Poetry Feature: Alirio Karina & Julian Francis Park

Blind Field is thrilled to present the work of two poets whose respective works tackle the repetitions, alienations, and traumas of relations and life under capitalism. We encourage our readers and poet friends to submit poetry and other creative works.


 

By Alirio Karina |

on ceremony

every
morning

go to the park
build my pyre out of rose stems
and when you burn me out into flesh and rot and death and stench
– that is, when this begins to offend sensibilities –
present them with the indignity of ending a funeral
never mind that this body is thorned and bleeding and burning
alive

revel in the crackling of skin and the cracking of bone
but don’t wait for the fire to consume me
bodies are slow to burn and it’s five o’clock

every
night

pick up this charred wreck and begin to undo
to debride
to skin alive
to reset fractures into casts so that by morning
new skin will have grown over clots and bruises
just too dark to show
limbs and eyes will move carelessly
too fluid for them to believe the mouth that quivers in the morning
for what happens

every
morning
(yet)

neck

the neck cracks
like heels and toes and the spaces between fingers
it is too hot and this body is not all in my hands anymore

the ceiling fan dances

bodies are contortionists
the back of the neck stretches around the whole torso
radiating
pulse

fear

the neck is the hottest part of the body
a dry heat
like those months where wrists shot out and palms bled and feet blistered and i locked the fevered body inside cool walls
they said the sun would be cure but i knew better than to go outside those doors
to you

bodies remember

the hot breeze
the threats
the leers
the palm on my neck

the skin feels the past crawling underneath
bodies tense
spines contract
screams

bodies fold into themselves

palms caustic heels infected
nails scratching bleeding seething
when they told me that summer would always be difficult
i don’t think they meant this

twitch and
wince and
tear and
neck

bodies will not forget but it is summer and maybe
a body will cool in the fall and maybe
a body will return and
be mine

housework

the floors are swirling like the corks i left in the sink by accident and
when i wring the mop i welcome a litre of foamy filth onto the tile
and then the rug – i mean the sponge, squelching underfoot –
and then the carpet

i leave footprints – first of dirt, then of damp – and slip on my own trail
catch the door frame and watch the world settle into stillness
the spreading wet promising yet another round of
i am not good at this
another round of
this world is too much
another round of
let’s have so much wine we forget why we’re drinking it
let’s have shattered glass instead of floors so
even home hurts to walk – to fall, to fail – on
let’s run out of
keep going
until we can’t help but stop and look at the mess we’re in
tidy our homes and cry at our cuts
clean them, bandage
and fight


 

By Julian Francis Park |

 

disavowing ethnocentrism in favor of the patriarchy of fear & embarrassment with the word yes

sometimes I am so lonely in the world & therefore hungry to be interpellated as any kind of subject, including one that orders a carnitas super burrito, that I become someone who eats possibly someone else’s carnitas super burrito in shame in order to simply say “yes” when someone who works at a taqueria asks me “carnitas super burrito?” & sometimes I try to not look up because I know that if I made eye contact with the person I recklessly assume to be a woman sitting two tables away I would cry because I am possibly eating that person’s burrito, a possibility that I am aware of because even though I sometimes ordered after this other person I receive a burrito before them. & when someone who works at a taqueria asks the whole restaurant repeatedly, “cactus super burrito?” sometimes I quickly finish being the type of person who eats a carnitas super burrito & walk out onto the street where I keep drinking mandarin soda, losing a balled up napkin to the wind as I write something like this. which is to say sometimes I feel better & sometimes I feel worse as I practically tumble after the balled up napkin, almost getting hit by a car when the light changes.

After an essay by Moten

They sweep with justification the lute
into the loot bag.

Meanwhile, thumbprint of an unwilling
participant, diaphragm depressed by
intimidation, remains over the edge.

Given alteration, by stretch for
example, or direct pressure
that a car issues in its
slow combinatory roll, we
walk to the front
to confront each
others’ cravings.

We take them home to keep giving our roommates a little taste.

Small sets of immunity are like seeing things
that are there with our roommates
in the dark or in urgencies interrupted by the TV’s imperial detachment.

Oh, when sly minds go suppress ordinary risks.

antifa in spring

it was a force of forces, not a farce or a far
sight, but no glasses, in terror, fearless,
comforted, protected by familiar strangers,

the smoke had exploded & it was flooding
for moments & when they ran it ran or,
when it ran some of them ran and some

stood, with nothing or with wood or plastic
or metal in their hands & a word or few out
their lips. they called us commie scum &

j hoped somehow we would all agree
to chant “fuck yes, we’re communists”
back to them in that special kind of unity

only a freshly common chant can effect
in the minds by way of the mouths
thru ears, line broken only momentarily.

someone kept saying to themselves in
the days subsequent, as the doxxing
went on & as social media again was

so unbearable that its unbearableness
overwhelmed its undeniable tho difficult
to sit with pleasures, it was on our part a

failure of organization, though that reason,
like many others available, was insufficient.
someone wanted, as always, not to be mad

with the potential allies tho, as always, they
were mad with the potential allies. someone
wanted to say, forever, cops & klan go hand &

hand, but this too was not enough, tho true.
someone wanted more & less than more &
less, beneath, beyond what any narration

would say, tho they, whether stoned or not,
& they were stoned a lot these recent months,
read all the narratives, & when drinking after

the poetry reading discussed narratives too.
ok, some kind of faith had pulled us to the line
that day, spontaneity or not, loss transmutes win.


 
–Alirio Karina is a poet and scholar based in Santa Cruz. While their work varies in attention, it is broadly concerned with living through and within an antagonistic world, grappling with its violence and the terms in which that violence may be spoken. Some of these poems focus on what happens when we are forced to – or choose to – dwell in that suffering. Others invite us to fight.

–Julian Francis Park lives in Oakland, CA and writes poems, narrative, literary criticism, and social theory. Through the Bay Area Public School Julian facilitates a writing workshop, “Writing with world stuff,” at the Omni Commons, where Julian also is on the Communications and Challenging Dominant Cultures working groups. Julian works reception in Causa Justa/Just Cause’s Tenants’ Rights Clinic. Tweets: @jfpark3; links: https://jfpark.tumblr.com/texts

 

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