Apartment Poetry Quarterly

16A              16B              16C              16D              16E              16F


16a Sarah María Medina




Find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight—Deleuze & Guattari 







Is a hummingbird, silent—I, in the dark,

damp drudge, the cunt,

a cacophony—

I, is the imperial arc of an imperial language.

The captured echo, then nothing—






I feign the bourgeoise, but I fool no one.

Is there time to nap before the cake is done?

             I, is the cake & I consume it too, like patty-cake all over again—

             $ is spilled milk through small towns, never

cried over. I, is capital, I, is value, I, is wanted, I, is high demand &

paronomasias sell out fast— On bed in the morning,

mourning, like removing one item of dress, then another,

I find that leche is slang for that wetness.

I make out like trees & leave faster than I fall.

I, is open-mouthed star gazer, I, is a posy

desperate for a hand job. I, is a $ shot

in command,

             in demand, commandeering what is untrainable,

             what is now gone, off, track, widely

             wild, wielded as an instinctual word—






The negation leaves behind an echo: No small, pink seashells across the sand.

No small candles strewn across the sky. No red flower, no hummingbird.

I, is voice, is a bird taking off in the air, but I, is caught in the arcade´s mirror—

a hundred reflections cast. A shadow in front of a window.

In the vault of language,

the play room, denial leaves an echo: no little, pink shells ensconced in the sand.

No excess capital, no wages—only back rent, paid, fronted, turned over.

Is a hummingbird, I, in the mirror, seeking an exit out of the world of men—

[the $ shot]


I, is language, is a currency,
inscape exposed, an exposé, a $ shot like removing one
item of dress, then another.

I, is limitless from which all else arrives:

a mountain erupting & the dead air,

white ash like silent snow, a burial in the wake.

Ask us to expose the interior, but tell us what is left afterward?

Pleasure in exposure? The inner gallery?

Exhibition of inscape? To what extent must I,

exchange in terms of excess capital? I, is still selling, but the $ hustle

is tempered by internal, intimate dissent. I hock a language,

but there´re no buy-ins & no bread in the oven.

I commodify le corps to accrue,

surge $ pleasure through singularity,

but multiplicity reigns, the hounds behind the counter

reject it, so, I reel back to oblivion. I undress, in multiple $ sounds,

I fall out of the comma, the interval, the command,

the commandeering of an empirical language.

When do I abandon the act of forgiveness & get on?

I, is the interior, a point of view,

I offer, I dismiss, I´m a weather forecast gone rogue.

I gather marigolds, I wait for the dove-like rush.

I cull the language, the wild grass, the wind.

I give witness, the estuary. It speaks through me, but is it enough?






I will be, I will be & the language will not destroy us.

As if it could ever be contained, I´m asked to name the red flower.

It´s light, dark, dark & light. Trees rise, scatter—

That's all there is: escape & run. Time to quit & move on.

At the edge of the light, I´ll go no further

No heliconia, frangipani, flame tree, palm trees, moonlight.

In other words, rogue the seedlings to avoid later death—

In other words, rogue the seedlings toward the little death.

Go rogue, go hard, go wild, or go soft—

When I kiss her—the act is to lean into the direction of the wind,

directed by a common climate. In search of the cadence

of a storm, I´ll go no further—so, she ensconces in the sand.

No helicopter, frangipani, flame, fee, blow, moonlight.

I break & bow to her grip. I upend, I turn around,

a kind of freedom comes out of us & our song continues—






A veces it´s a cult of language I try to get out of, trato de salirme y a veces, I get rid of the language, but the vanguard guards us from the sky. El cielo, heaven, the ceiling of lust, animal, inhabited, brutal, colonial. Worshipped, cultivated. Or the avant-garde protects us from the sky. Wanting is like walking on the beach, coming across dead sand dollars dried out from low tide, la arena de la muerte, dry to the tide, invisible, invasion, waiting for the sky to fall on a barren, sexual, landscape. Now imagine that the tide carries further out, further in the direction of deviation. I stand inside a crush of fear, followed by ecstasy, lined up with the hollow of our tongue, attuned to the emptiness of the language, alineado con el hueco de la lengua. It´s only the grey, white bone of the sand dollar, ahora savage, in our palm, mimicking control; the bone, gray sleet of a central, capital, circular sky; una explosión gris within the bone, dry sound now in our palm. The dry sound of bone inside. I fill it up with a fatal syllable, el sonido seco de huesos adentro y lo lleno. I fill it con una sílaba, another, attempting to translate the meaning, a past showcase, un espectáculo, a glass arcade, un mundonuevo, far off the mouth, the river.






I let in: the avant-garde sky / lust / sedentary / cultivated

dead dollar / landscape of bone-dollar palms. The bone sound / syllable of limit / edge

I quit the race, the game, or the woman quits me / an end stop / a slash or curve.

I look for someone to bring a warm blanket / I try to make the most

of a language that has given so little, yet yields so much red.

Let’s go back to the sea where the I was born as a horizon.

I age out, I sing, I go rogue, I shelter from the assault, I assuage my fears.

I give up the commodity of body, I turn toward empire

like fleeing against the current of the river—






I, is not the saint, I, is the dove;

I speak in English but bend the language.

I wield it as though it´s dusk that dwells

in every crevasse of an empty apartment,

I wield it like

removing one item of dress, then another,

slowly, & with intention

I undress, redress

between the mirrors, mirroring I, the reflection.

I pay the mafia,

the police, the court, the house mother, the security, the camera.

Like the recurring song, the capital recurs, the capital drags through

the night without a wrench, or a bullet whistle.

I put on clothes, take off clothes.

I cover the wound, & wound the coverage.

There´s denial to write equivalently

in several languages. It´s just not done.

What´s done is capital, $, equivalency & $.

I, is voice silenced & signaled,

I speak in English, but tend the language.

I, is voice commodified & whistled clean:

I don´t need it, but I, is pleasure,

I, is sound revolting against imagism,

I, is pleasure in its chaos.






I, is mirrored inside glass, arcade, of language, of cult, cultivated,

I, is commodity, I capitalize, I make even, I break even, I evenly break—

I, is in all red—this light & this hummingbird, involved

in the madness of survival, which on occasion, I call beautiful—









This is a response to Aditi Machado´s essay, The End.

The images of heliconia, frangipani, flame tree, palm trees, moonlight are from Susan Cesaire´s essay, The Great Camouflage, translated by Keith L. Walker.