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Simone White


For ED and WC


I am an ignorant fucker. difficult to be close to in that i am unsentimental and intimate with everyone. This is connected to the problems I am working through regarding metaphor. As a form of patriarchal control over language and a currency of poetic power. My ex-husband calls me an “ignorant fucker” when I complain that his hugely pregnant white girlfriend, who I do not know, who I tolerate since for the last month and indefinite future my son must live in her house two days in a week, cannot show up unannounced in my child’s classroom where I pay all the bills and and I watch and half do nothing and half  help in the acquisition of literacy and reason. I say this is no place for this white woman; she is a free rider on my labor and love for my son. I will not support any white people with my work. I tell him all of this pretty loudly. He calls me an ignorant fucker. Now you are street? What, are you going to punch her in her face? I have fought exactly three people with physical violence in my 46 years of life. Two men. And my sister.

“Pain—expands the Time—/ Ages coil within / The Minute Circumference of the Brain” “Pain— has an Element of Blank”

An ignorant

I’ve learned a lot from Eileen. Lay claim to the processes of your mind, deal in the maniacal properties of the oscillating sign that is the mark on you like black is on you but don’t let them  force you to sing. All BUrning prerogative.

“Since a Rack couldn’t coax a syllable—now”

EMily talking shit. Vs me “being” “ ignorant” “fucker”


What “is” is is determining the terms of exaltation, praise and defilement, the turning off and on of the pleasure and pain centers. Subjectivation.
Profanity’s nonce forms engage linguistically in what sound people call muddiness, profanity’s imbrication with epithet is a richer form of meaning making that taps into sign at a zero level, incredibly powerful, elementally so.

“fuck that mumbling shit” : “you are an ignorant fucker”

what has to be said beyond off/on:good/bad; what happens when a linguistic field is generated by high-energy-signs across a flat plane of signification—there’s no need for logical progression or ... “narrative.” Each word or phrase can function as foregone, forethought, already known; that’s a black ontological truism that trap music knows deeply. That’s its language game.

On the one hand we experience a unidirectional surge (Playboi Carti, “R.I.P.”) and on the other intense confusion via harmonic scrambling (Future, “F&N,” or the new music like Lil Baby, “Word on the Street”).

I am an ignorant fucker wherein the comedic shock of the thing resides in the manner in which I  do not resemble and yet am the thing, impossibly misperceived

This is like this. I regard this as baby work. Ultraconservative pandering. I seek to dwell outside the figure in a zone of “Pain”

This is my country. What is the difference between the figure that destroys and the figure that breaks away

*Excerpt from 'or, on being the other woman' used with permission from the author


Simone White was born Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Philadelphia. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University, JD from Harvard Law School, and MFA from the New School. White is the author of the full-length collections House Envy of All the World (2010), and or, on being the other woman (2022), as well as the chapbooks Dolly (2008) and Unrest (2013). Her work has been praised for its innovative complexity, allusive song, and “lyric deconstruction of desire, entitlement, blackness, the domestic, language and diction,” in the words of Anna Moschovakis. White has received fellowships from Cave Canem and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America. She lives in New York and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

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