"The Other Side" Contest Winners / March 2015 (Issue 27)


Subjections

by B.B.P. Hosmillo

A minority is bound to embrace what is not lovely. When I say a minority I mean a photography whose default mirror is AIDS. I don't want to talk about this mirror because you already know what it looks like, you know it's perversion's permanent target, or so how rumor grows an interesting tumor. Instead, I want to talk about the photography: how a bomb is dropped to the sea of love, how it floats in due course as a man telling in captured stillness this is a real planet. Quite surrealist. If you touch any side of it, a bad impression. But you don't complain, at least, you have something to hate it for and you hate it, now more than ever, and you do by countering its testament with the best thing you got What is not a real planet? Well, over here: Sadness likes defining beauty and when he does the individual comes alive. Am I the individual? No, not yet. I'm still smiling for the camera in a night clinic, the process takes a long time, and I have yet to write the long bruises, a sorry note.

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Sadness brought a huge box from Germany. I want to tell you what's written on each square of this dice but nothing will ever change your mind. Something in this box telling me I should dispose off my closet, your shoe rack, the bed. Sadness is a universal lover that has to fit inside the room. I can't be alone unless I burn memories, I can't get over with what's here if I am not ash. This is how language gains currency: the subject is dirt, the subject on the ground. In the same complex, I thought of an ever-patient urn, thought of opening that huge box, maybe inside it a teabag or a pond where the moon sleeps. Where can you put me to rest? Where can you possibly tell me your skin is so big, no planet will take it that I will not be hurt? Always, the subject has no real place.

: : : :

I, a personification. I, a little boy tethered on a circumcision chair. I was told about this in exchange for culture, a funeral ceremony with compelling paid mourners played by young women. That's why boys don't cry, boys wait for somebody else to do it for them. Who's the dead? The crowd has to know, the crowd has scientific pen as pointed as the bill of pelican for the death certificate. This is the way to knowledge: a priest has just invented light, a soldier is explaining why bed is therapeutic for the wounded, a father is keyed up for the bed sketch inside his mind, a boy is pulling down a big Narra tree with a rope tied to the tree on one end and to his little torso on the other, a genius is waiting for an execution, sure about how to extract an electric bed from woods chain sawed right at the center of a kampung, I got there when it was already delivered—call it natural existence. Everyone has come this far and the paid mourners, now women with tarred teeth and unstrapped bras, are telling a room with something too outlandish inside is not enough a payment.

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Sadness came home after a bad conference presentation, and is very hungry. He snoops around like a gate-crasher, he thinks a green mess of vomit can be turned back into food. Is this sweet puppet mine? he wants to say and he says it and he saying it means a video is getting shown tonight. Stop chewing—you will not hear the thunder striking the animal in a fairyland. I told you not to take off your spectacle, but you say it's getting clear when it's blurry, when it's soaked in clouding dust. An elephant wearing a mustache is kicking it like a football, poking it with an improvised tusk or a dildo or a long tooth or just a finger. This animal has indefinite pulse, Sadness says, most certainly from an indefinite planet. That's all for now. Thank you for coming. And then, the hunger which sets inconsiderate deadlines. Sadness opens a can of tuna and finds a boy, drowning in oil, smelling like the horrible side of the sea. Inedible. Sadness opens a ten-year old refrigerator and finds a boy sucking a thumb from which sight he throws his head away, shocked by his own behavior. Inedible.

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I've seen three Theaters of Sadness under a single roof: a smile, a question such as Have you taken a bath, and a man who doesn't hesitate to hold my hand as if it's the first canonical method to prove I am present. In the 2008 Korean film The Chaser, he gives me an aquarium, a dog, an expensive yard. After the rain of hazards, he tells me I will take good care of you so secretly that he draws a house, a second house on the outskirts of the city. But all hardware shops are closed today, your hammer has melted in my head, the nails, the bricks, what a blessing to say without a real object to hold, without something heavy to bring in my dream. Then he whispers, there's a submarine I'm sinking tonight, there's a submarine I made for us. To welcome me, he tells that a rainbow is a form of power when we believe the body is its right temple. I recognize the cock inside me, I feel incredible. Somewhere in the feeling is a prayer I don't want to hear, can't always repeat what's breaking me into cigarette buds. I hang my thumb in the air inside the doorless house, floating, perhaps under a spell, perhaps under a common sky, waiting for a motorcycle or a car or a cargo truck of vegetables—I wanted, I wanted, I want to hitch. Actually, I don't care about the bumpy road or how many people I have to ride with. I just want to see what's at the end of the road, what's at the end of this: Sadness warning me there's a love imprint.

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I'm done masturbating and I feel extremely tired not because of pleasure, but because it has just shrunk into a thought. Who doesn't erode in the thinking of I, an experience of love framed perfectly in a glossy sheet like Juliet with a final smile which is a very, very old concept? Then, time in its peak of unquestioned irrelevance so populated that its house gets bigger and bigger: I look at that beautiful picture, I look at it for a day without stop, some animal on a strike, in the hope that it will fade, will lose potency eventually. However, I, whatever lack ironically possessed, can't be any accomplished to win over beauty. Looking again over the window that is over a fake castle that is over a tall business center that is, most of all, over the debts of my modern map: you are with me travelling, it is maximum togetherness, you are with me as a structure of silence. That is the picture my eyes are piercing, or that my eyes are pierced by. I'm blind, lover, there's no light in you. Afterwards I retract, I close my eyes, my real eyes I close, an attempt of getting a thought of self. What for it is this time? I can only show you a teaser: pain is understandable when it is, like an empty hand, enjoyable.

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He's gone viral, he's gone public. This is an argument. This is defeated in five centimeters. You imagining me, you holding a non-photogenic man. Does it hurt to realize that the active volcano you are watching is no longer my body? Is there anything in my body that can truly hurt you? Why are you staying inside it without answering? I can tell by the lengthening edges of your eyes that you want something natural from me. Uh. I just hate sewing a bed out of a tree or I hate just sewing a bed out of a tree. Don't you know that I can make something else with a tree? A great fire. A greater fire. My diaries, burning. This is what comes after your perception: an exact appropriation of the subject. I give you one of my digestible representations, you think, there's memory, a secret kept in the fire, I am not being truthful. What else can I do but to tell you soon, history, nation? What else can I do but to put the lighter back your pocket? What else can I do but to imagine you have a pocket, that you are wearing something, telling me it's not that tight, you can breathe, that you look very handsome, telling me that the candle is made short, the dinner is not heavy, that in bed later you will look even better, a silent predator talking back when his mouth is full. It comes with uneasy pride, such silence that could not end fucking. I will soon retaliate. I will soon put it on record as if the image of sky there was the first Exodus. Uncontestable, I, always an act of prediction.  
 
 
 
This is the Third Prize Winner of Cha's "The Other Side" Poetry Contest. B.B.P. HosmilloB.B.P. Hosmillo  on "Subjections": "Subjections" is originally a long "sequence" of prose poems and I'm glad that Cha is publishing a significant part of it. To be honest, I find it quite difficult to talk about the work, to convince a meaning... I think I can share something about the time when I wrote the work and why I did: it was when I was very much occupied by the French Surrealist Movement—if I may single out Henri Michaux, Antonin Artaud, Dora Maar, Rene Char; their dark, ambivalent, bipolar, bisexual room was a good place to start in constructing (im)possibilities of the self. I say the self, among its explicable meanings and thus what renders it dialectical, relies on its unnatural component: we can project a certain personhood, we can also be honest, say after the collapse of sex, freedom, or nation, that we are truly nebulous, which is to say: we are anything but persons. In my writing, I take honesty seriously because I get a sense of urgency when wound remains wound, when wound is not the comfort promised by love. Something like that, something when wound wants to outgrow its basic tenet and tells the body you're not hurt, you're invincible. Later on, the wound gone and the invincible body feels someone is touching it, but however the body is represented in many media forms or personal spaces as invincible or as the champion of defiance, it thinks twice, it must doubt if it is accurately recognized. Let's suppose for a moment that the body is a bag. In a brilliant essay called "The Long Bag We Drag Behind Us," Robert Bly says "when we put a part of ourselves in the bag it regresses. It de-evolves toward barbarism. Suppose a young man seals a bag at twenty and then waits fifteen or twenty years before he opens it again. What will he find? Sadly, the sexuality, the wildness, the impulsiveness, the anger, the freedom he put in have all regressed; they are not only primitive in mood, they are hostile to the person who opens the bag. The man who opens his bag at forty-five or the woman who opens her bag rightly feels fear. She glances up and sees the shadow of an ape passing along the alley wall; anyone seeing that would be frightened." "Subjections" is just one bag opened and there are still a lot of bags more than suicide and crime rates, either abandoned or wrongfully confiscated, and I just wish to see all of them being claimed. [Read Vinita Agrawal's commentary on "Subjections"] [Back to "The Other Side"]  
 
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