Nomads of the Body to Come

k. kodama

First published on Artillería Inmanente, September 15, 2020

In the midst of a wave of massive protests against the government and police violence, a comrade “from a territory known as Colombia, ravaged by massacre” shared the following text, which they describe as “a call to recover our bodies, and to construct the bodies to come”.

* * * * * 

A dying wind rattles the body, there is a stench in its breath and decomposition in its speech. In a gaze, a plague of fear. In every inhale, judgment; every exhale, the rank execution of collapse. To the touch, a sterile vomit. In heaven, a fortified stain, damming the tears. Requiem for the body in a world that denies it embrace.

The gesture is missing, the tongue is missing, the body is missing.

A shelter culpable for absence on a night of ceaseless whispers.

The mute stammer.

From a dead tree, between the fog and solitary branches, a photograph falls.

A ghost appears to survive within the diaphragm of life.

(a larval dance flutters in its image)

Corpus larvatus,

The body remains masked in its being,

and revolt arrives as the masks bear fruit.

Sva cviqve persona

“Each has their own mask”

Fantasmal games in headless seductions.

There are spears, and words like smiles on their sharp points.

The patriarch is dead.

The larvae persevere—and celebrate—in their masks,

in the abyss of the times they survive.

Do not forget

The memory of the defeated weeps from the tree amidst its fog.

Larvatus prodeo.

***

I yearn for the communion of bodies that sing softly in my hell.

The womb begins to write.

Intestinal memories multiply a carnival of voices.

Oh, cinnamon bodies, fiery cries, Dionysian dances!

I smell the membrane of its power.

Beloved nomads clinging faithfully to the Earth.

Visceral desires forge territory, intensities.

Nomads of the body to come.

Nomadic, the art of the immobile, of knowing how to remain on the Earth.

A dwelling without Telos, a game without escape, a preferring-not-to of the beyond.

Body, lunar chakra of Uma Kiwe.

Fervent contemplation of joyful passions to avert the monocultures of panic.

Mineral minga, vegetable tequio, animal coven. [1]

Chaosmic resistance in the fullness of well-being. 

To come, temporality adjacent to the living.

Untimely estrangement of the archē.

Insurrectionary clinamen of the anarchic body.

***

What can a river in a drought do?

What can deforested woods do?

What can polluted air do?

Land pierced to the porousness of its insides?

What can a suffering body do?

The desert advances…

Many bodies carry deserts inside them still, deserts uninhabited.

The desert advances…

Capital devastates.

A dying wind rattles the body, there is a stench in its breath and decomposition in its speech.

The suffering bodies finally arrive at the Castle.

They will claim their rights!

They wait at the gates

They wait…

Before the Law

The suffering bodies still wait before the Law

They wait…

The suffering bodies wait… beheaded.

What can a beheaded body do?

And the disappeared, mutilated, massacred, raped, displaced?

The perimeter of the gates has been thoroughly cleaned, for the President’s address right there.

The speech is here at the scene of the crime.

“Everything is under control,” says the President.

But something unexpected occurs, the facade was stained.

On the fortified walls can be seen:

“Peace to the huts, war on the palaces.”

***

Each being tries to endure in its infancy.

Universes tempted to the resurrection of the flesh.

Thrilled entropy in glances ablaze, we are before the…

Revolt

To come.

Blessed oxygen before the dying gas. [2]

“Anéantir le néant”

To annihilate the nothingness.

Invoke catastrophe.

In the suffering body persists a pathos of body in revolt.

Multiple ghosts survive in the diaphragm of life,

they are the defeated who echo in the cells of bodies in revolt.

The nomads of the body to come inhabit the Earth of language, they feel in the missing body, they stammer in the infancy of the tongue, they know that the flutter of a gesture here can unleash torments in the most unexpected places. Bodies that call, that lick their accomplices’ wounds, that moan to their community of lovers, that howl, that tear their masters’ skins, Axolotls who risk their lives to regenerate, because life is a game in common… Only in common can we reach reparation, restitution, and redemption, all at once. Tikkun Olam! Now, in that body to come, in those end times, in that rest where the work is undone; we can say, like some condemned character in a Kafka novel once said to his superior:

Drop the whip or I will devour you!”

-k. kodama

Translated from the Spanish by Duncan Riley and Leijia Hanrahan

Translator’s Notes

[1] Both minga and tequio refer to traditions of communal labor, practiced among the Nasa people of the Colombian Andes and the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca, Mexico respectively. The minga also gave its name to a series of protests by indigenous peoples against state violence, and for the return of their communal lands.

[2] In the original Spanish, the first letters of these six lines spell cuerpo, body.