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Showing posts from May 24, 2020

Henry Dumas, killed by a cop, 1968

My mind is on Henry Dumas today. He was shot and killed in a Harlem subway station on May 23, 1968. At that point, he had written a number of short stories and poems, most of which came out after his death. As for that death, the police at the time said it was a case of "mistaken identity", and letting bygones be bygones, never investigated much less charged the white subway cop who killed him. This was followed by an oopsy moment in the 190s, when Dumas's biographer discover ed the file on the case had been lost, due to a merger of departments or something. Dumas was 33. Here's an interview with the man who rescued his texts.…/professor-friend-keeps-alive-m…/ Dumas did all kinds of poems before he was mistaken identity murdered. He was young, it was the sixites, and he was the man to stick his fingers in every pie at that time. Some of his poems have that magic Blakean innocence: My little boy My little boy speaks with an accent.

the foolish exchange in the age of precarity

“… precarity is not a provisional, transient, resolvable juncture of social and productive relations. Precarity is the time that comes after modernity.” I have often thought that the problem with many leftist theorists is that, in the wake of Adorno, it seems to be a competition for who will be direst.   Substituting for the old appeal to class solidarity the new appeal to the most sensational museum of horrors. Less revolutionary uplift, more history as slash film binging – in which the goal is to develop the best perch from which to say I told you so. Well, my instinct is to say: fuck that. It seems like a perversion of the honest prophet’s standard, which is to endure visions that are supposed to lead to repentance and reform – which are downers, aesthetically, posed next to catharsis, I do confess, but which are redeemed by utopia, which better be on the horizon or we really are going to be imprisoned in the slasher flick. That said, Franco Berandi Bifo’s phrase – whic

What you get for thinking - a poem by Karen Chamisso

Baby baby they sing they say They hold on they hold out they lay there Dead to go and going to stay Baby Baby they clutch everywhere That is me, the everywhere my traveling show Of me and mine and all things divine -ly self that is dead to go In the utter throb of my mother line From the thumb to my heart, you got that? Baby baby until I stand Wrinkle in one hand, what I spat Out in the other, not understanding, you understand? -Karen Chamisso