The Kindreds – Boston Review

Posted: December 19, 2020 at 4:00 am

Selves are signs. Lives are thoughts. Semiotics is alive.

And the world is thereby animate.

We are not the only kind of we.

Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human

dear Animate:

We were talking about the difference between kin and kindred

blood relation vs. connection not strictly defined by family. Kin can

narrow to claustrophobic ritual and feuds, while kinship intermingles

and crosses blood lines. How large is family or kinship?

Can kin include those outside our family, our species?

Who includes us, who do we include? trees with their oxygen

out-breath? bees? those who remain stateless, undocumented or illegal?

the inanimate rocks and rivers? What happens to a culture

that narrows and nuclears its sense of family?

Cecelia Vicua says in her performance Theresa Cha would give

the audience white cards that read distant relative.

Rocks, water, fire are also our relatives.

dear distant. dear relative

we are the shadows of

our animals

yes, science confirms animals dream

but do animals confirm science

does science dream

do I dream animals

am I their science

who dreamt my vestigial wings

my amphibian lungs

is evolution a dream

is phylogeny a dream

is God science

is my digital Telos

swift enough for ocelots

am I two Reverdy deer

on fevered freeway edge

is my mouth a moth in lamplight

is my mind a swarm of termites colliding with the beaks of blue jays

and my soul the mind of termites the sky between

wearing trees our brains shrouded with hawks buses roar

our caves fill with missiles our ears long to open

stroke the fur of our plant bodies

the tongue a meadow florescing

the animal is weary, the anima

packed into shipping containers

the soul is tired of people

saying who is not allowed

into heaven

the pitiable the poor

the unloved

the unwashed

the unshriven

undocumented

ancestors

all animals

anteaters

moths, microbes

even radiant

Medusa jellyfish

the soul

is tired of this paradise

of downloading

and upgrading

and forwarding

the souls GIF

is tired of waving

its Sisyphus arms

lie down soul and rest on the cool riverbed

water lapping the mud of minnows

the life of a word dark to itself

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The Kindreds - Boston Review

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