Simone White’s new chapbook is Unrest (Ugly Duckling Presse, Dossier Series). She is also author of House Envy of All of the World (Factory School, 2010) and the chapbook Dolly (Q Ave Press, curated by Ross Gay, with the paintings of Kim Thomas), and her work has appeared in The Claudius App, Aufgabe, The Recluse, Callaloo, Ploughshares, Tuesday; An Art Project, the exhibition catalog for the Studio Museum of Harlem’s Flow, and Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade. She lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
One by Simone White
Commentary, first mode of elaboration, before inquiry, people just rapping in caves.
In feelings of and for total loss, the fullness of maturity mauled and harassed me. In my marriage and with my mother, there was truly no celebration of my imaginary self, still caterwauling in the way-behind.
The subways could be anywhere because a state of unhearingness prevails there, unless there is an emergency and people begin to speak.
From the Old French comment and before that the Latin for “invention, contrivance, enthymeme.” Speech from or with mens: Speech that has wishes, wishing to be more than sound; that non-talk for which the poetic so painfully hopes.
Also, commend. I commend to you a period of abstinence. Preferably from drink. I eked out the most moderate drunkenness for many lonely days. I poured thimblefuls of white wine and still staggered under the same motherfucker of a headache. My liver was tender, very tender. I wanted to say, “The principle of this body is to put out. Invagination is a cosmic scam!”
You have a complicated way of speaking.
This chicken store was not yet operational. Its nice grey sign attempted a ridiculous balance between [come hither] and [it doesn’t so much matter whether you come or not]. I know what a chicken is, though. What is that talent called, with fonts? Because fried chicken is a wholesome snack, I command you:
Hot Bird. Hot Bird. Hot Bird. Every few miles on the circuit: one need not starve to death this evening. Lemon yellow and red, yolk and hen, rolled in red dirt.
My relationship to chicken is uncomplicated.
Your sentences trail off into muttering when your nerves get the better of you. Your thigh becomes frantic, your palm presses down on it as if in secret, but everyone can see your thigh, which is not connected to your palm, but to your hip and the ball of your foot. Eyeballs, tongue, your whole leg kicks out against the piece you would say. I see how patience is a kind of caress. Let history be borne out in stutters, in mania and grappling.
Awash in delay forever, I had wished for it, and made it so. What was true was also filthy, was surgical. I had the fingers for it.