Fugitivity is immanent to the thing but is manifest transversally

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).