Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Fay Mtn : Poetics of Stony Flows, Part 1




I.              Niedecker & Barad

(1968) Lorine Niedecker in North Central[1]:

In every part of every living thing
is stuff that once was rock

In blood the minerals
of the rock

(2007) Karen Barad in Meeting the Universe Halfway[2]:

“The world is not populated with things that are more or less the same or different from one another. Relations do not follow relata, but the other way around. Matter is neither fixed and given nor the mere end result of different processes. Matter is produced and productive, generated and generative. Matter is agentive, not a fixed essence or property of things” (136-137).

“In an agential realist account, discursive practices are not human-based activities but specific material (re)configurings of the world through which boundaries, properties, and meanings are differently enacted. And matter is not a fixed essence; rather. Matter is substance in its intra-active becoming—not a thing but a doing, a congealing of agency” (183).

Matter is always already an ongoing historicity (151).

As Barad has it, the subject does not precede the action, but is cut into subject-shape by the intra-active engagements with shapes cut into object cloth by the very event that necessitates being a-part. No doer, strictly speaking, before the doing. Then time may or must be reconfigured as non-teleological. The subject’s being in time reformulated by the reformulation of being-subjected to a clear-cutting. Let me try this again: no cause and effect à no passage of time. No à logic.  

Here are queer time-bodies, made non-narratively, non-teleologically in the instant of their interfleshy discursive breaking-apart.

Queer materialities, meshflesh, revolutionize temporal ontology. Being in time as now as durational, as pointillism, as teleological, as iterative, as suffusive, as edgeless, as dissociation, as through. Thorough. Being in time might be as rock, as alive as object, as mineral. Being in time might be bloody. Being in time might be the stoniness of blood. Being in time might be archaic-organic, as stone. Sedimentary. Or rockiness may be suffusive, edgeless, dissociative.

Non-reproductive timescales under a regime of horizontal generationality. Coral, for instance, cross “contaminating” multi-generationally, transforming the evolutionary tree to quilt. In other words, we do not only re/create “down” or “forward” but back, across, back, over. Animal blood is made lively by its undeniable rockiness. Mineral randomness is not random, but a matter of space. Generationality is geographical. Continents make up bodies and reproduction makes up space and is made up by spatial flows.  





Fay Mtn is the author of the chapbook Body of Water (New Note Poetry) and the artist's book Poem Composed for a Long Book, created in residency at the Western New York Book Art Center. They are a PhD candidate in poetry & poetics in Buffalo, NY.


[1] Niedecker, Lorine. North Central, London, Fulcrum Press, 1968.

[2] Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning, Durham, Duke University Press, 2007. 

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