Handle with care

A study in (poetic) fragility

“Letraset’s rarity and fragility give it a transient quality; coupled with the intimate hand to page contact of its application, the medium itself challenges the masculinist impulse for permanence, immortalization, and enduring legacy in poetics and makes room for vulnerability and even grief.” Adaptation of a photo of Letraset in American Typewriter Bold, by Flickr user harleypeddie.

get out the letraset and a blank page. rub on an M. rotate page. rub on an X. rotate page. rub on a g. rotate page. rub on a line using a border. rotate page. think that y should maybe have been an A but then do it anyway. lament half-rubbed on letter until i own it as part of the thing. rotate page. rub on a J but make its tail kiss an i.

I think of feminism as a fragile archive, a body assembled from shattering, from splattering, an archive whose fragility gives us responsibility: to take care. — Sara Ahmed[1

And with such force in their fragility; a fragility, a vulnerability, equal to their incomparable intensity. — Hélène Cixous[2

Hannah Weiner and the limit experience of language

“Speaking subjects interact with and speak the echoes or ghosts of language’s words and sentences and these ghosts in turn possess us with their incorporeal insistence.” Above: cover of ‘Hannah Weiner’s Open House,’ mirrored.

Hannah Weiner sees words. Hannah Weiner interacts with words. “The words in CAPITALS and underlines are words I see,”[1] she claims.


Bare life and the limits of self in Claudia Rankine's 'Citizen'

Kate Clark, 'Little Girl' (2008). Infant caribou hide, foam, clay, pins, thread, rubber eyes. 15 x 28 x 19 in. Image used with permission of the artist.

“To live through the days sometimes you moan like deer,”[3] writes Claudia Rankine in Citizen: An American Lyric (2014), her critically acclaimed book of poems regarding race in twenty-first-century America. Rankine’s book is a motley hybrid of text and image; its lyric verse, prose fragments, film stills, photographs, and other visual images all center, whether directly or obliquely, on the accumulative traumas of structural racism.

It is as if every valorization and every “politicization” of life […] necessarily implies a new decision concerning the threshold beyond which life ceases to be politically relevant, becomes only “sacred life,” and can as such be eliminated without punishment. Every society sets this limit; every society — even the most modern — decides who its “sacred men” will be. It is even possible that this limit […] has now — in the new biopolitical horizon of states with national sovereignty — moved inside every human life and every citizen.

Letter from the Department of Defense

Editorial note: This August 6, 2018, letter from the Department of Defense appears in Jacket2 as part of “FOIA Request #SC 15–102-S: The Detainee Library,” Jordan Scott and Stephen Voyce’s feature devoted to obtaining a list of contents held at the library at the US Guantánamo Bay detention camp on the coast of Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. The 2018 letter accompanies the two archives that appear in this feature. — Julia Bloch

A spring in one's death

Or: a fountain of youth/doom in (Middle English) lyric

“When a bird alights on thy shoulder she opens her beak like a beetle’s wing casings and tries to feed thee as she would her young. She first regurgitates hemlock, but stops herself as though knowing this isn’t quite right, and makes another attempt: dish water.” Above: ‘Owl mobbed by smaller birds,’ from a thirteenth-century English bestiary, via the British Library.

Your heart aches, you’re stabbed with hunger — for so long you become unsure of the difference between your organs; where in your body they lie and what are their functions.


Your heart aches, you’re stabbed with hunger — for so long you become unsure of the difference between your organs; where in your body they lie and what are their functions.

crescent moon