to talk with the bodies amongst us: collaborative generating #3

Collective Manifesto Project: here.

It’s about the novel as a form that processes the part of a scene that doesn’t function as an image, but as the depleted, yet still livid mixture of materials that a race riot is made from. Think of the sky. – Bhanu Kapil

Think of a beautiful woman. There are many.

Lola told me beauty would get me far. That is why she is angry with me when I fail
to thread my eyebrows.

She traces her finger across the brows of a girl in a magazine. She says, “This is how you
should look.” But I say: my eyebrows are yours, pointed at the tips. Lola frowns.

“Look at your cousin,” she says, “The mulatto. She only needs to be fair and lovely
with simple thinking.” I think of a beautiful woman, my mulatto cousin, her legs arrayed
across a magazine spread, hair dark like river crows, eyes oval like almonds.
I drink her mulatto silence, smells like rage. I drink an ocean.

Lola tells me not to trust the poet.

Lola tells me her story, a child out of wedlock
Her mother a flight attendant, her father a businessman
Her mother pregnant, her father rich
She bears my mulatto cousin for money

Lola tells me my mulatto cousin’s story. Lola tells me not to trust the poet. Not to become a nature
poet, not to drink an ocean, not to hear the mulatto silence. She cannot make out the cries, whispers,
shouts, songs on paper. She says marry a very educated bachelor son. Or have his child.
“You will never have to work again,” lola frowns.

“Be like your mulatto cousin,” lola tells me. “Beauty will get you far.”

Generative Question/Prompt:
What is the myth you keep from your family that isn’t true?

Inspired by Serena, Caroljg, Rachelle, Paul, Tamiko, Bushra, Chin-In


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