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The Elephants

From Kith

Divya Victor

"I'm writing about your article during July about the abuse of Indian People. Well I'm here to state the other side. I hate them, if you had to live near them you would also. We are an organization called the Dotbusters. We have been around for 2 years. We will go to any extreme to get Indians to move out of Jersey City. If I'm walking down the street and I see a Hindu and the setting is right, I will hit him or her. We plan some of our most extreme attacks such as breaking windows, breaking car windows, and crashing family parties. We use the phone books and look up the name Patel. Have you seen how many of them there are? Do you even live in Jersey City? Do you walk down Central Avenue and experience what it’s like to be near them: we have and we just don't want it anymore. You said that they will have to start protecting themselves because the police cannot always be there. They will never do anything. They are a week [sic] race physically and mentally. We are going to continue our way. We will never be stopped."

—Letter to the Editor, on behalf of the Dotbusters. Jersey Journal, July 1987

it thickens

it gathers

salt to taste
rust to nose

ɡn 1.06

37° C.


the plantations are moving
into the brownstones

a head being swallowed
into its own throat

confetti of bone 

when human
          there were three
blood is drawn
          men chasing him
& smeared on a slide
          were all the lights
corpuscles tend to
          on the street shattered
cluster into heaps
          would he have run
like rouleaux of coins
          over the glass
this phenomenon may be
          to reach his house
explained by alteration
          in his own darkness
in surface tension

See Jack
cut sugar molasses “Rishi Maharaj”, said
with cane hackfalernumthe police, “apologized
thresh apart jaw cachaça repeatedly until
with  baseball bat our refined blood he lost

ṛṣi    ऋषि   “rsh”
to go, to move, to flow

from ore

of ground

a path reddened
along a part
of hair

sRGBB      (227, 66, 52)

CMYKH      (0, 84, 71, 0)


the leafy acres surround
bits of curbside tooth

a skin sprawls out
crawls out of a bar

walks backward home

it is not in its
          there were eleven
          teenagers taunting him
to be exposed
          was he drinking coffee after dinner
to the air
          when they kicked him to the curb
it stands up better
          did the menu have roe
on a panel than on
          slowly roasted
the wall and in time
          his eyeball beaten out
from exposure to air
          by bricks or bats
it turns black
          what does it matter
when it is used
          who you gonna call
& laid on the wall

See Jack सिन्दूर Navroze Mody
fry battered cod સિંદૂર نوروز‎ [nouˈɾuːz]
with floured hands
break bone a forehead aflame a new day,
with feet and brick on ghosts of spring

Divya Victor is the author of Kith (2017), Natural Subjects, UNSUB, Things To Do With Your Mouth, Swift Taxidermies 1919-1922, and other books. Her chapbooks include Hellocasts by Charles Reznikoff by Divya Victor by Vanessa Place and Semblance. Her work has most recently been collected in the New Museum’s The Animated Reader, the re-edition of bpNichol’s Translating Translating Apollinaire, Crux: Journal of Conceptual Writing, Hobo, VLAK, The Best American Experimental Writing, and boundary2. She lives in the United States and Singapore.

This originally appeared on June 4, 2017