"Power can be invisible, it can be fantastic, it can be dull and routine. It can be obvious, it can reach you by the baton of the police, it can speak the language of your thoughts and desires. It can feel like remote control, it can exhilarate like liberation, it can travel through time, and it can drown you in the present. It is dense and superficial, it can cause bodily injury, and it can harm you without seeming even to touch you. It is systematic and it is particularistic and it is often both at the same time. It causes dreams to live and dreams to die. We can and must call it by recognizable names, but so too we must need to remember that power arrives in forms that can range from blatant white supremacy and state terror to ‘furniture without memories’"
—Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters
White liberalism and fascism is quick to commodify the use value and deploy the weaponization of poetry and language: theirs is a “furniture without memories.” The poems for the 24th issue of Drunken Boat present the stakes of “furniture without memories”—which is Toni Morrison's phrase.
The poems here navigate and narrate hopeless tasks, impractical gestures and provoke unimaginable relations: these are not poems in volunteer service of better statehood or diplomacy—too many of these have been published and circulated so enough already.
Memory building, memory labors, memory frames, memory vehicles memory circles memory gatherings tending to memories presented here.