A visual art piece by Bishakh Som and poems by Vidhu Aggarwal
Before ever having been stomped on,
I had the character of a martyr and a slave.
In my character— a terrible
passivity. Tag it: a new species
of calm. Pressed
into service, there’s nothing to do but expand.
I’m expansive, low to the ground,
listing in two dimensions. All of me in one plane: a tube
of ointment, squeezed,
past obligation, I,
jet-lagged nacre, I, gazillion acres—
I can help you slick me down further, if possible—
Here are the labile surfaces—points
of identification. Silk hose. Roadkill. Skulls and crossbones, baby!
drive of shadows.
I’m evacuating the premises
of the panoramic
zeal for sensation—
of protuberances and lumps. Ornery knots and ruts. Pills and grunts!
All licked, all splayed equal!
No sag, no drag of fear
no complaint, no waiting game. Seas
flip-flapping, an easy-breezy breeze of orientations.
I, Zero thickness.
I, Gel outpouring.
I, stomp stomp, love the stomp stomp!
Bishakh Som’s work investigates the intersections of image and text, figure and architecture, architecture and landscape. Som is inspired by the grammar of comics and graphic novels but seeks to expand the vocabulary of the narratives traditionally presented in this medium by exploring themes of gender, sexuality, memory and urbanism, among other things. On a formal level, some of Som’s pieces conflate the tools of architectural representation with those of sequential narrative in order to question these very methods and offer new means of representing space, time and the role of the body in both simultaneously.
Vidhu Aggarwal’s photo-texts, poems, and critical essays have been featured in many journals. She is the founding editor of SPECS, a journal of critical and creative practices. Her book about a global monster, The Trouble with Humpadori, won the Editor’s Prize from The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective and will be coming out in 2016.
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