Complicit : Erasure of the Body, Written Submissions

These are the collected written submissions from artists participating in our March 3-April 8th 2019 Nasty Women Connecticut Art Exhibition.

Erasure Make Her Disappear, Katie Jones

Erasure make her disappear

Make me un-know my own existence

I stopped seeking in me and would search for her in every godly and ungodly thing that would touch me.

Erasure be the absence. Be the angry silence. Be the suffocated cries. Erasure be hiding. Killing. Lying. Erasure takes. Erasure shames. Pushes. Buries. Forsakes. She is shrunk and she shrinks indefinitely into negative space. She is stolen and she trains herself in numbness. She trains and masters the erasure of self.

 

Complicit be accomplice. Partner. Minion. Sheep. Helper. Mule. Keeper. Protector, and of what? 

Complicit is soldier. Is loyal. Is rider. Aide. Complicit enables. Empowers. Emboldens, but whom? Complicit makes allowance. Makes excuses. Makes permissible no matter how atrocious. Complicit says knows no better. Complicit says got nothin better.

 

Body be home. Body be skin. Body be bones. Body be my structure. Form. Protector. House. Sanctuary. 

Parent. Lover. Friend. Prison. Vessel. 

Site of violation. Site of liberation. Body be the Earth. Body comes from and gives birth. Body machines. Our first body is Mother. Sanctuary. A ship. A boat. A bird. Body carries- So much. 

Breath and Soul Residence, sometimes vacant and full of absence. 

Body be my mobile home. Child. Instrument. Canvas. Muse. Pain. Beauty. Body tells time. Senses. Sexes. Blood. Water. Bone. Breath. Tissues. Skin Nails Eyes Mouth Nose Ears Respiration and Nervous system and systems of creation and learning. Body be a temple. Body Be Thee temple.

 

Of means pertaining to. Born from. For the. On behalf. In accord with. Targeting. Interest.

 

The is an article. The implying universal. One. All. Absolute. And sometimes nothing.

 

How have I been? Complicit in. Erasure of. The body.

 

 

Ways to be and do. Simple ways. Complex ways. Deeply disturbing ways. Seemingly normal but harmful ways.

 

Complicit (me) (in) erasure of the body.

 

Putting it in clothes that don't love it, just because somebody likes it that way, just because I'd convinced myself to want it that way, in order to belong, to seem okay- would make me okay, would make it okay....Right?

To assign body the role of object- to play it to be desired, coveted, envied, hated, lusted, feared, objectified, scarred, pillaged, dumped, 

 

Shrinking and slouching it. Concaving, hunching shoulders back and ass. Make it small. Don't stand out. Don't be seen. Don't intimidate. Don't tempt. Don't be different. Don't be ugly. Don't be shining. Don't be. 

 

Scrape it good.  

 

Leave it. Abandon it. Starve it. Stuff it. Force it. Be like "this old thing?" Like a meatcase and no claim to it. "I'm sure glad you like it. Oh You Love it?! You must love me too. You must love me enough for the both of us." 

 

I have detached. Disowned. Tolerated. Berated. Hated. Aggravated. This Body. This body. My body. 

 

Have allowed body to spend time in spaces with people who didn't know how to love her. How to care for her. Even doctors. Even teachers.

Even I didn't know. How to love her or how to listen. But I knew the sun and the sea knew how. 

The sun and the sea. They held without harming, even with their limits and their warnings. Due recognition of innate power. They resist their own erasure something mighty and they stay fierce.

 

I left this body stagnant many times. In a slump, in a funk. Fed her life-draining food and exposed her to poison of the cells and spirit.

Made her work for someone else.

Didn't do her justice. Chained voice away saying it was for survival. Denied her strength, tied her legs that would have run away to stop the abuse. Boiled her down to assimilate with the crowd.

Convinced my mind she didn't mind it. She'd be fine. Still wasn't dead anyway, all the way. Wasn't worth a fuss. Wasn't gonna get out of a rut, anyway. She only exists when he say, when they want, only when somebody presses, pushes, forces, holds, hurts.

 

 

Damn.

 

There's a flip to this. There's a new way I been Complicit. Complicit (me) (In the) Revival. of the Body.

 

She is here. She is with me. She is mine. I am hers. We are together. We are full. We are heartbroken. We are enraged. We are in love. We are dancing. We are singing. We are fighting. For the Body. To exist. For the body. To be un-erased. For the body. To be Free. We are well and we are not alone. We exist for the joy of creation itself. We are healing. We are shedding. We are burying. We are planting. We are honoring. We are building a Body of Love.

 

(Song: this Body loves me and I love her back)