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Aristilde Kirby

Viva Ruiz_No Name.jpg

Carotid taps on luteal frets &
personal labyrinths hop-stamped like pink katydids flecked in
an eosin-nigrosin violent complex.

Here, the world is a negative color
image. Here, the trees are Nile Blue A in a ppm range
of a thousand, hundred, ten, one & nil.

Here, the blight branches into a marooned
oaken perdition, Dawn degloved, wiping chiral virals
into mud of white women’s neverfawn.

Here, some nurse a fat nope that could be a
healthy cafe au lait with a slight tawny bum to bounce
their laps on, a groomable handkerchief

ghost tied with gift store twine around the neck,
a fitting exit, to smudge their corrupt foundations off
all for the express purpose to break into an art star

to bank their PIN dumber PR cleanup
ms.fortunes on. I mean, I guess it looks like me, but it
can’t be. Fuck it, fuck you, I mean—really.

Not like these crypto-fascist small dog
wearing, order-barking, left radical-leaning larping
queer safety scissor first-sign-of-dissent

quiver, morally decrepit, shadow
co-chair declaring, sea sick on the ferry, Roland Barf
kid lusting, Gayle Rubin Traffic-In-Women

assigning as queer cruise abusing, last
exit from menopause, curled up around a fetal prawn
teacher thespians in their Vienna

& upstate NY mansions, rip out the scansion
like copper wire from a trap house, have your fair share of this,
‘Here’s the wind up & a bitch,’ yeah, strangle

Anselm Berrigan with it, tried to help
stencil me their ‘baby groupie,’ fish hook to haddock,
Wanted me to be less Led Zeppelin &

more Lori Maddox, sure, I guess I should
take advice from a jungle fever grown adulterous hack,
two-timing, face-masked, for fuck sake moron

who couldn’t kick the bottle if it gave
him a cane to stand on. Your divorce is your fault, how’s that
for dogwhistle. Sod off & die, loser.

“I’m just another gear in the machine,”
he says on my thesis board recording, word to Hannah
Barrett, content to install a willing

diversity hire BIPOC patsy.
Oh, the Neoliberality~! I guess at the end
of the day Peak White Feminism means

enacting the same institutional
abuse that men do, only with a frivolous frill of
Gentility & Care & if the up-

highs enable you to, the fatter the
salary! The Fiat King that whipped the lost program
back into shape after the pandemic

revealed Napoleon Botstein’s true face.
Education: For profit, For all, For-ever & if
you’re not For it, your useless degree means

even least & your loans stay heretofore
un-For-given. Bard College: A Place To Think While We Set
A School Everywhere Else. Yeah, No Refunds.

Let us return to the phallus-pushing
painter prick trying to brainlube a black trans femme STUDENT
into an crypto-quid-quo-pro-pseudo

relationship & I’ll get to the point
Fucking soon, Fucking hold it, who likes to send gift cards to
the main office [From A Patron] the card

said & likes to deploy emailed invites
for tea via Zoom with Barthian an unbuttoned blouse
as a eugenic claw machine for dark

art-washed gametes to critically unbleach
a legacy of being terminally center-right,
queering totalitarianism.

Get your BDSMFA dildo
fake-FHAR dykeczar bitch ass off my spirit. This right here my
new modern drag. I’d like to take the time

to hate my old regressive teachers who
engaged in a conspiracy in my time at school to
ritualistically make me complicit in my own

exploitation. Ask the tome by Tithi
Bhattacharya published by Pluto Press: Dear, is this what
social reproduction is? Am I just

the bukkake tsunami of other’s
bad intentions for my fate? Is there un-rape culture
somewhere in these depressive

waves? Am I the offspring of The Sable
Venus who can’t get these pestilential, patriarchal,
wannabe Jolie, crabpinch witches from

my cold pearls, like, away? I know it’s late,
but can we abort The World? Last I checked, I made the sperm,
I make the boy, the they, I make the girl.

Or at the very least, it doesn’t live,
even as a concept, without me, even if I was
either cis. Are they mad I was born male?

ME TOO. If you people really cared, these
so-called womyn would get #metoo’d, but seeing as how the
word woke is a pejorative now, thanks,

there is little hope & even less change.
Could we all participate at the sacrifice of the
way things are, the way The World’s always stayed?

One morning of late, before I stir from
a rare dream state, I’m in first-person at the old Alma
Mater’s forest fringe & I see a doe trying

to stand on the same side of the two legs
she still has. Aw. She thinks she’s human, still. She thinks that
she has a spine to stand on, not rotting.

It’s like she’s relearning how to walk in
the wake of deliquescence of her flesh & nerve endings,
matted hair with blood & crude oil like the

scalp of a burn victim. Organs billow
like toadthroats & collapsed gumbubbles, some ooze like melting
sherbet or butter on a window-sill.

A gallbladder blows out like a pocket
speaker overheard. Bone meal & shard spackle the dirt like
gnawed drywall, it’s an abex faux-pochoir

pentimento gutlet, a boring yawn
from a retiring, aspiring maw. An eye is rolled back
in a dead leaf like a lazy sarma.

I’m thinking a lot about how no one
leaves this campus unharmed, about justice,
about how painting is the money art,

about how no trade of goods or services
can launder a corrupt soul, about the slave quarters here,
about farce, the botched land acknowledgments,

the late payments, the crocodile tears of
no endowment, the practice of tearing someone down to
build them up as a worse version, but more

‘able’ to navigate a field set to
molest their ambitions, ethics, relationships, their dreams,
I'm thinking about a world whose misery

inspires suicide, moral rot, cultural
erosion & yes, malaise & defeatism enough
to embrace the most apathetic forms

of birth control while the most critical
to survival ones face juridical suppression in
a country that plays with lives like Civ 6.

I’m thinking about how the TERF brains hit
on stolen land named after an old white man with just the
right tint. I think about a prism of tenebrism.

I think about how in 2016,
after the NJEPA, the groundskeepers of Bard
began to inject the deer with porcine

zona pellucida in seasonal
waves to garrote the fecundity of the local doe
populace. So, it’s not my fault at all

that she’ll never have a kid serf as a
fetish doll, a juvenilia paraphilia,
wrought by a womb filled with coercion &

ironic misogyny. For The Low
Cost Of Some Weak Art World Favors, You Too Can Have Your Own
Abject Thrall As The Ultimate Student™!

Or not. Perish the goddamn fucking thought!
Upon walking away, I see the stock double rainbow.
This isn’t so negative after all, ne?

I awake.

Aristilde Kirby is an artist from the Bronx, New York. Her work covers the bases of poetry, performance, and cultural criticism. These works have been featured in Miguel Abreu Gallery, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Entrance, The Poetry Project, Smack Mellon, and as a part of Texte Zur Kunst’s Velvet Voice Club at the Roter Salon, Volksbühne. She has published a book, Daisy & Catherine², with Auric Press (now in its second run) as well as chapbooks with Belladonna*, Black Warrior Review, & The Best American Experimental Writing 2020.

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