Manila Institute

mailing list

rin johnson, manila institute, on language

On Language

A life that exists only in Language
A life that is valued only in Language
The impractical nature of the Body in the Face of Language
They said you are Free We have said it so.
This Freedom does not exist.
This Freedom would mean that the Body would have the actual ability to be Free.
Free could be defined a number of ways:
Free to change a tire in the Body,
Free to wear a hood on the Body,
Free to ask why the Body is being arrested,
Free to use the Body to drive a car,
Free to walk the Body home from work,
Free to protest with the Body,
Free to play with toys in the Body,
Free to be sick in the Body,
Free to pray with the Body,
Free to sit in the Body.

rin johnson, manila institute

rin johnson, manila institute

Nothing whole and nothing half
(Nichts halbes und nichts ganzes)

Have you been to the South?
They fry dough and speak bad French and everything Floods.
It was my first lesbian wedding
I own a bakery
I got a machine
I got a cook
Do you know how to cook -
Of course
I make the best chicken in the world
You know they do the funerals different there too.
They go all around town shaking towers
Singing songs of dead men, their bodies still waiting in the swamps.

She was sometimes funny pushing gays off business,
off buildings.
She lies
I was in little Haiti,
It won't get any worse.
You'll lie down and they'll dress you and you'll go to the grave.
I mean who does that.

It can't be any worse.
We are willing to lay down our lives for this democracy - and you misuse that in the streets,
on television.

Last summer I rode Claude thru Berlin listening to Summertime '06:

There seems to be a complete disconnect between reality and dreams.
It feels so good to be there and not here.

It can't get any worse.

Side by side in Tom's living room
I think to myself
What would have to happen for me to stand during your anthem?
I don't think I will ever stand again.

"I'm just a nigger till I fill my pockets then I'm Mr. Nigger,
they follow me while shopping."

(The first time anybody called me a nigger I was 7 and I
had never heard It before. A white boy said I was nothing
but a big nigger and I laughed but my Irish friend Kevin
beat him up with both fists for a long time.)

                                 I miss not knowing

rin johnson, manila institute

rin johnson, manila institute

Azkaban Poem

They put their hands in the intimate areas of our bodies
They beat us up and used dogs
They could deprive us of sleep
They could stop giving us clothes
They could take away food
(Their anger was still fresh)
They were using their anger there
(What do you expect?)
They were not aggressive
I was aggressive.
(It's just words
It's just words.)

rin johnson, manila institute

rin johnson, manila institute

November Poem

I can't remember why you left.
Or if I was the one already leaving and so I left and not you.
Maybe I came to you to leave.
It's hard because my memory is really shit.
I fucked with my developing brain using all that marijuana and now my memory has multiplicity.
My memory is making yourself dizzy when you're little.
My memory my Monet - don't get too close it won't make sense.
My memory has no great grandparents.
My memory the grey layered silhouette emoji. It's you or it could be you.
Vallie Export says that all time is present time.
When you think about the past in the present it is present.
When you think about the future in the present it is present.
My memory is present.
My memory gets the big picture.
My memory is like a dinosaur.
My memory, my Manet. There I am in the shadows. Wait that's Adrian. So where am I?
My memory has a nuclear family.
My memory is useless.
There is a large hole in my underwear that was your underwear before it was my underwear.
I stretched them.
I miss you.
Come here and save me from my insufferable canonical diatribes. I don't understand half of this.
I just love history, I'm going to read another book from Duke University Press.
Write me an email.
Come home.

rin johnson, manila institute