“The Downstream Face of an Obstruction” – Christian Hawkey

                              “we are enworlded via the envelopment of our bodies in space.”

                                                                                                          —Amelia Jones

a cloud of steam crossing railroad tracks, telephone wires, electrical poles. a clump of hair. a crust forms. a crust. a few lemons, lit. a field at night, grass. a field, a wheat field, a body in the middle of it, face down. a figure is chiral if it is not identical to its mirror image. a flowing crust. a glass spills. a hair on the negative, in the camera, on the lens, a laptop keyboard, under the shift key. a mantle. a mother is a mirror you fly into, over and over, a window. a placed mirror: replacement. a ring is an argument against horizons, lights. a single figure standing in nature is not nature. a stance. a strategy to avoid predators, a strategy for predators. a sudden disturbance in a pattern when you least expect it, beauty. a theory in the flesh. a way of seeing articulated, alongside what is seen. an argument against technocapitalist infrastructures. an arm around a shoulder. an image of another image approaches thought, a glass filled by the hand that knocks it into feeling. and another thing: felt difference is a close up. antennas, foliage. birefringence. black puddles. bubblegum, ballooning. but the cloud of steam was left behind by a train. but the layers, frozen, layer. cell phone towers disguised as flag poles, street lamps, pine trees, chimneys. crypsis: the ability of an animal to avoid detection by other animals. crystals terrify. decolonization: i placed a jar in tanasi. decomposition. dent de lion, a lion’s tooth. dissolution. either of a pair of chemical compounds whose molecular structures have a nonsuperimposable mirror-image relationship to each other. en, enworlded, and belonging to it—we owe it something. enantiomorphism. every seed asexual, clonal reproduction, inhale, x. everything floating on something else, into, against. excessive symmetry. face down in a field, a deflated body, earth mother, lack. fenestrated syndactyly. fused. grass. gum. hit enter, return. hold your own hands for a minute. how to survive a world structured by those who structure the world with ease. i can’t bear to wake in this light. i want to leave these jeans, these boots, this body. if there’s distance between one thing and another it’s only because the weeds have yet to fill it. inhale, make a wish, i’ve plucked myself for you, the last seed clings, the lungs. interobjectivity. intersubjectivity. it doesn’t flow. it only exists if it’s continuously spoken. keep blowing as long as you can, until it explodes. lie down chest first on the earth and exhale all the way down to dirt. mimicry is safety from patriarchy. minnows, their small mouths. mirror neurons. mirror trees. mirrors image. misaligned. monitor your pain. mountains, deserts. my brother survived riker’s by pretending to be insane. neurons coding a movement reduce their responses with time of exposure to a constantly moving stimulus. no other world but this world. of a pair, either, or. often larvae attach small twigs, fecal pellets or pieces of vegetation to the outside of their cocoon in an attempt to disguise it from predators. on schizophrenia and mirrors: too much of the original wave signal is preserved. on the downstream face of an obstruction. one butterfly. our hair protects us, keeps us warm. pattern, pistol. phosphor at the edge of the night sky, which touches the. pillows are formed when a large flow of water runs into a large obstruction. pistil. positional identity vs. redemptive narcissism. rocks. secrete, accrete. sintering is effective when the process reduces the porosity and enhances properties such as strength, electrical conductivity, translucency and thermal conductivity. solidarity. spread your wings to be invisible. stationary eyes, a stationary stimulus. stitching. suicide, definite articles, as if the world imagined were. surge protection device: yes. tap-rooted, perennial, herbaceous. taraxacum. telecom leases can be excellent sources of ancillary income. that rush toward the edge, the plummet, the other side, risk. the apomacts are among us. the assembly line runs through the facultative, groins overgrown with moss, who wants some. the body vomits to kick itself back into itself. the boundary between life and death, an image policed by suicide. the cat displaces itself a certain distance each time you look off frame. the cheeks expand with the bubbling gum. the edge slowly eroded by continuous water flow. the minnows nibbling fingertips, toes. the sheet eddies around an obstruction of hair. the the the the. the tools made to keep the body’s detritus out of the tools. this is all that’s left. this world. to be held by a hole filled with the materials that created it. tough or soft, opaque or translucent, solid or mesh-like, of various colors, or composed of multiple layers. tough to hide in your own home. two leaves my body. two. water, spilled, finds a path out of the photograph. we are at peace knowing we have no need to even register the feeling of how little we care about being desired. we see the horizon only when we tilt our head to the side. we sleep alongside our hair. woodpecker damage to utility poles, the most significant cause of pole deterioration. wrists. you can choose whichever still life keeps you still.


Christian Hawkey is a poet-educator-translator. He has written two full-length poetry collections, four chapbooks, the cross-genre book Ventrakland Sonne from Ort, a collaborative bi-lingual erasure made with the German poet Uljana Wolf. He is an officer of the Office of Recuperative Strategies and a member of NYC Solidarity with Palestine.