Labour and Other Poems
Read Justin Clemens's introduction to Labour and Other Poems.
We find ourselves in love or out of it; in a friendship but with an enemy; under contract; inscribed by the law; giving birth; accompanied by ghosts; making pacts; in pursuit of a lost object; oriented towards new and unknown attachments.
We find ourselves in a relation, even when that relation is broken or non-reciprocal.
This book is about relations and their ambiguous intimacies. The three poems approach the question of how to endure, survive, destroy or protect the relationships that both constrain and make life possible.
I wrote these poems while reading the work of Andrew Brooks, Brandon Brown, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Silvia Federici, Elena Gomez, Stefano Harney, Saidiya Hartman, C L R James, Fred Moten, Jordy Rosenberg, Hortense Spillers, Wendy Trevino and Frank Wilderson III. The three poems that comprise this book are in debt to these thinkers and should be read as marginal notes to their ideas.
One way to perceive relations is to study them intently and to construct a poetics in their shadow.