Porous Aftermath (excerpt)

fahima ife

|∙vehement in bayou winter they are                  portal between here and                                 brass ether signal between spore and star matter                  opaque as nothingness                                 :: lungs open :: hidden as seven human echoes                  alive in bas du fleuve                                 lungs heaving quiet as dense copper cortex                  or aerial trees they                                 ground and leave as air fornicates an open                  out run fear’s frequency                                 wayward as ecstatic wind moves as nothing as                  seventeen seventy-seven                                 intimate series of secret runs in winter                  porous human { poor as                                 blackness }

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fahima ife is an artist-scholar of Black Studies based in New Orleans. Specializing in 20th and 21st century Black aesthetic production, they study literary, performance, visual art, corresponding art histories, and consider representations of black(queer) and trans* sociality. They produce fluid creative scholarship as poems, lyrical essays, and hybrid/open genre works offering transgressive shadow meditations on aesthetics, intimacy, affect, grief, and ecstasy in contemporary art. They are author of Maroon Choreography (Duke University Press, 2021) and other works appearing in various places including liquid blackness: journal of aesthetics & black studies, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and Interim. They are an assistant professor of English at Louisiana State University where they teach Black Studies, poetry and poetics, and pedagogies. 

Cover of maroon choreography

Durham, North Carolina

Duke University

"It is obscure but everywhere. More unknowable than little known. It participates in the important recent critical practice that goes beyond applying or extending theory and instead insists there is something else to perceive and another way to perceive it.”
—Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Dub: Finding Ceremony

“With great erudition and deep musicality, fahima ife has written a funky, rigorous, and lyrical investigation of what it is to have been made to have and not have a body. An incredible tempest of a book.”
—Fred Moten, author of Black and Blur

“ife invokes recent thinkers for whom the inherited rules and categories of what we have learned to call civilization look like acts of Western oppression. Against those categories, with sublimity and verve, ife’s verse raises up a defiant ‘queeribbeanness,’ celebrating ‘unruly contemporary dancers’ and other ‘black bodies” that ‘struggle to name our lives as sovereign, on our own terms.’"
—Stephanie Burt, New York Times Book Review

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