How That Time Marks One For Death: Cassandra Troyan on Blacken Me Blacken Me, Growled



Cassandra Troyan’s Blacken Me Blacken Me, Growled dropped last week from Tiny Hardcore Press. Here she talks to PANK blog about the impulse behind what have been called “non-stop great, coruscating poems.”



Freshman year homeroom watching Channel One News, the story breaks in, cuts back to the scene as a second tower is hit.

I remember the day George W. Bush stole his second term. It was the only time I ever wanted to vote but I was too young, I missed the date by a month. When the results seeped in, the queers all sat in a corner of the lobby and we cried. We didn’t even care about Kerry or Democrats but we still wore the rainbow election buttons, as it seemed important to believe that not all of America hated us and wanted us dead or silent. Hoping life was possible in the face of irrevocable violence. We wanted to live but we had no choice.       

The poet Jackqueline Frost, whose words open BLACKEN ME BLACKEN ME, GROWLED, wrote in a letter to me about being a teenager at the beginning of the Iraq War (like myself), how that time “marks one for death” through a prevailing embodiment of violence, and the need to renegotiate the boundaries for where the battle lives and circulates.

For myself in a Midwest landscape of idle confusion, the war could only articulate itself as a longing for violence, reflecting the currency of pain through my young girl war-body.

Not wanting to dramatize our impossible desire but needing a way to believe, we pursued excess. Sex and drugs another way to test the limits of one’s audacity towards death.

I’m not afraid of you, I’ll fuck you.
I’d kill for a hit right now.
I’m dying to get lit.

Driving in my ‘86 Mercedes seeing how far we could get it past 120, someone through the sunroof another person clutching onto the edge.

Days without sleep. Getting on the nod while cruising wake up in a field someone’s car back of a club side of the road what is left to clutch onto I disappear more each day this practice a means to not re-animate or luxuriate the past but how to archive this material history built on effervescent shades waiting for the inflicted to fly up into the air banished, traceless.