – or add some bass every now and then – or most importantly, if we don’t use it as a tool for re-tooling while it plays, then it will (re)produce the same ass stories, statistics, and students. The same ass gaps, and growing disparities, and the bigger the wedge between attainable and impossible dreams.
Our students deserve our love. All students deserve love, though, some, especially: students of color, native folk and their families, LGBTQ, poor, nonbinary, veterans, people with disabilities, and other marginalized folk who whose work cannot uphold meritocratic systems made to exclude them and their futures. Identity is in constant flux, and I respect your reading this in a fuck-these-categories way if they don’t fit any of your social identity groups. I get it. We deserve more.
I teach students in my classes that in the United States, privilege is granted to people who have membership in powerful groups if they identify as white, able-bodied, heterosexual, male, Christian, middle- or owning-class people, middle-age people, and if they are English-speaking.* This is the language they need to articulate themselves. Students who lack agency as a result of their not identifying with these groups, or not even knowing about these classifications, or not having the time or fucks to give about these groupings, need the most of our collective, ethical love. Not help, not greed, not saving, not change based solely on our motivation or agendas, and not pity.
Students need us in the classrooms. And at their events. And in their lives. They need to know we care, that we are human, that they are human to us; that we are real, that they are real to us; that we will if they need us to go out of our ways to be there for them. They will need us even if they are not there: when we open our mouths at our meetings, when we plan our curriculum, make our syllabi, attend fundraisers, rally at board meetings, hold office hours, and they will need us to take care of our own shit, too. We need to practice self-care, mindfulness, to find and keep happiness, to dance, sing, write, and to have time to grade their papers (haha). This is what I mean when I write: In the classroom and the club, get your damn hands up! The degree to which students necessitate our wellness for their success is certain, and remaining student-centered keep us at our best.
I have been around educators who feel unsafe around their own students. Like when a teacher did not want to be left alone in a staff lounge with a brown boy who was waiting for me, so that we could go over his second draft of an essay. It was raining outside that morning. I’ve met educators who know that racism exists, but are quick to display their eligibility to spew tired ass stereotypes about Asian drivers: a woman married to a Filipino man tried getting me to collude with her laughter. I’ve eavesdropped in on conversations between male teachers who believe that girls hit boys because they like them. What easy violence this is, to excuse it instead of asking it where it comes from, why it is still here, and eradicating it entirely. These are the same people who give each other the worst advice about divorce and love, shoving divisive book titles into the minds of already fragile adults: Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Some of the same folks who “don’t know what to do” when students keep coming to their office hours. Say what? We need to do better.
The poetics of a hip hop classroom happens when students be going in on bell hooks’ all about love, with the rigor of a graduate student, and the powerful kindness of a caring adult. When they can synthesize the meanings of a mural of King David Kalākaua by Prime & Estria. When a student has an epiphany, and you can see their light bulbs atop their heads brighten up the room, and then when everyone else can see it, too, that’s poetry in motion.
Embracing difference, first the idea of difference, and then seeing how it manifests in music, is our future. Students will throw their hands up when they feel the beat of your lesson. Will you – and I will – use bare hands to bring our students closer to their dreams?
*© Leaven 2003 Doing Our Own Work: A Seminar for Anti-Racist White Women
© Visions, Inc. and the MSU Extension Multicultural Awareness Workshop
Zoe Tuck, Brittany Billmeyer-Finn, Madison Davis, and Tessa Micaela Landreau Grasmuck are going on tour!
From May 12-May 29 they will travel from Oakland to the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest to the East Coast reading in:
Thanks to Hannah Kezema for this powerful review of The Easy Body by Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta in Full Stop.
Here's an excerpt to get grab you:
"The identity of the systemically oppressed body cannot be singular; Luboviski-Acosta shows us this in one painfully seamless dance. The continuity of the form borders on brutal – only periodically is the text intervened by fragmented, almost Cubist bodies and their parts. Dismembered feet learning how to walk. Luboviski-Acosta’s visual art dares you to look twice, for the flower may be guised as a gun. A smear of dark pigment is likely blood. The oppressed body must expand, breach, and shape-shift in order to survive: “our bodies / adapted: we grew and split into mirrors; we blistered and / replaced the meadows.” In particular, the transparent pages in the artist edition of The Easy Body seem to act as layers for this self-constructed multifaceted identity. I’ve heard these pages referred to as “scar tissue,” conjuring up a fleshy treatise on survival. They seem to float in their emptiness and at their turning, subtly build into a collage of being. A traced record, or imprint: of bodies."—Hannah Kezema, Fullstop