dressed for work seated while br( )eat( )hing
By Denise André
the birth of ruin is endless rumination
By Denise André
do you ever think that what you do here is surgery but worse? more barbaric than that slicing of cells gone awry. i must commit the barbarism. this is me cauterizing the flesh trail on my head. This this residue, this composite sketch of my body. my body is fucken’ nuclear fallout.
Her appropriation is that there’s clinical dissociation and there’s the social condition of being a woman. Her assertion is that she does not want (to be in) her body. “Razor’s edge” is too literal. I prefer “the limit line”. Of what? I ask. A survival so clear I could powder my nose with it. Continuing is that she finally understands Plath- the disordered vulgarity of desire, how it is in everything or nothing at all. Always a mirror image, scattered across as lacks and gulps. She is thinking about the sight of a whale’s mouth and describes it as something a twisted head would see in a plunge. There is something striking about the abrupt violence of her thoughts, their imagistic quality. Is she surprised by this? No. Is she frightened? Not anymore.
The caramel bright burn eating the sickly sweet of her dress’s waist strap, the dissolve that comes too quickly and becomes acrid scorch. A continuous feral hurl. That is what she names of her life. Smacking her mouth into the meat of a painted bruise. Her body has bloomed this way. Hers is a wailing song. Wails are the thing in operas, she says. Like tragedy is fodder to theatre.
She adds a looming stain onto the trousers’ thigh that is the moving image of a man’s lap, growing into the story of an accidental juice box spill. The child is defined by its loss. Her clothed ambivalence to the illness in the eyes of men is hers to wonder. Big, fat, an ass is not just an ass and she is left thinking about the history of the activity of ass men and women and Sara Baartman.
How she wishes she could wear her maladies.
How she pictures herself dangling from the lower jaw of a mouth as carved, torn flesh falls all the way down to her anaemic femur.
How did or would anyone expect me to be anything other than I am?
And what is that?
An act of vanishing. Haunted living.
How she is swayed back and forth,
back and forth.
Denise André was born and continues to reside in Maputo, Mozambique. She is a lover of language and would like to live in a dancer’s pulse. She is currently interning at the National Museum of Arts (MUSART). What she has painted of her excess so far can be found on Instagram (spinstersister_5). She has no prior publications.