Poems and Texts

Excerpt from “Flat White (20/20)” by Anna Moschovakis

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I want to tell you Samira how it is right now a small stack of books on my desk their covers all red by a happy coincidence one is yours In the Shadow of Grenada or In the Shade of Granada I haven’t worked on it yet but the top one was published in 1968 /\ Disease, Pain, & Sacrifice: Toward a Psychology of Suffering \/ and when I open it here in front of you across the world I see the word pain multiplied on the page /\ Pain as a Demand upon a Higher Telos and The Phenomenally Ego-Alien Nature of Pain and at the top The Paradox of the Function of Pain and we know that pain pronounced pan spells bread in \ one of your / extramaternal \ tongues // I read it \/ whose I is this anyway \/\ read it first as In the Shadow of the Grenade.

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I say that to write the most banal things you must first write of your [    ] of your [     ] of your [     ] of the love of [       ] of [       ] of [       ] of [       ] and [      ] of [      ] and [      ] [      ] and of the [      ] of the [ ] of [    ] of [    ] of [    ] of [    ] of [    ] of the [    ] of [     ] of [     ] of the [     ] and [     ] [     ] and of the [     ] I say all of this is almost [

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That which predisposes toward an encounter that which is meant by the argument against a private /\ language that which is presented as an argument against empathy that which joins the passions into a com /\ passion when I translate your words using nonhuman means into an alphabet whose calligraphy I don’t know I have reason /\ to question /\ the accuracy of the result especially words like sex and ruins like Pagan like incest like rapist and suspicion I am willing to be wrong I stand / corrected most of the time Samira I would prefer not to be wrong / about certain /\ terms /\ among them ‘night sweats’ with which I am \ familiar thanks to my / thanks to everyone’s /\ condition.

This piece was originally published in They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This (Coffee House Presse, 2016)

Anna Moschovakis

Anna Moschovakis books of poetry include They and We Will Get Into Trouble for This (2016) and You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (2011), and her translations include books and texts by Annie Ernaux, Albert Cossery, Claude Cahun, Jean-Luc Nancy, Pierre Alféri, Samira Negrouche, and Robert Bresson. Moschovakis is a long-time member of the publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse, where she heads up the Dossier Series for investigative texts. She lives in Brooklyn and Delaware County, New York, where in 2015 she co-founded Bushel Collective, an experimental storefront space for art, agriculture and action. Her first novel, Eleanor, or The Rejection of the Progress of Love, will be published in summer 2018.

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