114 pages, 5" x 8"
Publication Date: 17 Nov 2015
Navigating the subtle ways language (con)forms the body, Levitations spans childhood, community, and love to explore how we might break free from the cultural demands of normalcy. Imagined as “a preface for the work to come," Levitations unfolds like a sketchbook of emergent architectures, valuing queer hope in a time of vertically integrated and insidiously embodied imperialist rule.
Praise for Levitations
To stain the wall the room the city the cry language the bodies blanked out. To leave a trace to refuse to be invisible. “Because the earth, in its twirl, lacks the energy to continue dying.” To give this energy to the earth to help it die and live differently. “I will be your smudge” says JH Phrydas in this beautiful invitation to join him in the shapeshifting the stain begins to suggest past “ the revulsion of 10,000 eyes” towards a new type “of longing, another form to tremble near”. For anyone who has ever felt personal and political shame and where those two meet in the death and bondage on the floor. The rare chance to levitate above it, with it.
JH Phrydas is a poet who brutally pins his hopes on the sun and moon to come. If neoliberalism is the enemy of our utopian longings, Levitations refuses to be stuck: “With a hatchet, I could fuck this floor up. I could hack a hole through which to pull him, up into her warmth.” Pushing against its own elegance, this writing moves by the light of incipience as shed only and ever at the limits of the self, demanding a collectivity where the “receiving body itself dissolved.”
Lucas de Lima
Unmoored from fated constellations of gender and state, Levitations moves like an insurgent star across the uncharted skies of a fugitive queer communism. In spare and elegant phrasing—“words wrapped around empty space to contain / a figure”—JH Phrydas enacts an odyssey of transfiguration, using its lines to build new architectures for nonviolent habitation. From discotheque to city street, this book wrests the body away from social cruelty, “truthful to the point of breaking.”
JH Phrydas is an LA-based writer and researcher of prose. Raised by his birth family in Atlanta and queer family in the Bay Area, he was generously awarded grants to study writing and somatics under the guidance of Bhanu Kapil. Phrydas’ recent work can be found in Aufgabe, Fact-Simile, and Jacket2. He was the co-founding editor of Tract/Trace: an investigative journal and currently curates a long-term project called X21REQ, which calls for artists and writers to answer the question: “What does the 21st century require of you?”