I’ve been thinking about all the horses, the otherwise ones, the ones at the crossroads,
encountered at the fords,
in the woods,
in the dark of night,
the ones who cross the boundaries of worlds, existing in the fag-ends of twilight of our urban/rural divide.
The ones who lure youth to their watery graves, the horses that appear as maidens, as hairy men, as magnificent steeds ready to carry you off, to kill or transport you beyond the gates of reality.
Found outside the urban and pastoral, contaminated by ghostly echoes and fairy puissance, these night-mares gallop at the back of our imaginary, recalling haunted margins that are off-road, outriders of the capitalist dream of progress.
“The coffin is intended to be jumped in a slow, impulsive canter (known to eventers as a “coffin canter” for that reason). This canter gives the horse the power and agility to negotiate the obstacle …Approaching in a fast, flat gallop will cause miss striding and may entice a refusal from the horse. Going too fast may also result in a fall, if the horse cannot physically make a stride between the obstacles.”
—from Wikipedia article on Horse Jumping Obstacles
So what of these horses? I chart imaginary trails and courses, between the seafoam spray seeding the white coastal rock, the lovers leap, birthing the first horses out of the ocean, and initiating the leap of faith,
to horses drawing the moon and sun across the sky in silvered chariots, linked by speed, by tempo and the wax and wane of tides.
Horsepower is the dream of urbanization, of progress and industry, the lubrication of the western industrial imaginary,
and horses are the measurement of that industrious dream and carry the chariot of the industrial revolution; horse and manpower, sweat and steel.
I want to linger on other forms of horse & power, the queer ones, organized outside of the corral and pyramidal structures of capitalism. The queering of power that is realized only in and through the failures and gaps, the thresholds and out-of-time-ness from capital and its paved autoroutes.
In the boundaries of seemingly endless demand, through some attempt at self-love, which is also a horse love, fragments of desire are viewed in the rotation of the carrousel centrifuge.
I wish to in this moment, take a snapshot of progress outside of its forward momentum, its accumulations and trash heaps, and skew the angle at which I look at it, from pro-gradi forward walking to other sorts of cantering and careening—ones which allow for congress, if not also digressions, regresses and even ingress.
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“The virtual, like the dead, can go anywhere. The virtual is a mixed form, a volatile and/or because it is simultaneously nothing and something else. It moves around the planet as bodilessly as light and it moves around the planet fatally poisoning bodies with violence, heat, and toxic metals.”
—Joyelle McSweeney, Warp Spasm Gristle Day.
“The second night envelops the first, the darkness illuminates the shadows… I make no attempt to emerge… I merely substitute the one night for the other.”
—Roland Barths, A Lovers Discourse
(an)other husk is trapped inside its corpse.
itself this doubled strike that pierces and contaminates the fountainhead, a flow tide rips to its other one.
Always already approaching a climax,
yet the jealous market stoppers up the centaurs force harnesses it towards productive and reproductive ends:
all surplus and excess that disappears in progress are exploits, is perpetual motion.
“For this failure and no other
Here we are lost, and our
is without hope to live on
– Dante Alighieri , Inferno
Outside of the limit of memory let alone vision, outside, over there, somewhere & nowhere: phantom riders tend to their steeds, or sutured at the waste, the wounded centaur’s memento, souvenirs of a split, a scar, splintering; after fragmentation; or at least a wrinkle in the time stream.
“Thus strangely are our souls constructed, and by slight ligaments are we bound to prosperity and ruin”
– Mary Shelley, Frankenstein