notes toward dropping out (March 1995)
This is where I ceased—
Not to be too obvious,
mutation, or distilled, transmogrification
Beauty queens don’t do so well in grad school.
Even if every body wants one
When you assume the shape, austere, assume anything.
Thing it, sister, thing itself, thing it loud to last your girl
Black Lips Cool and Quelled
In the ‘90s every white body wants a theory for becoming, other.
Don’t let D & G fool you, nobody wants one to become other.
Even if Saturday Night at the Pyramid, BoyBar, ClitClub or
just hanging out
If you want or do become other, it will be needling
you will be false-ly accused, charged with falsified access to a rare and dangerous
designed by I, Desire
grooming rumours and splitting mythoi
like rage and glass, sick with genre
for fun fun fun
Nobody wants to become nobody.
And authentically so, they fear.
What if y = just being
Yours until the very end of days
Yourself? Being, as k. would say, “an edge predicament”
? Beloved, in Kind.
There are two kinds of people in this world,
Suppose we did say we were a third then that were a word for
capping it off, or anything more than
the tyranny of the couple, or
Momma and Baby and Daddy makes
moon enough and time…
There are two kinds of love in this world
Narcissistic and Anaclitic, or
Ana can’t get over how dependent upon
Narcissus she’s become lonesome after all these years.
Love to love you, baby, in theory
but say you do get out of this library, theory, club,
how are you gonna make it North of the Wall again?
There is a cabin in the woods, a secret way,
a drunken ruse time untravelled stolen back
So, Mummers and co… children, etc…. Arty or Sexy, etc…
Abandoning Incest and Deconstruction no more than your God
If you are on the moon, or off the moon?
If you are seeking a body or displaying one
run off dreaming carny, corny and carnal
Still no body wants to become no body.
Remember that when you are discovered
in all your figura
borders of the Real, surrounded
clashing arms and legs
even sleep is aching with it
while Glory bathes our moon with massacre.
I will draw you in by breathing
I don’t like the way you dress
I am lost to the deep water
She said, go unto the people.
My problem with literalization, getting drunk at Rob’s house in the woods means
I must want you. It doesn’t help
you strip me bare, give me instructions,
but really it is just the echo of the townships
Put on a pretty dress and sexy
Breathe into my mouth a murmur
Heart it with your chelo sexy
And purple scrawl along her drawls.
To the extent that the triangle
is a repeating animal or you
took me violently or I invented you
(and you) missing you as a result
death is a slow cooker.
Thighs chalky and chunky and splayed
Tongued ringed and irritated sprouts
Hallmarks of a dragon torpor, Aloysius
In my life I loved them all.
Land Day (March 30, 1976)
The government said “Security and settlement” and called curfew
for Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Henna, Tamra, Tu’ran, Kabul
sent in 4000 police and the IDF…
Ysrael Koenig advised they “cement long term Jewish national interests” and “examine the possibility of diluting existing Arab population concentrations.”
and your fear, you are not you
robbed of your face, spirit
and in no place to lie down, how
to turn, rise,
fly upon the moment?
We all want to be light
Know light’s plummet
This is to come to land.
If a child is a land you may not own,
If this child is called Impossible morning
If our histories make us lie,
If, in home, blood soaked
Too many trampled and trampling feet
too many laws bulldozers soldiers laws bulldozers
crowd where your house,
your olive, fig or lemon trees should grow.
How might you live, if you do not take back the land?
You may not own, but for land, they mass.
It is a word stolen.
Trish Salah’s recent writing appears in the journals Feminist Studies, Journal of Medical Humanities, No More Potlucks, The Volta/Evening Will Come, and in the anthologies Féminismes électriques, Sexing the Maple: A Canadian Sourcebook, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. In support of her research on the emergence of Transgender Minor/ity Literatures, Salah has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant. She is co-editor of a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly on cultural production, which is due out in 2014, as is her new book of poetry, Lyric Sexology, Vol. 1. Her first book, Wanting in Arabic (TSAR 2002) was reissued in a new edition this fall (2013). She is assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg.