In the typing of this introduction many cigarettes were smoked. In the Flesh does not smoke, but bought a pack when it got locked outside of a friend’s apartment and all there was to do was sit on an orange crate and wait outside the building chainsmoking. That is what In the Flesh did. It waited, and looking cool made the waiting more bearable.
The difficulty with HOLDING ON is that it is about being stuck, or it is about not knowing, about trusting without evidence that trust is what’s called for. It is waiting for her to come back on the telephone, it is Wile E. Coyote running in mid-air. Lately, In the Flesh has been wondering: How do you forge ahead when there seems no clear way forward? How do you know when to cut your losses or re-double your efforts?
In the Flesh has a hunch that HOLDING ON comes down, not to truth, but to desire. We hold on to ideas, to things, to people, because we want what they represent to us to be true. Holding on can be an act of jealousy, of purest love, of fear, of deception, or simply, blindness. Sometimes we are rewarded, and sometimes we are punished, but we have no way of knowing in the moment of holding on itself.
Chicano writer José Villarreal writes, “All I can tell you is that you should have faith for the present, and when the time comes when you feel you do not need the belief, the doubts will help you discard it, forgetting the friend it once was to you.”
Come to In the Flesh at the Bureau and hear what contributors have to say about how they held on, how it shook them, and how it shook out.
Erica Cardwell is a queer romantic, educator, and activist. Recently, she served as co-organizer for an anti-violence week of action called, POC Rising– an intercultural, multi-gendered alliance within the platform of Vday’s One Billion Rising campaign. Check it out at –www.pocrising.tumblr.com. Her most recent essay on phonics and feelings entitled, victory,appeared in The Feminist Wire, in January of 2013. Erica lives in the land of make believe in Astoria, Queens. Follow her @theomnivorous
Ella Boureau is a writer, teacher and translator living in New York, Marseille and her own twisted little mind. She runs the monthly reading series and online magazine In the Flesh. She also has a reputation for turning people gay with her presence, at least temporarily. So if you weren’t before, you will be now!
Emily Skillings is a dancer poet poet dancer. She earned her BA from The New School in 2010. Recent poetry can be read in Bone Bouquet,Lingerpost, Stonecutter, La Fovea, and Maggy. Skillings dances with Saifan Shmerer, the A.O. Movement Collective and The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn and Robert Kocik). She lives in Brooklyn, where she is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist poetry collective and event series. She is a co-curator of the Brooklyn reading series HOT TEXTS with Krystal Languell. In March 2012, she co-organized the festival HOW TO CONTINUE: John Ashbery Across the Arts at The New School with Adam Fitzgerald and Robert Polito.