Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Evie Shockley—Issue 65, April 2017)
Power and|of|in Poetry

Dawn Lundy Martin

In our time, progressives and left leaning folks, neo-liberals, etc. have created a culture of refusal in which what abounds are attempts to shield us from that which might harm us, even though the harm is inside of us. We are the harm. If I put my hand over your mouth to prevent your callous, thoughtless, racist/sexist/transphobic utterance, is this an act that shifts what’s quaking underneath, what undergirds the indeterminate and persistent collision of fractures at the heart of our imagined nation? What I am interested in is the purge, the exorcism, the malfunction in the system, the obscene, the liberation from the normal body & normal speech, the Deleuzian concept of “lines of flight” or shocks of pent-up energy that smash through the cracks in a system of control and shoot off obliquely. A poetics of stepping inside of impossible space, beyond the material world that tethers us to its perverted logics. You can clamp my mouth but out the side come some.