Poetry | love song

It’s simple: you either believe another world is possible or you don’t. To believe is to be on the side of rock-throwers, to find a rock to throw. Recto: the story of the world contains a chapter for each innovation that found and ruined yet unimagined zones of rest, pleasure, flesh, and study; a chapter for each gadget that extended the zone of work to non-work; a chapter for each technique of watching, holding, frisking, patting, searching, emptying, surveilling, surveying, weighing, shaking. What is it to write a poem about love or to sound a note that gets lost in the chorus or to move to the wrong rhythm which is, of course, the real rhythm? Proudhon once said that ‘All property is theft’. The containment of what was stolen is the violence of state, which is another way of describing settlement, which is another way of naming a murderous pathology, which is another way to identify a condition that can never be satisfied. But what if that which is made into property cannot be contained? Moten and Harney say: ‘All property is loss because all property is the loss of sharing’. Fuck your property, we say in chorus with those who set fire to the servants and protectors of the commodity form. And yet, as we learn from the burnin and the lootin, property cannot be contained. ‘We survive only insofar as all property remains vulnerable to sharing’, preach Moten and Harney. In our pockets: a handful of stars. In our pockets: miscellaneous crumbs, half-chewed trinkets, scraps of a meal we have eaten before. To share ourselves is to remain on the run, to desire our own loss so that we might find each other. Love is the condition of our assembly, which is another way to say that we consent not to be a single being, which is another way to say that we survive only by being together, which is another way to describe friendship, which is another way to begin the arduous task of abolishing the settler state, which is another way to invoke communism. We have nothing but love for the children of the stones. When we dance to El-Funoun, we move against the cop and the soldier, the border and the state. A shared exhaustion, against the toxic solidarity of statecraft. Verso: the story of the world contains a chapter for each invention that found yet unimagined tools for struggle, that found a way to reclaim pleasure, flesh, and study from every hellish nook of the workplace; a chapter for each gadget that extended the fight for non-work in the extensive and receding fringe of work; a chapter for each technique of grifting, shaving, chipping, siphoning, cribbing, poaching, and pocketing. History’s front and back page dialectic allows for a different reading strategy. Against the grim arc from left to right we read the encoded dictionary of survival and conviviality, a recipe in reverse for how to turn the skims of tobacco, skins of milk, rings of a barrel, rims of a ship, slips of silk or steel shavings into a meal, a dress, a home, a kitchen table, a study book, a parade, a song, a child. The shape of things to come can only be known from inside. Unionised port workers blocked the shipment of arms from Italy to Israel. ‘We will not be an accomplice in the massacre of the Palestinian people’, the workers’ statement read as they held the ship in its dock. The story of struggle is always shared. One stone against invasion, another against enclosure, another against possession. We write a love poem as an act of solidarity, a call to offer ourselves up so as to find our way to each other.








Snack Syndicate

Snack Syndicate (Astrid Lorange and Andrew Brooks) is a critical art collective who live and work on Wangal country. They make texts, objects, meals, and events. Homework, a book of essays, is forthcoming with Discipline, and Supply Chain will be exhibited at Bus Projects in June 2021.

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Tom Melick

Tom Melick is a writer and editor broadly interested in imaginative and material geographies. He co-edits the pamphlet series Slug (www.slug.directory) and is part of Stolon Press (https://stolonpress.com/)

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