The Poetry Project

Postcard from Brazil

Sarah Wang

Postcard from Brazil

The slouching city. We are one body with a thousand heads. Now. Now. Drain the city
with our hands. Não passarão — they shall not pass.

Mutants arise by mutation. How many times have we died here? To transfigure reality,
another life comes in waves like the sea. Here lies a temporary resolution to
hallucination, hallucination giving way to hallucination.

For the sake of narration we will call her Ué but she has many names. We speak an
invented truth told from a fever. I never come home without a fever. From this position of
servitude I twist myself to the flames.

To make a scene as the aggressor and also to suffer an aggression. Staging a reenactment
of ourselves to blacken the pages of a book. If she is making sense, she has misspoken.
The past according to sense is a future that betrays.

The body with a thousand heads is made of black meat. Everything you see. Everything
you feel, eclipsed by — God what is that? The nights are made of cuts, of several ways of
cutting flesh: scattered to the birds until they are all fed. And when they are full they sing.

A new phenotype. Violence is the only way to defend our humanity. The stage is a realm
of freedom and illusion. The world offstage is a place being forced upon you, a
generative problem, no doubt, identifying the space between a soul and an outlook. Here
is a choice you are forced to make about which version of reality you will occupy.

    • She keeps looking, looking, but never does she see. Something that is here and now and
      disperses into smoke the next minute. This is an ideology. A radical confrontation, a
      voluntary protocol, no less a fiction than a distillation of a vanishing epoch.
    • The micromutations of language spoken with a slit tongue, a low-tech preparation for
      war, biochemical terrorism on a molecular scale, the production and distribution of
      images—exhalations like wind from a tomb. Fill-in-the-blank subjectivity in a world
      economy situated somewhere between a teenage kiss in a bomb shelter and an incel
    • Give these organs over. To Monsanto, to Petrobras, to strategies providing something that
      is more liquid, that can be transported from one context into another more easily,
      something that is fit to survive under these new conditions. Skin is a cult object, both a
      totem and a taboo.

Through the cells of my meat I pass this text. I am only concerned with what is not mine.
She’s searching for a technology that turns us into decaying subjects, a technology that
diminishes the space between us. The sleep-stasis of decomposition. A liminal threshold
of what is eaten and who eats it, a decolonizing of the intestines.

And then? And then, afterwards, brandish an army of molecular prosthesis to render
the world into comprehension. A participatory consciousness, a religious rhythmics. Going
too far. Taking it back. The body with a thousand heads rears up, grinding its asses. Wet,
hot, slippery, viral.

In a nest of hair read a cannibal metaphysics. Some may go further. A metaphor allows
the fusion between psychotropic prostitution and the charm of colonial architecture seen
through a rainstorm. Not hate, not contention, not even resistance.

Plagued by crime, draught, fraud, recession. Confronting the viewer with her own
condition, the viewing, the having already seen. The mutable body is the only body with
which to metabolize a theory of acculturation.

    • Cultivate a taste for misery inside a library in Morumbi, which can only ever be a
      misunderstanding. Wipe your face. Tremble when you feel sadness. Sit on a book when
      you are flatulent. Prepare for future domination in a city, this city that is a setting for a

Dirty, hungry, bitch, competition, looking for something to hold onto, orgy, drinking,
smoking, a too-young girl, cinema turned against itself, fine whatever you please, shots
of beautiful people driving luxury cars in the suburbs, a national shame, shame, shame on
you, shame you, agitation, the evolution of exploitation, you smell bad.

    • Beside myself, I stood, turned on. The betrayal of desire came to me though I turned my
      back. Parted buttocks. A clenched hole. The way an odor evolves in darkness. Group
      psychology uses political language. With morning comes a reminder: the banality of
      eating shit.

Not a single film but an evolving complex of films, instrumentalized for action, for
promoting speculation, for repressing rationalism. A crush behind the scenes. Voluntary
vivisection. Run her fingers through the gurgling valley of blood and pulsing guts to cast
a fortune into the sky. Kiss me when you’re done.

Lend yourself to that kind of pleasure. Excuse me. I’d like to know. How this works as
a catalyst. Sound it out. Ahhh-baaa-tuuuuuu. We don’t have to understand names. They are
only false memories inscribed into a carnal truth. Pay attention to the long takes, the
semi-audible conversations.

    • I’m not much of a person. What are you then? I’m not used to it. To what? I can’t explain
      it. Am I what I am? Everything you ask has no answer. It would take a fly twenty-eight
      days to circle the earth. You’re a hair in my soup. Does it hurt to be so stupid? To have
      such a flat head.

The embattled life cast in crepuscular gloom. The bad never die. A declaimed line.
Stripped of emotion. Find virtue in the most unlikely of places. The precipice of
catastrophe. A view from the body with a thousand heads. Greetings from a life in the

Issue 15