These two little men found in the archive, digging through the journals of Juan Luis / Jean Louis Berlandier. Juan Luis Berlandier, a Linnaean botanist and scientist who accompanied the Mexican Comisión de los Límites in its 1826 voyage to the northern reaches of the republic. The first time scientific categorization was imprinted on this landscape.
A narrative made of sentences reflecting back on multiple moments of production through time. These sentences take nutrients from doubt, grow wildly in the underbrush of this ecosystem of pages and small presses and on-line journaling projects. Something about being able to write with doubt, convert doubt into a motor instead of a barrier. Write multilayered and messy.
In an interview I did with Julian Talamantez Brolaski a few months back, xe corrected me when I said messy. I’d said that I felt like xir work, xir etymologically archaic spellings and perpetually Germanic soundings, felt messy and for that, they felt queer. Xe said, “About the words being dirty or messy, I don’t think so (w/ respect). I used to be an excellent speller until I started studying medieval literature. Then I realized before the printing press fixed language (I’m mostly thinking of English here, but also French, Latin, and Romance) people spelled things any old way, according to their region. So there’s this way in which I peopled my mind w/ these variants and so when I go to choose from among them I try to choose the most appropriate one for the poem.”
Sometimes messy on deeper investigation is meticulous, scrupulous, chosen, designed with holes, variance indicating a space for questioning.
How to feel a sentimental attachment to land and dis(re)member that attachment at the same time. How to recognize the perilousness of roots, but also the repeating landscapes of our becoming.
I think, thinking about thinking: queer? Or as Elizabeth Freeman writes: “a not-quite-queer-enough longing for form that turns us backward to prior moments, forward to embarrassing utopias, sideways to forms of being and belonging that seem, on the face of it, completely banal.”