Robert Kocik


“There are more similarities in DNA between human groups than among them.” Robert Sussman

Charles Darwin’s son, Leonard, was the president of the First International Congress on Eugenics, held at the Cecil Hotel in London in 1912. Civilized germ plasma was progressing in a certain direction … of selective progeny by providing for the superior while denying money to the poor and ill-endowed, in order to protect the undesirable by keeping them unborn.

You blinked. You believed. You thought it through. It’s easy to win, until you play to beat the rules. Until you play to defeat the game. Then, you’re sacrificed, win or lose.

Interminable Immigrant (one interment per minute), how’s the hirsute, the monkey costume, the ghost getup, the scum covering, alien attire, inhabitant outfit, the garb garble, warped warble, presence apparel, appearance mockup, dud duds, rotting regalia, the outfit that will outlast you?

Deciding whether to exclude certain individuals or their kind, the diseased or the disease, determining the terms of the indenture after there’s nowhere for the redemptioner to turn, still, is not a metaphor.

Mine is the wrong face of anger. Skin is, as ever, the antithesis of skin deep. Who can lay claim to pain, the primeval paintjob? Too late. Greed is a split second impulse, survival a whole moment in which one does what’s best for everybody. Late again. You’ve been deselected. Sorry. Go to the back of the line. Only you would be avant-garde enough to not procreate. Plant and animal breeders begetting social policy in barn, hothouse, board meeting and chicken coop. You can’t expect to have tenants paying your mortgage and workers producing your products without them sticking their gnosis in your business. Were genetics not the next race-hygiene, I’d be different enough. Who wouldn’t redirect evolution to one’s advantage and call it science? Inverts are the disadvantaged from an advantaged class or color, having purposefully opted out. The rest can’t help it.

The so-called industrious cut their taxes to kill off the indolent. Creating separation to promote sameness across taxa. Who doesn’t document defects in his own group defines eugenic. Poverty is transmissible if permissible. Take a good look around. Is there anyone wishing you weren’t here? Don’t answer that. To not display the ways in which the plan’s constantly being implemented, it’s important to make no mention of it.

Monocrop is the most endangered poetics. Reward wealth to prove worthiness and then mop up. If I have to worry about prevailing over you, how suitable can I be? Where do I stand, personally, in this premeditation? The only “trait” in my blood is stateless. Blocking the back door to quality control. Backing the lockup of the desirable trait.

If I say I I’m white, who others think I think I’m good and let them think I think I’m the bad apple unable to think things through. Preeminent white. A priori white. Pre-white. White in waiting. Inapt white. Trial period white. Nominally white nonwhite. Normopathic white. Non-complying white. Unapologetically self-conscious white. Wheedled white. Subprime white. Easily fungible white. Unidentified white. Uniform uninformed white. Recently selected make believe white. Undupable white. Reputed or indisputable white. Unpioneered non-reeducated white. Blair Mountain red neck white. Paleoconservative online white shopping ritual white. Cytotoxic white. Counter-classic quota-able white. Cunnecsquttonckqussimmin prating fineprint-writing cooked goose white. Subsubsistence transnational bread beggar. Easily dispensable. Taxon straggler. Sordid Woodrow Wilson slav contaminant. Sunday-best spilt milk laughingstock. Forever fresh-off-the-boat.*

Systemic wrong begs specifics. On one hand, as the only white in the room, I’m responsible for Castile’s divinely ordained Requerimiento of 1513. For police barricades at the West Indian Day Parade as it moves through Crown Heights. For the Compromise of 1877. For Grover Cleveland dislocating Labor Day from mutinous May First to laid-back barbeque first Monday in September family picnic. I built Levittown. It’s the present that makes history the present. The nonduality of cause and effect.

In the new jurisprudence, billionaires are free to choose between sterilization and electoral process participation. Is there a word for prenatal diagnostic stigmatization? Must there be a word for pre-exclusion? We’ve already been spared once from being cast as the neofascists by extreme example of the upperNord longskulls.† We can’t keep spending a coin we’ve already spent. You can lose your blackness in an evolutionary heartbeat. Or reacquire it overnight. Proof of the power of imagination: race. Proof of lack of imagination: racism. Heredity produces a self-perpetuating environment. Fatally favorable. Health is too frivolous to throw away. Being oblivious to one’s own edge (is eugenics.) The recessive, i.e., the aforementioned greed, could rear its ugly head any time on anyone’s dime. It’s never too late to sterilize stutterers and migraine sufferers, along with those who’d have them sterilized. Cultural inheritance looks like lightning.

Intergalactic intersubjectivity. Intersubjective intergalacticality tactic. I can’t get it right, so why get upset? If you want to understand, don’t span. Expand the space between us to remove between-ness, the involuntary histrionics, the screaming-at-each-other, the unnecessary from the necessary looks. All anorm so allonorm is self. The intense phenomenal beauty as is and why there is even thought of better or best.

Ob as path. Eury lepsis dhe rhage. Pluri gomo. Sklero rhoe algia mant. Meug viscum vish ouron trephein. Dysgift, make thrive. Coccoccocus skhistos typhon, klep hlifan, kypho, that is, to secretly listen to. Botulus hotchpotchosis, oma mompen iasis, given, rubbed away. Entero phatos whoop dheu leu. Psore. As is unfix. Agh speaks for us, ails gateway. You don’t have to like it. Welcome. Hands off.

* “Contemporary immigration consists of multitudes of men of the lowest class from the south of Italy, and men of the meaner sort out of Hungary and Poland, men out of the ranks where there was neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence; and they came in numbers which increased from year to year, as if the countries of the south of Europe were disburdening themselves of the more sordid and hapless elements of their population." Future president Woodrow Wilson. History of the American People.

In 1914, E. A. Ross, one of the nation’s most eminent social scientists, wrote: “To many native-born Americans, these "new immigrants" seemed bizarrely foreign. They had strange names, spoke strange languages, wore strange clothes, ate strange food. They were, many suspected, not merely outlandishly different from native-born Americans and the earlier "old immigrants," but positively inferior...Observe immigrants not as they come travel-worn up the gang-plank, nor as they issue toil-begrimed from the pit's mouth or mill-gate, but in their gatherings, washed, combed, and in their Sunday best they are hirsute, low-browed, big-faced persons of obviously low mentality ... They simply look out of place in black clothes and stiff collar, since clearly they belong in skins, in wattled huts at the close of the Great Ice Age. These ox-like men are descendants of those who always stayed behind.” 1914, E. A. Ross, one of the nation's most eminent social scientists in the early twentieth century.

Another sample from an 1890s New York City newspaper: “The floodgates are open. The bars are down. The sally-ports are unguarded. The dam is washed away. The sewer is unchoked. Europe is vomiting. In other words, the scum of immigration is viscerating upon our shores. The horde of $9.60 steerage slime is being siphoned upon us from Continental mud tanks.

† A question posed in an excerpt from a letter to racial hygienist Madison Grant from Germ Plasma Trustee and Eugenics Record Office founder Charles Davenport, 3 January1920: “Can we build a wall high enough around this country so as to keep out these cheaper races; or will it be a feeble dam which will make the flood all the worse when it breaks, or should we admit the 4 million picks and shovels which Mr. Coleman, du Pont, and other capitalists are urging Congress to admit in order to secure what wealth we can for the moment, leaving it to our descendants to abandon the country to blacks, browns and yellows and seek asylum in New Zealand.”  



the throat is
purity’s understanding that
it feeds on pollution   
the location of God

to seal the day
just before there’s enough light to
see the lines of your palms
recite the vowels three times
and just before falling asleep
the consonants three times

in the morning vices and inventions
pose no obstacle to not-having
invited and invented them

during the day looking directly at
the commonplace
itself becoming the unmade
no matter what is said

there’s no time for experience
to not be one place

even an abominable-snowman sighting

the same alphabet is the secret alphabet
bliss indifferent to stimulus

the refugium’s door opened
the lighting
decoration evergreen labyrinth our parents
in their prime somehow with their parents
in their prime
too much of what in the world we’d want
to dare realize it won’t exist
as we put in place doable holidays
in light of rest we have entered
unable to remain equal to space
inseparable from all pain

(interweaving Vajra Body and Wixárika ceremony)

see those who’ve hurt others as self-understanding
who you’ve helped, in whom you’ve placed great trust
having hurt you the most, treasure as your spiritual friend
invaluable, irreplaceable without whom you couldn’t grow

take another string and tie a knot for each injury and
along with the string knotted for each sexual partner
cast in the fire renaming each knot “lack of preconception
one” “lack of preconception two” “three” “four” and so forth