Issues

In Search of a Homeplace

By LATOYA FAULK

 

When we identify respect (coming from the root word meaning “to look at”) as one of the dimensions of love, then it becomes clear that looking at ourselves and others means seeing the depths of who we are. Looking into the depths, we often come face-to-face with emotional trauma and woundedness. Throughout our history, African Americans have pounded energy into the struggle to achieve material well-being and status, in part to deny the impact of emotional woundedness. Truthfully, it is easier to acquire material comfort than to acquire love.
—From Salvation: Black People and Love, by bell hooks

 

Home is not just a house; it’s this yearning for a place where you’re safe, [a place where] nobody’s going to hurt you.
—Toni Morrison, in conversation with Claudia Brodsky at Cornell University on March 7, 2013

 

In Search of a Homeplace
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Kikawa

By LANDA WO

“Grief is never more than a house being rebuilt.”
Ntolle Mbuyi1

Little Cabindan history 
All the Cabindan strategies were there
To mount the portrait of a free Cabinda. 

The historic chief discoursed on education
The Cabindan earth sketched a faint smile.

Kikawa
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A Fourteen-Hour Lesson in Theosophy

IMAGINING THE LAST HOURS OF CLARICE LISPECTOR

By EDGAR GARBELOTTO

“I write and that way rid myself of me and then at last I can rest.”

—Clarice Lispector, A Breath of Life

 

1:05 a.m.: The rain starts. I arrive; so close to her I can breathe the rain mixed with the sour smell of her scalp.

1:13 a.m.: Fighting against the slowdown of the pills, C sits in front of the dressing table and hates what she sees: an ancient face with new furrows, an aged reflection of whom she thought she still was, a worsened version of herself. She can’t leave the house tomorrow as she is now: swollen face, short eyelashes, brittle hair stuck to her scalp. Grey spots mark her pale forehead like stains on the face of a full moon—a reminder of the fire in the apartment that almost extinguished her years before.

A Fourteen-Hour Lesson in Theosophy
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The Couple

By KC TROMMER

 

Louise Bourgeois, MASS MoCA

Inside the bounded mercury,
we keep going. All circuits that close
make serpents of us, constrict
and envelop every tender corner until
         only a small portion
is distinct, our feet dangling like the end of a
sentence. We suspend ourselves
in a room full of light but take none in.

The Couple
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Maria, I’m Going to War

By JOSÉ PINTO DE SÁ
Translated by JETHRO SOUTAR

Papá announced, “Maria, I’m going to war,” and stubbed his cigarette out in the ashtray. Mamã, clearing the table, gave her usual start. She stood stranded in the kitchen doorway, a dirty plate in each hand.

Going to war meant going out in the dead of night to David’s bar, playing hide-and-seek with military patrols. Our lot’s supporters gathered there after hours, drank a few beers, exchanged questionable information and reliable rumors. It had been the same every night for the last three weeks, since their lot retook the city.

After dinner, Papá would say, “Maria, I’m going to war,” and Mamã would give a start, try to talk him out of it, remind him of martial law and the curfew. 

Then, out of desperation, she’d say, “At least wait for the shooting to die down.”

Maria, I’m Going to War
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“You Like to Have Some Cup of Tea?” and Other Questions About Complicity and Place

By DEBORAH LINDSAY WILLIAMS

 

“We need to do more, Mom,” my son tells me. He’s fifteen, supports the Kurdish resistance and fancies himself an anarcho-socialist (“It’s not like being an anarchist, Mom, okay?”). The Young Socialist lives in a state of perpetual indignation about the state of the world. He insists that governments can and should do better, and that capitalism is the root of almost all problems—past, present, and future. He hopes for radical social change, but when I call him an idealist, he’s furious: “It’s practical, that’s all. Marx and Öcalan, their ideas would work if people weren’t just so… stupid. And greedy.” I usually tell the Young Socialist that, because I’m a literature professor, my version of “do more” is of the teaching and writing sort, rather than the man-the-barricades sort, which I know disappoints him. He says: “We’re all complicit, Mom. You’re white and a professor, and there’s no way to escape your own privilege, even if you’re only white by accident.”

“You Like to Have Some Cup of Tea?” and Other Questions About Complicity and Place
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Gródek

By BRUCE BOND 

 

When the smoke cleared and took with it the sirens
        and the uniforms strung across our sofas, 

what remained were rivers, mist, whisper as a habit,
        red dawn in the eyes of the sleep-deprived.

In the brush, here and there, beside the highway,
        the revenant scent of metal and decay.

Gródek
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The Rower of the Maré

By ELIANE MARQUES
Translated by TIFFANY HIGGINS

 

To Marielle Franco, city councillor, sociologist, and activist in Black and LGBTQI+ movements, who was assassinated along with her driver Anderson Gomes in Estácio in the middle of Rio de Janeiro on March 14, 2018. Those who ordered the crime have not yet been brought to justice. 

We are full of bullets from AKs in our heads and in our necks
With stray slugs that enter our bones our backs
We are in the Ecstasy neighborhood
But not dying of love

The Rower of the Maré
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