Blog post

Freedom & Prostitution

Cassandra Troyan navigates the histories of sex worker resistance and struggles against gendered violence and capital, towards revolution.

Kevin Okoth31 May 2019

For Internation Sex Workers Day 2019, we publish an extract from Cassandra Troyan's Freedom & Prostitution. The writing moves through many landscapes, voices, characters, and motifs to demonstrate entrenched connections between histories of gendered violence, and the struggles against it. Whether it is militaristic, imperialist, or carceral in nature, the violence women face in sex work or their intimate relationships, are intrinsically linked by the force of capitalism and its capacity to shape and impoverish everyday life. Looking specifically at the case of Gary Ridgway, or the “Green River Killer” who murdered over 49 prostitutes during the 80s in the Pacific Northwest, and the response by sex workers, which influences and inspires the various moments of resistance embedded within the text.

Within this manuscript, the notion of freedom means liberation and autonomy. The dream of a world without work, without money, without gender, while imagining forms of survival now for those who often have little to no choices, or refuse to submit to the demands of tedious underpaid or unwaged labor, an abusive partner, or seek a life beyond work. Sex work is not a “better” type of labor, but a proposal for its abolition.

Rather than further marginalize sex workers by viewing their lives and deaths as either a site of titillation or disgust, Freedom & Prostitution looks at the freedom that sex work can allow, while addressing that the dangers sex workers face are not necessarily inherent to sex work, but to the violence of capital and the deeply ingrained misogyny and racism in the world today. The sex worker is not a person to be pitied, but another radical figure pursuing revolution through the collective movement of dissent, as a means of re-constructing another history, and hopefully a future with freedom for us all.

Conspiracy, dreadful word

full of ominous reverberations;

glimpses of closed doors

silently dispatched orders

evil intents.

Impossible, you say,

don’t let that right wing propaganda

con you.

That bullet that goes right

through your head

was planned for you and me

since the beginning of

capital’s time.

And that paycut,

so deep it went through

our pockets

tearing our pants apart,

is all in the logic of the system.

So beware of the

conspiracy theory of history.

No suspicion is fit for us,

brothers and sisters,

no stretching of the eyes

to read between the lines

or to follow a trail of blood

beneath our masters’ footsteps.

— Silvia Federici, In praise of conspiracy theory


“To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really

was’ (Ranke). It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of

danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which

unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The

danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat

hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the

attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is

about to overpower it. The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes

as the subduer of the Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning

the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not

be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be


— Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History

Aileen Wuornos (February 29,1956—October 9, 2002), was a sex worker usually

referred to as the “first American female serial killer,” after she was convicted of

killing six men and sentenced to death for murder. Before her execution by lethal

injection, she refused to have an official public press conference. Instead, she

agreed to speak with Nick Broomfield, who was making his second documentary

about her life, trial, and the media spectacle monetizing her death. This would be

her last interview.

Nick Broomfield: But nonetheless.

Aileen Wuornos: Nobody ever asked me these questions.

Nick Broomfield: Whether the cops were following you or not

Aileen Wuornos: Whether the cops are following me or not, I mean what.

Nick Broomfield: Okay, so let’s say the cops were following you.

Aileen Wuornos: Yeah.

Nick Broomfield: Let’s say they were following you and they did everything that

you are saying they did.

Aileen Wuornos: Uh huh. Yeah.

Nick Broomfield: Nonetheless, you killed seven men.

Aileen Wuornos: Yeah, sure I did.

Nick Broomfield: And I am asking you what got you to kill the seven men.

Aileen Wuornos: And I am telling you because the cops let me keep killing them

Nick. Don’t you get it?

Nick Broomfield: Not everybody is killing seven people. So there must have

been something in you that was getting you to do that.

Aileen Wuornos: Oh, you are lost Nick!

Nick Broomfield: So explain.

Aileen Wuornos: I was a hitchhiking hooker.

Nick Broomfield: Right.

Aileen Wuornos: Running into trouble I’d shoot the guy if I ran into trouble,

physical trouble, the cops knew it. When the physical trouble came along, let her

– let her clean the streets. And then we will pull her in, that’s why.

Nick Broomfield: But how come there was so much physical trouble, because it

was all in one year, seven people in one year.

Aileen Wuornos: Oh well, oh well.

Nick Broomfield: But why not say now.

Aileen Wuornos: Because in retaliation for taking my life like this and getting

rich off it all these years, in – in total pathological lying. Yeah, thanks a lot. I lost

my fucking life because of it. Couldn’t even get a fair trial. Couldn’t even get a fair

investigation or nothing. Couldn’t even have my appeals right.

You sabotaged my ass, society. And the cops, and the system, a raped woman

got executed. It was used for books and movies and shit. Ladder climbs – reelections

and everything else; I got to put the finger in all your faces. Thanks a

lot. You are inhumane. You’re an inhumane bunch of fucking living bastards and

bitches and you’re gonna get your asses nuked in the end, and pretty soon it’s

coming. 2019 a rock’s supposed to hit you anyhow, you’re all gonna get nuked.

You don’t take fucking human life like this and just sabotage it and rip it apart like

Jesus on the cross, and say thanks a lot for all the fucking money I made off of

you and not care about a human being, and the truth being told. Now I know

what Jesus was going through.

I’ve been trying to tell the truth and I keep getting stepped on. Concerned about if

I was raped, if I – I am not giving you book and movie info. I’m giving you info for

investigations and stuff and that’s it.

We’re going to have to cut this interview, Nick. I’m not going to go into any more

detail. I’m leaving, I’m glad.

Thanks a lot society for railroading my ass.

For Aileen — 

A flying stack of cash

commands the air

its body     more material than yours

                              in the terrain below

                              the poor     flagellating

                              themselves openly

                              in the fields

     a secret misanthrope

    vying for a tongue to share

     lubricating this

                             arcane luxury

                             destitution is canny

                   How long have you been waiting for

                                         the end

                   or for the light to return

                   your associations

                   With legs open to the window

                             you fuck the sun

                             you let it change you

                             you let yourselves be moved

                             to feel suddenly vibrant

                             in a space of inoculation

                             on another plane of recognition

Wherein the signifier of time fucks itself in the ass

again and again and begs to come as what before seemed to be a

relationship is now a difference in order.

When you asked him to speak his name he told you instead about power.

When he told you not to tell anyone about us you assumed what

he meant was the discourse of our relation. When you tried to

speak you realized you no longer had a tongue.

You were afraid of the signs because you already knew what they

meant, that to you, signaled a violence worse than death.

             This violence on your body

             You are told your symptoms prove

              if she could only desire her freedom

              then she’d be free

                   In the dream

                                        face was sunburnt

                                        presence         unchanging

                   as was the landscape

                   wringing out a slowness that predicts disaster

                   You have only one idea so you hold onto it

                    in the dream though

                    you are allowed more than one


                     In the dream

                     the soldier


                     up and down

                     palms then elbows

                     then back again

                             on the desert floor

                     in this heat

                     imagine yourself open

                     not mysteriously

                     but by the weight

                     of a cold speculum



                     but not unpleasurable

                     evacuating      cavities

                             a revelry of depletion

                     everything makes you wet

                    like after diagnosis

                    a declaration

                            of war

                   He says how much

                  he loves you                that he will

                  never leave you

                  that you can never leave him

                  after he punches holes in the wall

                           tears the door off its hinges

                           throws you out of a moving car

                           and tells you

                           to find your way home

                  Later he comes back

down the same country road

he gets out of the car

and crawls in the dirt

crying at your feet

begging for you to forgive him

even though he says

this is all your fault


In the dream you killed him

you were in a Walmart

he threatened you

he had a knife

he held it to your throat

before he could finish

you moved him with

your tears

you embraced

arms around his neck

then just one

choking him

a telephone cord

wrapped around his throat

you straddle him

pinning his arms

pulling the wire taut

he apologizes

he does not struggle

as his eyes go dim


You get up from his body

you know this is for the best

and wander the store

for several hours

there is no egress

only the vast horizon

of ill compromise drying

your tongue


You go to the service desk

you are still crying

as you look at his dead body

lying on the ground unnoticed

you were sure it would be gone by now


you are about to tell the clerk

at the counter about

his body

as you look on you see him move

his limbs stir freely

as if only set in a brief pause

you are struck by a wave

of mourning and relief

for his undead body

Will he still know you

since you have killed him

is your pact made stronger

will he ever forgive you

will the next time be worse

in this rift of heated cruelty


Survival, an illness that perpetuates

the correlation and comforts

between the bed and the tomb

like a framed golden glock

sheathed in the hull

of your body

To die tonight, to die in this bed—


The blade, the bed, or the sphere, which figure is guilty of hypnosis is unclear.

You respond as if you understand your ineloquence.

He asks if you’ve ever been a working girl.

You say you work

every day of your life

usually unpaid and when you are paid

you’re never really paid.

He says no, “a special friend,” “a naughty girl,” “a secret girlfriend,” “a playmate,”

“a dirty princess,” “a friend with benefits,” “a sensual lover,” “Daddy’s girl,”

“Daddy’s little girl,” “Daddy’s favorite girl,” or “a precious girl,” but if you are a

whore you can be anyone.


You are a girl even though his children are your age

His hands feel historical

you, a football

a tremble mass

a girl on his shoulders

The boys jeer at you

Yes we love her cum-stained teeth

Yes we love her droopy tits

He covers you in beer

he asks how much you love dick


He says you never put much effort into it, you never put much effort into your

crimes either. You don’t have much of a commodity out there. You are

overweight, you are beery, you never dress as a prostitute, you never wear

make-up, you wear cut-offs, sneakers, a camo t-shirt, a cap and glasses standing

on the side of the road. He says if you look at your hustle, you aren’t soliciting.

You would get in the car and engage the situation…you are running out of



If you are a prostitute of the 21st century

metaphors are not enough


the girl who works

who is she,

always convincing

convincing in capital

You are the whore on his yacht

he asks you to shoot him up with heroin

and you comply

pay for all profitable demeanors

which means disposability

detracts your image from

all the decorating cameras

as “law does not ignore the bed”


To die tonight, to die in this bed—


The horror of a dead man’s tongue in your mouth

pieces of his cheek flesh slough off in ribbons

The participles nut chunks like taste buds

string cheese always a cheese

a most sour fermentation

The dead man loves how unbearable it is to open your mouth to his

How the decay comes rushing in

gagging you

He loves most that you must love it

you are paid to love it in all its grotesqueness

How good you are at it

How you revel in your ability

to eroticize abjection the greatest pleasures

delivered from the sickest chores


How in 30 minutes he will cum on your chest

and this will all be over

as you are left in a luxury hotel suite

stack of cash on the bedside table

How the rest of the day is yours

and tomorrow

and the day after that

in your sudden freedom

How you make it rain

and roll around on the bed

the scent of fresh currency

as blue green gold reflects

against your skin

in the fading daylight


Or the days when it is too much

you are almost crying

you are holding back tears

as you fantasize about his death

to get you through

to get him off

to get you off

and remember

that you can do almost anything

for an hour

You are holding back tears but you do not regret this

You do not want to be saved

You want the end of work not the end of sex

As one woman’s death is another’s survival


Fucking means nothing until you reside in its absence

refuse its meaning, religiously

Scoring it, calcifying its lack

Get beaten for it

Drugged for it

Paid for it

Make a life of it

You hate no woman who has found herself in the hustle

discovered talent in the slime

dealing, stripping, fucking

constantly redefining the bottom of everything

“Thus, I am leaving you to your own devices on this bed. I am going out, and

once again I will write on the door so that, as you exit, you may perhaps recall

the dreams you will have pursued on this bed.”


Fantasies of harm and the form it gives to desire—you question this. To drink

from deleterious power and ask what can you make of me, this wreckage of

attachment? Which pieces of your body reject the rest of your body? How is your

body in conflict with your own politics? To stage a total revolt, completely

unimpressed by social barbarity.

The body that eats its body

The body that protects the body with a shimmering bark

The body that grows hooves now

The body that cries out

The body that refuses to die


You got cancer

You became sick

You killed yourself

You quit drinking

You became a hermit

You became a leper

You had both your breasts removed

You had your reproductive organs removed

You became a junkie

You became homeless

You started using

You quit using

You turned to the streets

You became a prostitute

You became a student

You declared bankruptcy

You blamed yourself

You became a mother

You became a widow

You became an orphan

You became a criminal

You became a prisoner

You became a fantasy


Your body under the body of the dead man

You imagine he is a giant spider

liquefying your vitality and sucking it from you

You tie him to the bed and tell him he can’t touch you

but you ride his face instead

his moustache

a spider that you erase your cunt with

scratching it out

thrust by thrust

in these moments when you love it

for the love of fucking and

for getting paid

the lightness you feel

in this unremorseful joy

is the finest scam

anyone can ever commit

it is with this feeling

that you go out into the night

looking for a place to sleep

for food for a fix

or a flying stack of cash

that he says flows from your pussy

draining his bank account

and his cum


You laugh and in the background the chorus of sex workers calls out to say:

To fuck is to win / the joke’s on him

When the dead man tells you meeting you is the best thing that has ever

happened to him and he means it. The horror and tenderness you feel are not a

contradiction but the culmination of a life’s work.

“The presumption that she is a whore is a metaphysical presumption: a

presumption that underlies the system of reality in which she lives. A whore

cannot be raped, only used. A whore by nature cannot be forced to whore—only

revealed through circumstance to be the whore she is.”

She wants you to believe this. She keeps repeating herself as she tries to pull

you from the lure of the chorus.

Every story is the same because it is not / you sought the cause and lost the plot

You took away a heft of generalities, yet you learned nothing, you broke nothing

as your body ached transference. Your body releasing you from your hatred,

your nature, your inability to complete the task both reaffirming and releasing in

its pleasurable rejection as in the end, the joke’s still on him.


“The whore has a nature that chooses prostitution. She should be punished for

her nature, which determines her choice and which exists independent of any

social or economic necessity.”

You believe women were made to be punished, but there is no such thing as a

woman—it can only be assumed, the limits of violence held within this category,


The terror of being blamed for this violence, when it goes beyond the typical

assumptions of “asking for it.” When it is seen as a fetish, a proclivity, a

pathological trait marked in your nature. You cannot save a whore from herself,

you can only see that she recuperates and fulfills the patterns graphed onto her,

regardless of what she says.

The destruction of a body. A white body. A brown body. A black body. A body

reconstituting its own glue, its own insatiable labors in a contract with foes that

holds you beyond choice. Afterwards you discover your mistake, as you believed

you were a woman but you were actually the spider all along—and in this—is a

type of freedom.


And with your many legs, and fangs, and fantasies of entrapment, and wetness,

and poise, and voices, and eyes, you go out with the chorus into the night and

cut the stillness with your laughter and fulfill your daily practice—

When you call her a cab

When you draw her a bath

When you wipe away the blood

When you let her sleep at your place

When you pour her a drink

When you get her out of her house

When you bring her food in bed

When you hold her close

When you take her somewhere safe

When you clean out the minibar on the dead man’s tab

When you sit after with the others and wait to repeat

Freedom means to win / Freedom, a life to claim and live again


It was like any other session. You had screened him and everything looked fine,

you saw proof he was a union plumber. He called you when he got to the hotel

lobby and you told him the room number. A few minutes later a knock on the

door and you let him in. He knew to put the envelope on the table without you

asking him and then he excused himself to use the restroom. To you he read as

naturally submissive—eyes downcast, soft voice, a meek grin—when he came

out of the bathroom though, something felt off.

You tell him to get on all fours and while your heel is planted on his shoulder he

reaches and tries to grab you. You kick him on the side of his head, rolling him

over onto his back, dropping a knee to his chest. He just starts laughing.

You ask him what’s funny as you slap his face and he reaches for his wallet and

pulls out a badge and tells you you’re under arrest. You say for what. He says

prostitution. You say you’re not a prostitute and he says you are now.

You laugh in his face, he hits you.

You spit in his face, he pulls out his gun.

He holds it to your head, you have no choice.

“Bitches like you die everyday.”


When he raped you, you were not at work. While he held you down and fucked

you, you said ”stop” and “no” and used your safe word but he didn’t stop.

Afterward you felt numb.

You went to work the following day, and then the next day.

And then the day after that, you think.

You can’t remember.

When you finally talk to him about it he says he doesn’t remember, he calls you

dramatic, he calls you a liar, he calls you abusive.


You’re in a BMW with a lawyer and he puts his iguana tongue in your mouth and

it tastes like mothballs, martini, cheese, and you think you will not survive this

moment and then you do.

It happens, it has happened. It passes. You want to cry, you are almost laughing

and then you are wet. The lawyer takes out a tit and flops it around. He makes

small wheezing noises as he rubs your pussy outside your panties. He wants the

man on the street to see you. You feel shame not because he is a man but

because he is a laborer and you are white and he is brown. He is going to the

tortilla factory where the other workers will gather at 4 am until they roll open the

metal door.

You remember this feeling that a second ago felt so foreign even though you

have encountered it thousands of times. It is evasive, the dread lurching up.

What’s the difference between this encounter and another? What keeps you from

fear? What keeps you alive? You feel no malice as you cum so hard with his

fingers in your ass and you imagine a giant stack of cash spilling out of your

chest—you take it up and toss it into the air.


The stack, instead of falling apart

and slipping into singles

it takes flight

the movement of paper wings

gives rise

to a sublime sensation

of never having to think of money again

flying into the horizon

until it is a mirage

a fable

vanishing into history


You keep this fantasy close to you

It warms you when it is difficult to move forward

When you worked the streets

and hoped for the best

because you didn’t have

any other options

You learned in the Paris Metro

that if you looked at men very directly

they would follow you to buy a room

this turned out to be much safer

In your attempts to survive

a client says

you’re industrious and you say no,

Full war

for the sex workers against work


The chorus of sex workers joins in to say:

Every time we fuck we are saying we will not punch a clock.

Every time we fuck our body belongs to us even if we’re paid.

Every time we fuck we win.

Every time ends this garbage testimony that bleeds us—

The trick of every public face

Every media image

Every death, a statistic

Every execution, a spectacle

A list of names on a wall without faces

Instead, the work of sabotage


Every smile, a cover-up

Every kiss, in collusion

Every girlfriend, a sleeper

We say tonight is a great night to refuse death in the veils of power


You look at your face, the new version of your face after you almost died. You

still do no recognize this face. Your mouth shaped differently by the loss of so

many teeth, the taste of your blood as you hear him scream.

You do not remember the first blows.

He says, “That is my pussy, and I'm going to take it back now."

You say you need help, that you need to go to the hospital.

He says, “They can’t help you,” as he throws a dirty blanket over you and you

refuse to die.


Images of your brutalized body and face circle online. They are displayed so

there can be no doubt left in anyone’s minds, regardless if you deserved or

provoked it, you are both victim and evidence of this violence. This is what the

burden of proof requires—to be closest to truth is to be almost dead.


To be brutalized

To be beaten

To be gagged

To be strangled

To be left for dead

To be held at gunpoint

To be assaulted

To be stabbed

To be raped

To be choked

To be drowned

To be poisoned

To be starved

To be tortured

To be enslaved

To be imprisoned

To be shamed

To be made hungry

To be sterilized

To be impoverished

To be kidnapped

To be erased

To be refused

To be hunted

To be murdered

To be eaten

To be skinned

To be dismembered

To be mutilated

To be buried

To be decapitated


You went around to ask everyone

if they heard of

the girl found in the lake with cinder blocks

tied to her

arms and legs

no one had

You think of this horror

how you could die in the same way

how no one would ever know

or only

a societal phenomenon

a small familial tragedy

to say their names


To say their names

and refuse his

You don’t want to say the soldier’s name

you’ll do anything to keep his name

out of your mouth

the name of every murderer

made a public fascination

a site of obsession that reverberates

greater than the memory of the dead

“the green river killer” striking like a mythic monster

he said he killed you

because God told him to

he said you were evil

you deserved to die

he said you were easy to kill

because everyone already

expected you to die


Wendy Lee Coffield

Gisele Ann Lovvorn

Debra Lynn Bonner

Marcia Fay Chapman

Cynthia Jean Hinds

Opal Charmaine Mills

Terry Rene Milligan

Mary Bridget Meehan

Debra Lorraine Estes

Linda Jane Rule

Denise Darcel Bush

Shawnda Leea Summers

Shirley Marie Sherrill

Rebecca “Becky” Marrero

Colleen Renee Brockman

Sandra Denise Major

Alma Ann Smith

Delores LaVerne Williams

Gail Lynn Mathews

Andrea M. Childers

Sandra Kay Gabbert

Kimi-Kai Pitsor

Marie M. Malvar

Carol Ann Christensen


Martina Theresa Authorlee

Cheryl Lee Wims

Yvonne “Shelly” Antosh

Carrie Ann Rois

Constance Elizabeth Naon

Kelly Marie Ware

Tina Marie Thompson

April Dawn Buttram

Debbie May Abernathy

Tracy Ann Winston

Maureen Sue Feeney

Mary Sue Bello

Pammy Annette Avent

Delise Louise Plager

Kimberly L. Nelson

Lisa Yates

Mary Exzetta West

Cindy Anne Smith

Patricia Michelle Barczak

Roberta Joseph Hayes

Marta Reeves

Patricia Yellowrobe

Unidentified White Female (Jane Doe B-10)

Unidentified White Female (Jane Doe B-17)

Unidentified Female (Jane Doe B-20)


An aporia in time—

To be killed without the dignity of death

a void marked where death belongs

a suspension

bracketed by calculating

the difference between

disappearance and discovery

But still, the deaths outside of time

without a body

or less than a body

less than human

deaths only known by those who kill

made a victim

so they cannot be forgotten

The women known and unknown

To mourn the dead

To say more than their names


Wendy Lee Coffield, 16, disappeared July 8, 1982. Your body was on found

July 15, 1982. When they found you in the river your jeans were tied around your

neck, strangling you. You were a dropout and runaway, you were often

hitchhiking. Your mother said, "I know that was the kind of life she chose for

herself, we taught her the best we could." Your mother said you were a good girl

in the countryside and the trouble only began when you moved to the city, when

she had to support you both. Sometimes you lived in a tent during the summer,

you gathering blackberries to sell at the side of the road so you could buy food. In

pictures, you had a wide smile spread across your open face.


Gisele Ann Lovvorn, 17, disappeared July 17, 1982. Your body was found on

September 25 (26?), 1982 near abandoned houses south of Sea-Tac airport. A

pair of men’s black socks were tightly tied around your neck. You grew up happy

in California but started to runaway when you were 14 as you felt alone and

isolated where you lived. You loved the Grateful Dead and followed them around

the country to hear them play. You met your boyfriend on the road in

Washington, he was a taxi driver and much older than you. You lived together in

a small apartment and turned to street prostitution to bail him out of jail for theft.

Your family didn’t know what you were doing and were waiting for you to come

home. You had long thick blonde hair and the bluest eyes.


Debra Lynn Bonner, 23, disappeared July 25, 1982. Your body was found on

August 12, 1982 floating in the river near the Kent slaughterhouse. Your mother

Shirley sits at her kitchen table looking through photo albums filled with pictures

from your childhood. Your mother said, “I love her with all my heart and I just

wish to God she was alive and here.” The last time she saw you was summer of

1982. “I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t believe it and it just seemed like it just

seems like I was empty, like my whole body was empty.” All your friends loved

you, they said you were so beautiful. After you dropped out of high school you

met your boyfriend who would later be your pimp. You traveled around, got

arrested, lived in motels, but you still called your mother once or twice a week.


Marcia Fay Chapman, 31, disappeared August 1, 1982 and your body was

found on August 15, 1982. When you left the apartment, you told your three

children you were going to the store and then never came back. You mother said

something like this had never happened. At 5’ 2” and a hundred pounds your

neighbors at the apartment complex called you “Tiny.” Your neighbors described

you “as cheerful, outgoing and someone who could take care of herself”, “she

was a nice girl.” In the articles after your death none of them say that you are

black. You had been arrested for prostitution 2 months before on the Pacific

Highway South where you usually worked. You started at around 5 pm and

would work through the night. You dressed casually, in a hat, jeans, and t-shirt.

You never worked for a pimp, you said “why should I give the money to a

man?...I need it for my kids, not for some man.”


Cynthia Jean Hinds, 17, disappeared August 11, 1982. Your body was found

August 15, 1982 in the river by man who was collecting bottles and saw you held

down under a pile of rocks. Your father, Robert, last saw you working as a cook

at a South Seattle barbeque restaurant the day before you went missing. Your

mother, Marilyn, said she knew you worked as a prostitute for three years after

you got caught up with the wrong crowd and dropped out of Nathan Hale High

School in North Seattle, although your father denied it. You sang in bars in King

County and at community dances. After your death, your only recorded and

original song, "Let's Fall In Love Again," was discovered and released by Fantasy

Records in 1987.

“You once told me love would last forever

You also said forever you'd be mine

We got something special

Don't let it slip away

'Cause love like ours is just too hard to find

Baby, (Oh baby) let's fall in love again

Like we did the first time

Baby, (Sweet baby) let's fall in love again

But this time never say goodbye”

Your younger brother Terry said, “she still was a human being and she still had

family that cared and loved her just like all the other ones had family that cared

and loved them. And my sister she was a sweet person, a caring person and she

was loved by a lot of people. After knowing she was dead, my life was just full of

pain and my whole life just went down hill.”


Mary Sue Bello, 25, disappeared Oct. 11, 1983. Your remains were found Oct.

12, 1984. Growing up you believed your mother was your older sister, and your

grandparents were your parents. Your mother was only 15 when she had you.

When you found out you never forgave her for lying to you. She thought it would

be better to raise you like this, instead of giving you up for adoption. Your mother

had been adopted. When she found out she was adopted, she never forgave her

parents for hiding it from her. They said they wanted to protect her from the

horrific details of her past. Her birth mother left her siblings alone and her brother

died in a fire, but her twin sister survived. Her birth parents divorced and her birth

mother went to Alaska and left her in a boarding house alone. It was 3 days until

they found her, she was only 6 months old. You wanted to know where your

father was, who he was. When you finally met your father after he got out of

prison, he tried to rape you. You realized then you never had a father. Your

mother pleaded with you to stop prostituting yourself, but you insisted, this was

the way you had to make money, you had no other options. The last time your

mother saw you she said she had a feeling of dread as you she saw you leave

your trailer for the bus stop. She said, “the punishment for prostitution should not

be death.”


Opal Charmaine Mills, 16, disappeared Aug. 12, 1982. Your body was found

August 15, 1982. Chubby cheeks, sweet girl, innocent, strong-willed, kind,

charismatic. How many deaths do these women die, what does it mean if you

died loved, if you died cherished. If your family mourned your loss, if your father

drank himself to death after. It’s a kind of terror to repeat these fragments, the

residue of a life that circles around itself. The violence of your father’s rage—how

he’d beat your brother, lock the cabinets and refrigerator because he thought you

both ate too much, still you covered the refrigerator with drawings commanding

you to be thin, to have a flat stomach. To be abandoned by your family, when

they give up because their family gave up on them. Generations of trauma. You

were named after your father’s sister who was murdered in Oakland. He never

stopped blaming himself, your brother never stopped blaming himself for your



Mary Bridget Meehan, 18, disappeared Sept. 15, 1982. Your body wasn’t found

until November 13, 1983 in a shallow grave a few blocks from the Red Lion

Motel. You were 8 months pregnant. Brilliant young woman, so intelligent and

sensitive, a genius, they said. Try to understand what went wrong. To be

abandoned by your family, thrown out, the door locked and your key no longer

works. They beg you to come home but only on their terms. You had two

miscarriages as a young teen. You think about your life as a distant dream, to

speak only about what you could never do, to let the impossibility of the future be

what makes you believe in life but what also keeps you from it. Victim of the

times, of drugs, of too much dreaming, they said. Your life is not separate from

your death. It could have been you, it is you. Your death is not a tragic spectacle,

instead it is a reality, you die together.


Debra Lorraine Estes, 15, disappeared Sept. 20, 1982. Your body was found

May 30, 1988. Then to die with you, to die in this ditch, to die strangled in the

woods, is not histrionics it is embodied mourning that marks each of you as

singular even in your similarities, in your joy and pain. What it means to travel

alone, to turn to a life on the streets. What it means to be white and pretty. What

it means to be black and pretty but have less options, less sympathy from the

cops, from pimps, from johns, from murderers. What it means when your life is

worth less. What it means when your mother leaves your abusive father, but

must move from man to man to man when she cannot earn enough on her own

to support the both of you. What it means when you don’t trust men but depend

on them to live. What it means when your boyfriend pimps you out, when you

think this is love. What it means when no one can protect you, when no one can

save you but yourself.


Linda Jane Rule, 16, disappeared Sept. 26, 1982. Your remains were found

January 31, 1983. Remains, not a body. The difference between what makes up

a body and what is not enough to make a body. The media called it “a dump

site,” the police called it a “body site.” The fragments of you at a body site, mixing

with the evidence of a crime. “fibers, hair, rocks, paint chips, twigs, loose finger

and toenails, bits of bone, rotted pieces of cloth, fragments of cheap jewelry, tiny

slips of paper, a cigarette, photos and moulages of tire tracks, a condom.” Your

blonde hair, your smile, your rosy cheeks, your tear-stained cheeks, your blue

eyes, your green eyes, your brown eyes, your tired eyes, your crying eyes, your

buxom chest, your willowy limbs, your petite frame. Only a collection of bones in

a ditch next to the highway is found. He didn’t bother to dig a grave. As the

seasons go by, your body builds its own grave, sinking deeper into the ground as

the earth covers you. To die tonight—to die in this bed.


As you repeat these names

you know it is not enough

memory is not enough

To mourn your dead

To say the names

You continue

with every trick turned, a triumph

in recognition and refusal

to die alone

in your bed

in your streets

Yet to know that you will be punished

for your survival

To be killed for your own defense

as a prostitute is either redeemed

murdered or murders

Criminal, victim, or hero—

who is the monster now?


It is no mistake that Aileen Wuornos had to die. Insane, sexually abused,

abandoned, raped, crude, traumatized, a dyke, ugly, unhinged, mentally

unsound, debased by incest and poverty. Your life and your death, a spectacle to

be consumed. After your death a beautiful actress performs a caricature of you.

They praise her for how ugly she has become, they call it art and give her an


Charlize Theron: ‘No, I had to get to a place of understanding. When I was

playing her, I always used to say to Patty, ‘God, if only she didn't do this one

thing. How would her life have turned out?’ It's a very emotional place to be. I

read the story and immediately related and responded to that. That wasn't tough

for me. It wasn't like I was reading this very distant thing that I couldn't

understand at all. She was a normal human being that had gone through a lot of

heartache. I related to that on a different level. I think you have to get to a place

where the best you can do is understand—maybe—why, and then really drag

yourself through it, because it's tough to do those things. The last killing, it was

impossible. It was one of the worst nights of my life…We all might go through

rough spots in our lives. [But for her] there was never a break, and half of it is not

even in the movie because you just don't have enough time. The fact is there are

so many times that she really did try to change her life. That was the one thing

that I really loved about her—that she wasn't the kind of person who sat back and

went, ‘Well, I'm a prostitute and this is my life.’ She tried to join the army! And

they wouldn't take her because she was deaf in one ear, because she had been

beaten so badly.’ ”

Right before they executed you your last words were, “I’ll be back, I’ll be back”


You don’t leave the bed

You don’t go off

you don’t take for


you try to come to terms with your suffering as

punishment and tool against you

you take the heart out

you try to leave

you take up a passage

you try to test the value

you fail through the force of fallow vision

you’re told it’s all your fault

you don’t know the stakes

your stupidity

your exhaustion

working wilting

you writhe this one out


A flying stack of cash

breeding fantasies of

freedom and domination

corresponding to the guilt allayed

in this seduction the cause

and response of your femininity

You feel stupid, you’re to blame

the kinds of games women

persecute themselves with

the kinds of scenes they

cannot leave


From the bed you can see him

desert tan tactical boots

his hair stiff with dust

a skull stretched across his face

flying at 120 knots a door gunner

with a M-240H machine gun

on a UH-60 helicopter

scanning the landscape

at 50 to 5,000 feet

the village is a plane of coordinates

navigable through erasure


The sequence is maligned

a child bends out the window

a glass is slipped across the table

and you are caught

in this familiar architecture

a colonial romance

A fake heartbreak that leads

to a real heart

the limits of genuine risk

and the bodies you will

hold close

on fractured overpasses

and broken buildings


Traditions of violence


from your body

to the images of every village

every bedroom

he took from behind a gun

a first glimpse of seduction

in the courting

you become closer


every time you look at him

you think of everyone

he’s killed

long beard his clothes

how easily he passes

without a uniform

the ways of a traitor

an imperial position

calling this chimera

chest coated in cash

making it rain

counting down the nights

at the club

until you can finally leave him


Every soldier, a john

Every husband, a dead man

This world must disappear without

tragedy or irony

fantasy not a threat

but a conceptualizing force

builds the possibility of wrecking

for and against itself

Like the flight of a helicopter

levity a contradiction

in form


You try to destroy the bed

but the grave

still a better promise

when the struggle is

daily life

every act of resistance

homed in monuments


fallen to minerals

in a current

of dishonesty


shredded down

questioned down

to the practice of forever

in between

the margins


What it means to reside there

survive there

attempt to thrive

in an impossible history

where death

is the softest alcove

and love the imminent heart

of a heartless world

or is that what

makes it transgressive


The dead man is not finished with you yet

you could see him before

he even arrived.

He comes back after his first deployment and goes to your parents’ house to look

for you but you were already gone. Your sister answered the door to say you

didn’t live there anymore.



a solitude

meditating at a bay-window

holding a shit-varnished template

placate the skin

tear back the flesh

into a gender of mourning

You wish you could never see him again

You wish he had never found you


Crying on a platform

like it’s mid-century

you’ve got a handkerchief to prove

nothing gets better with time

your hands are still freezing

you’ve killed yourself

a thousand times in this city

you’ve prayed without sound

you couldn’t believe

when you opened your eyes

your hands at your chest

the reluctance of loneliness

catastrophe without break

no angels in the hallway

no messianic luxury


You walk up a gilded staircase surrounded by a thousand mirrors

no reflection all wreckage and warnings

“bitches get what they deserve”

You go to a room and the soldier opens the door, he lets you in he kisses

you and asks why you’ve kept him waiting. He doesn’t wait for an answer.

He grabs you, undresses you as he pulls you to the bathroom.

You struggle but he squeezes your throat

lifts you up against the wall by your neck.

The room goes black as he tightens his grip.

You don’t remember where you are or how long you’ve been out.

You wake up to him standing above you, pissing on you.

Smiling, he looks down and says “good morning sweetheart”


You ask him if you’re going to die

he says

“I’m going backwards in time

lifting at 3 am

watching the sun come up

waiting for when

we meet again

on the other side of war”


“Death reopens a channel to the past”

he says,

“when you almost die

you don’t cry for humanity

or yourself”

no grievances

no tears

candle wax melodies

playing in the background


He says

a real man is

the terror in the landscape

both local and sublime.

He says he’s come across

so many mass graves

a dozen more

a dozen less

but there is no measurement

for the cruelty of a terrain

He says “even in a civil war

there are many sides”


He drags you by your hair

from the bathroom to the bedroom

you scream

he kicks you and tells you not to resist

he throws you on the bed

he climbs on top of you

he says, “I don’t want to fuck you just yet”

He starts to choke you again

the weight of his body pressing you down

into the bed

he throws a pillow on your face

he starts to smother you

under this pressure you begin to cry

your sobbing shakes your whole body

until his fucking takes over

and you wait for him to finish

leaving you relieved and shivering


He picks you up

He holds you and tells you not to cry

To die tonight, to die in this bed—


The cruelty of compulsion

you think you might puke

in your attempt to find a language

without boundaries

you’re speaking like any other dead girl

waiting for the sunset

a small spiritual contract

in this coercive forever

you looked for slight entrances

but were never relieved

the force of biology

and amorous terror

you ask

what kills a man

what breaks him


Abolish this encounter

marking you as


instead your resilience

a threat

God guns goals in the

face of immanent cause

reflecting this sensitive beauty

a human diction

holding you up by the chest

until your tits rip off

and you’re never forced to be

a woman again


He called the summer a vision

a fulfillment of orders

the men kept returning to the house

each time they would drive up to it

a shade of fog

grew belly first

crowded in

the driveway


a ceaseless diversion

You make the necessary arrangements

set the signals

the details

decoys and wait


You refuse the dream but it returns to you

there are only singularities

clinging with a volatile touch

the scene of his appearance


an obsession with recognition


for affirmation

a kiss

a night alone in a house

in a field

all that land

to be lost to


In bed you wake up in his arms

and roll over to slit his throat

and watch as the blood soaks the sheets

To die tonight, to die in this bed—


A real man

there is only one

and for him

that is the only light

left to bear

To create what breaks you

when you left the bed

took all his guns

burned down his house

and he never had to be

a man again


But you are like most women

unafraid of the truth

when every night an insect is your father

the entire world an electrical current

strange how it’s only a glimpse

the weight of holding all the rage

that no one else can be bothered to carry


A civic duty

this work of love

to be abased by it

the particularities of refusal

the kindness of its loss

and your freedom in its destruction

The chorus arrives and you are on the move again

no longer afraid


When the world is an illusion

constructed by the state

a diabolical resolution

you cannot believe that

the war will soon be over

to surrender to

an ideology of hunger

to walk down the street

and not feel shame

strength in the fortune plea—

You can’t do that to me anymore

I’m not afraid of you

To want to be something other

than your life now


But to wait for the end that

never comes

never disintegrates

lesser methods of choosing

peace over retribution

silence over pain

when your survival

is the greatest revenge


Dividends disasters and other

unraging signs of your over-determination

your inability to see a variety of signs

patterns calling out our errors

to only recognize figures

you are told are like your own

to see yourself

in the distance

a subject

presented untroubled

a closure that stops you

before you begin


Until inexplicably

the world opens again

In the dream there is an arena

the crowd pours

an exhaustion ripping past

all injuries

dressing perilous


there is only one voice

no excuses

no attempts to push back

this stupid swallowing

weapons being distributed

both hand-made and stolen

blood soaks the AstroTurf

below is the earth

and is split open

but is down there

and you are up on the hillside

patrolling through

weeds marshes trenches

knee-deep in a

clotted muck


when you look down you see

the mud is clotting

you try to run but

fouled blood stops you

below is the earth

your teeth

are bleeding but

below is the earth

below is the earth

in the night

the night your death was glorious

the night you looked into the mirror

cut lines into faces against your parents

the night you couldn’t fake it anymore

against appropriation

against decorous resolution


Poet laureate of the insurrection


against a tie man pressing boobies

cutting flesh taking water source

flushing tactile

police batons erotic tenderizers

synthesize ethics of

chewed up love laws

from the food bank to robbing banks

take this unchurned bomb and

set it free

paint the walls with your blood

violence is not what you do

it is the betrayal you depart from

a nightshade talisman

calling in your debts


This is what you call gratitude

and all coarse affections

pantomiming your deaths

Do you want more or do you take more?

This isn’t destiny or

some higher resolution

the smell of an orchard after dawn

a pastoral deflection

you can’t let yourself recognize

like the pavilions you’ve backed into

through the labor of time

the machines on your back

mirroring every symbolic

scene of progress

your abjection


the whip the cross the field the bed

form greater bonds

by what they deny not extend

tokens of discipline

blasphemy terror remorse

and grief for all difference unnamed


Tarring & Feathering

Drawing & Quartering






Lethal Injection

Firing Squad



























Torturing by rats

Devouring by animals

Trampling by horses

Crushing by elephants

Blowing from a gun

Breaking Wheel

Burying Alive


The individual tortured body

and the collective body tortured

the future is removal

and a new orifice for every body

every body an orifice

every body a hole of disconsolation


A transition is a war

at the center of loneliness

that fear cannot hold

to ask what is your greatest forgiveness

the unjustifiable cause that suffers

this separation

exhaustion at every hour of the day

a different prose


Which world was this? The frame or its erasure?

When all attachments feel lethal

this dull opulence

is a cold seduction of remission

The old world and its codes

its blood sighs and its fractures

accentuating this aberration

called home

you knew you could make a new one

and be better still


The materiality of this world.

You could not describe its objects but the processes were now more palpable,

articulated with seductive clarity.

A sensuality. A voluptuous congress accentuating every tongue. When

everything you do is public, with no life to go to after the day—no togetherness

postponed, a temporary in situ for the shuddering forms of a body in practice.


You travel mostly at night or dawn

sometimes in groups of 200 or more

through the underbrush, through sewers and forests

and garbage and ditches

close to the ground where it is difficult

to move but small enough

to be protected by the rough chaparral

or barbed wire

lookouts circling overhead

Dramatic feeding

with buoyancy and grace


how did you imagine

to be any different

on the executioner’s block

every whore gets what she is asking for


You are carried

until you learn to walk again

bringing your mother animals

and placing them in her mouth

surrounding her with flowers

not funereal

but to feed this enclosure

she cannot leave

the tender and innocent heart

of all systems of power

find new comforts

outside the symbolic


You try to drink

but the glass of water is almost too large

and too heavy to reach your mouth

you lift it quickly

so you can hold it before it slips

from your grip

while trying not to spill

or smash the glass

This is the fantasy of opposites—

how to live in the world

with those you don’t trust


You forgot how to write

the pen keeps falling out of your hand

or your grip is too strong

and it snaps the pen in two

or your script is so sharp

you rip the page and by the time

you’re finished there is no page left

This is a theory of antagonisms—

how to have the same conversation for the next

10, 20, 200 years

how to be the only one to say

we’ve been here before

in a meaningful way


You wake up and someone else is dead

you saw your sister die

you saw your mother die

when you say goodbye

it makes death real

Walking down the street

lights up

it’s midnight

no cars no rain

no tears


You blinked again and again

but you couldn’t clear your vision

you were separated from the others

you called out shrilly

and were answered

You slip away while

enemies argue

amongst themselves

ghosts of the plains

stabbing at internal organs

or chasing down on foot


A telephone rings

You answer it and a woman’s voice tells you

“I can’t leave if I don’t break

with the enemies that I’ve


You hang up the phone and walk across the street

to a boarded up liquor store

above it is an apartment building

with blown out windows

you climb the fire escape ladder

to the top floor and crawl inside

to shed your fear


The room is full of women

some from the chorus

some from old families

the street

other cities

You open your mouths to each other

sloshing a venom

trickling in

You say the erotic is a kind

of undeniable present and

you can’t wait any longer

you untie all the shoes

you lick every sole

you make yourself available

and open

you talk and laugh

planning discussing

some in a corner of the room

fucking in the sun

but not separate

as they add to the conversation

This is the reality of participation—

how to be separate but not a spectacle

how to be included but not a spectacle of appearance


You feel the threat of narrative

the weight of bodies

the not that holds your

ecstatic refusal

held by a stress unbearable

an anxiety produced in waiting

resonant querulous reports

small family groups

scuttling soft vocalization



Predatory and potent

as erotic assimilations

stack in the sky

feeding in the air

watching the forests below

others are nearby at different levels of interaction—

sometimes enemies sometimes friends or


You call out

in love or distress

sounds resemble the cities

that used to exist

the names of the dead

how to articulate

this history that will be

through the past undone


Dramatically you strike

from the sky

and no longer fear repression

generally quiet

remain undetected until your shadows

flood the water

until you are overcome

with this feeling of

when you were

the most alone

revenge rises up in the back

of your throat

entices dissimilarities

in the dark


obliterate the signal

to no longer refuse the truth

because of its power to destroy

like any good hunter

a disrespectful scavenger

a thief suspended in prolonged soaring


Bodies become one body

sinks down to a radical emptiness

you learn configurations

use your force with others

in a skillful balance

of resistance and capture

how to destabilize

you never put it to use

against each other

to hold a tender

suspension of violence

compelling meaning

this is your training

this is your resilience


You place your body

on other bodies

they are full of erotic potential

redirected rather than ignored

How to build without producing

each day another set of obstacles

linked into commonality

a pleasure shared

to never be alone again

to cross it all out


One by one records of actions compile into another larger body, a tactile

expanding body that communicates beyond and without and in this unwieldy

shifting mass, a joy not unlike revenge, fills you with possibility. You continue to

work, not out of habit, but to take up this joy from within, an immersive tactic.


Passing coins of spit

the sex of exchange

that aligns you

in this otherwise random coupling

a momentary release sugar slip

He tells you to get up off the bed

and undress more slowly this time

while looking at him in the eyes

You bend over

and the world’s upside down

your ass in the sun

your ass is the sun

a currency of light

that refracts at the last moment

and you watch his face

unfold as he comes

and it drips to the floor


You pick up his face

and try it on

sticky sensations turn to

a formal and pleasing


and you open his mouth

to breathe in your air

to win against the memory of

that one time you almost died

in the Trump Hotel

as a man was laughing laughing

laughing above you

and you could feel yourself

fading until

there is a faint scratching

coming from outside

bristling millions of follicles

crumbling the world slowly eating itself

hooves scales cut the shell tear the sac

hooks dragging

rotten eggs rotten eggs

and you knew the chorus

was on their way


You create a ceremony

you sit in a room facing forward

making small sounds

since you cannot look at anyone

you are permitted to cry

weeping bodies make a rustling that begins

slowly gaining in heat and friction

the entire building vibrating

shifting in landscapes

territories continents

until the dead are here


This is not a fantasy

you are in the room with the dead

you raise the dead

from the deserts

from the mass graves

from the shallow graves

from the oceans

from the rivers

from the lakes

from the sewers

from the city dumps

from the forests

from the ditches

“Out of the grave

and into the streets!”


You gather with tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands then you lose

count as they try to smash you all smear you against glass ground you into the

street you move your broken limbs and continue on as your individual body is

unheroic, unassuming as you begin to move across the city like a smear.

This goes on for a long time. You limp around, you dig a burrow for the earth to

surround you, you regenerate, you wander at night looking for others. You create

diversions, traps, tripwires to alarm you of intruders. You share food with others.

You are on different continents yet this doesn’t matter since you are now so

many you can bridge across them. You go to the capital to show one of your

arms that was found at a dumpsite with some of the flesh removed. You weep,

you sing, you chant in unison, and you rain curses on all the killers.

You start to speak and the crowd goes silent. “Any ritual killer, who attempts to

take life will be punished…If he thinks…a prostitute has no worth…make sure he

does not live to tell his own story. You say it now and confirm it, that as far as you

are concerned…you babes are ready for them. They should come with their

charms. You will deal with them. Now, you are potent as a bomb.”


You have heard the last gurglings of power

indebted to an order of sun

a cracking pelvis a shattering jaw

a palace burns

You stand silent

You start again

You must be terrified of this life until you destroy it.

The whore must believe in revenge.

Let’s look at this crowbar, what do you see?

You call it a process

You call it freedom

You call it deflecting

You call it a bouquet of errors


Instead of running, now you hunt. You remember you are the spider.

You have taken over a local TV station and in place of a news anchor you talk of

your plans and command the frame.

“You’ll get him first, yeah, you are going to get him first. When you find him, he is

going to be sorry. It is as simple as that.”



how does it devastate

and mark you

no more healing as justice

no more vigils or candlelit sympathy

no more compromises

to steal away a cyclical motion

of harm

How you’d wear the night

on your chest

all the beauty in your refusal

your bravery pushing through

thought you couldn’t go on

a feather of the time you spoke

while you cut the world in stars

and said it’s not the end

to not relinquish

to not retreat


Remember how he said he liked

to keep your bodies in groups

that he called clusters

he would drive by

and think of the women placed there

of others he’d like to add



now a social accumulation

what revives what kills

The collection of

your skin peeling away in thick slabs

your limbs falling off

your remains

your bones

your smiles

your tears

all the parts slipping

into a pile

a spilling architecture

cracking as it grows

until it forms chains of tensile structures

growing and shrinking

through teething

and molting

a new breathing



This work would not be possible without the stories and lives of women who have

experienced gendered violence and their courage to overcome and live. This is in

dedication to survivors everywhere, for every sex worker who refused to die a

statistic, and in remembrance to those lost.

Excerpts of this manuscript have been published in Elderly, ARMED CELL,

Tripwire, and for The Poetry Project.


catalog essay for Sapphire, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago IL, Oct 7-Jan 14,

2017. Thank you to Nabiha Khan for commissioning this piece.

Portions of A Theory in Tears (ANNOTATIONS & CASES FOR FREEDOM &

PROSTITUTION) from Kenning Editions’ Ordinance Series (2016), endless

thanks to Patrick Durgin for publishing it and his patient support.

Thank you to Judah Rubin for inviting me to read this work at the Poetry Project

and publishing an excerpt on the website and newsletter.

Parts of this work were derived from the performance The Arm Collector, by

TRAUMA DOG (myself & Rachel Ellison) for the first Festival of Poets Theater in

2015 at Sector 2337 (thank you again to Patrick & Devin).

The writing of this manuscript was made possible by generous support and

residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA during Fall

2016 and ResidencyX at Flying Object in Hadley, MA during Summer 2014.

I am extremely grateful for the support and ferocious music of LINGUA IGNOTA

(Kristin Hayter) whose liturgical power-violence opened up new voices for

embodied survival and resilience, along with the many friends and comrades who

have read this work and given invaluable criticism, support, and inspiration at

various stages: Brian Whitener, Nicole Trigg, David Buuck, James Payne, Ted

Rees, Jennifer Nelson, Cody Troyan, Rona Lorimer, Blake Butler, Jasper Bernes,

Tom Allen, Thom Donovan, Fox Hysen, Amanda Trager and Eric Moskowitz.