Malick Sidibé, Portrait de Mselle Kanté, 1965
Fugitivity is immanent to the thing but is manifest transversally
by Fred Moten
between the object and the floor
the couch is a pedestal and a shawl
and just woke up her hair. she never
ever leaves the floating other house
but through some stories they call.
later that was her name the collaborator
of things shine in the picture. hand
flew off her early hair though held
by flowers. later her name was grete.
her hair feels angles by flowers that
before her name was shori the
penetrator in the history of no décor.
the station agent intimate with tight
spaces refuse to hit back or be carried.
later her name was danielle goldman
and his serene highness thierry henry.
her head is cut off by a shadow of primary
folded streets she harrass with enjoyment.
later her name is piet. she come from cubie
with the whole club economy in her hand.
when she reclines her head is lifted
by a turn, someone’s arm they left there.
later her name was elouise. watch her
move into the story she still move
and tear shit up. always a pleasure the banned
deep brown of faces in the otherwise
whack. the cruel disposed won’t stand
still. apparatus tear shit up and
always. you see they can’t get off when
they get off. some stateless folks
spurn the pleasure they are driven
to be and strive against. man, hit me again.
Fred Moten is a poet, literary critic, and professor of English and African American Studies at Duke University. He is author of Arkansas (Pressed Wafer), In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press), I ran from it but was still in it. (Cusp Books), Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works) and B Jenkins (Duke University Press). His latest collection of essays with Stefano Harney is, the undercommons, (Minor Composition, 2013). “Fugitivity is immanent…” is published in Hughson’s Tavern, (Leon Works, 2008).