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By Jen Hofer

what dateless body what we exacted or nixed or hexed in the eternal present of not being able to – what not being able to not be considered garbage or trashed by the bag what body precluded categorizations what we categorically denied what body unnamed in a plastic shroud what body’s name we refuse to say – el nombre sin nombre callado – what body saying i’m gonna light you up – what light what you – six million eight hundred and fifty one thousand adult bodies catalogued curtailed what chance curtailed beyond even a moment to breathe for light to expand in an observant sternum – what historical body in choppy movements unhistoried unmoved behind the glass what body undertaken what tableaux of indescribable death – what death unrequested the question unformed – qué muerte más allá de qué pregunta – what tableaux of predictable death blanketing the countryside and its more than five thousand correctional facilities its correlative facilities – what blanket of death blanks out the body a blank a nothing a death unnamed a blank space or slate where the body was supposed to be written but disappeared interred invisibilized – what words not spoken what mouth shot shut what not being able to express what inkless sunspot glare uncontained what map across what unmarked trajectory steel-tracked into stubborn entanglements what water what board what textured uncommunicated breathless erosion what body carcerally exploded in the silence of not knowing what to say

Added: Friday, December 16, 2016  /  From "Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements," (Soberscove Press, 2016). Used with permission.
Jen Hofer

Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder of the language justice and language experimentation collaborative Antena and the local language justice advocacy collective Antena Los Ángeles. She publishes poems, translations, and visual-textual works with numerous small presses, including Action Books, Atelos, belladonna, Counterpath Press, Kenning Editions, Litmus Press, LRL Textile Editions, NewLights Press, Ugly Duckling Presse, Writ Large Press, and in various DIY/DIT incarnations. Jen’s online publications include translations of poems by Virginia Lucas and prose by Cristina Rivera Garza, and collaborative essays with Dolores Dorantes on the Harriet blog, with Sesshu Foster in The Capilano Review, and with John Pluecker on Jacket2 and The Volta. She teaches poetics, translation and multilingual writing, and DIY/DIT bookmaking and also does cross-language work supporting community groups in creating effective bilingual and multilingual spaces. Read more about language justice at this website.

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