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Pearl Stitch

What is “rendered down.” What is “scraped.” “What remains of my specific flesh.” writes Petra Kuppers, deep in the writing of the body-life, its “translation transhistorical transcultural transfantasy transitory trance.” Reading, tracking really, from “desert” to “plasma,” through the many fields of this beautiful book, I was moved by Kuppers’ capacity to keep a space open between the unassimilable parts of embodied practice and the moment when what the subject is, the body itself, begins to stream. Here we find the “goddess,” or “the nervous system,” but also an “inflammatory process,” the “assymmetrical lean.” The delicacy and courage to do that, to shift the time of the body, or its space—spaces—is what I learned from at every stage of Pearl Stitch, which I want to recommend to any reader interested in hybridity, or poetry, or performance, as something that begins as a seam, not composed, but unraveling, undoing itself at every turn. This surrender or loosening is the work, too, of the “beloved” and of “breath.” In this way, Petra Kuppers’ book turns to love. And it’s love, at last, that illuminates everything that she writes and that eventually, transmitted, felt, we read.