A friend recently told me that the word empathy can be etymologically traced back to a German construct connected to the experience of consuming art. That is, standing in front of a work of art, really engaging with it, is like the empathetic ability to share and understand the feelings of another human entity. I’m not sure whether this etymology is, in fact, true, but I do love considering it, especially in view of Issue 36 of carte blanche, thematically undergirded by Empathy. Read more →
I hope to be absolved.
I’m making a place for myself in the gutter.
All images exist.
I shed sizes and formats.
I cry over empty holes.
I’m ashamed from above.
My body quivers.
I’ve envied death.
There are colours for the months.
The yellow ones worry me.
At night, I embrace my knot. Read more →
Chatting begins and doesn’t
seem to go anywhere in particular.
from people never being prepared for snow
in a city so cold already
with how we treat each other
on public transit, to a sci-fi thriller
about a comet with a green tail
passing through the sky, while a dinner party occurs
and the guests start disappearing
one by one.
Because the veil was lifted.
Because the dog has rabies.
Because the soul sleepwalks into a mirror
and our desire is increased by difficulty.
Because disappointment is an obstacle,
like longing, like fate.
Because I died young and beautiful.
Because I will not die young and beautiful. Read more →
When I was a little girl, littered with scrapes on my knees and bruises on my arms from falling off the monkey bars, my parents would take me back.
Once a year I set foot on Venezuelan soil where people had my colour skin and the streets were littered with the pungent perfume of plastic bag pointillism.
A landfill has never been so beautiful.
I used to imagine I lived in one. Read more →
Sir. You can on-ly put ca-na-dien monee in that machine. No sir. No foreign objects nor foreign monee in that macheen. It’s an infraction, you see. The guard’s finger runs tight under the small print. The wooden squirrels in the rafters are si-lent. The Black tourist descends the steps with an astonished stare toward the tele- scope aimed at the city skyscrapers. Read more →
Dust blows from the Sahara and travels, through the prevailing winds, to the Republic of K. White masks purchased from small pharmacies in the capital provide a layer of protection against this dust, the condensation of breath gathering inside white cotton, humidifying it to make the barrier permeable. Such imperfections of division were, in essence, what the Bibliothèque Nationale had been referencing when it claimed that the French libraries were better suited to protect the Jikji, this proof of the universal heritage of humanity that deserved the protection of French climate control technology; French library protocol; the perfectly darkened enclosures of France. Because I had an aunt who lived in the Republic of K. who undoubtedly sold such masks in her pharmacy, this patrimonial disagreement pertained not only to the still recent memories I had of O. Read more →
It has been the case since I was a child that I can’t fall asleep without touching someone’s hair, and so, after I moved out of my parents’ house and all the nights of being gently untangled from them and moved into my own bed, I planned breakups around sleep, never ending a relationship without having another already matured into the stage where we spent every night together. Read more →
Your espion, your spy. Under cover of skin, darkness and duvet, it observes the moonlight streaming through the window of the root cellar, the ratty notebook and the thick pencil stained with olive oil, how you cope with the punishment by writing about the lone donkey baying outside. It measures the heat of the desert, the warmth of the sea, the depth of the snow, the thickness of the ice. It registers the bruises on your shoulders, the scars on your wrist, the tremor in your hand, the house on your back.