Andrew Cantrell

The Gate is Open

In the interruption of work         If not also in work         There’s a righteous
anger         An anger between their laughs

How practice makes of movement another moment         How by their movements
We open the curtains and we see the light       They are

images of ourselves         Their bodies and their utterances a splayed         A
cacography         of labored moments         or of opposition

How we have not yet suffered     Yet     How
For the great consummation that awaits us


There is no speaking here not undertaken in defiance            Why can’t we
worship like that?
      There is in the noise that is internal       that is       to

utterance and to the particular thing         just this remonstrance         Just that this
book is on the table         Just that the two in their turn         each in their

turn         are our cries and murmurs         numerous         simultaneous         Each
interchangeable                 Y’all, I’m cashing out                 to no-one and to everyone

Watch how we go from ice to water

Each thinking by turns to see (to) the other
I got hung up on that today


To enter into conversation is to answer another’s appeal         To enter into
conversation         in somehow the language of another         Is another’s

imperative         Why don’t we open the gates?         How         If you died today
To death and to others who die         Put it this way         I’d want to clean

my apartment real good         How in the noise that is internal         Yet         How
The words of another would enjoin to attention         Put it this way         We

are interchangeable to no-one and to everyone         This practice of

Sum Over Histories


Artworks are like abstract labor, very post-Fordist-traditional, which was first invented and found in the history of the replacement of nature and the world by abstraction in “The Advanced Capitalism Period.” This is to be taken as a signal of the liquidation of reserve armies of labor.

Artwork now is a collective work. Its material is abstract labor. People now launch artworks to convey to eventuality the allegory of the endlessly renewed pursuance of actuality. Words might be written by people themselves or paintings made to particularly specify the singularity under conditions of post-post-Fordism of works of art.

Networks, swarms, aggregates, critical genealogies, and even sublime breaches of the market and gatherings of assumption and deconstruction of the world as it is found are the best occasion for launching artworks as syllabaries of potentiality.

Artworks are now doubly your ambassadors of potentiality. It is even more magnificent if you launch hundreds at the same time. In recent years artworks are much more likely to be adopted by the autonomous resistance groups as a perfect supplement to their struggles as well.


For Realism-fueled artworks you need only open them directly for showing reality in its abstraction by its abstraction. For Ideal-Typical-fueled artworks, please carefully taxonomize binaries from the package. It is very thin and light, their sense of a conceivable catharsis and the certainty of its inconceivability. Any harder steps might lead to the failure of this collective and productive abstraction to find itself as a subject.

Write your poetics that proposes within society and within the city class struggle and liberation on the artwork with pens before lighting. There is no need for this step if it is already construed as a syllabary of the demiurgic endowment of labor.

Construct the artwork as a figure of collective liberation. Lift it up a bit to refuse capitalist domination. Unfold the attached new Realism-fuel and bear witness to an era of despair. Make sure it recognizes commonality to better glimpse new subjectivities and new fields of action.

Next hold up the democratic and productive mechanism of art to ensure it is sufficiently abstract and constructive and light each corner of the fuel.

Lastly, turn to hold the artwork’s valorization of mass labor when it is fully filled with the enjoyment of freedom. It starts to be lighter and a bit up-lifting while in the meantime you softly act as an intermediary between collective action and the event of liberation.

Now it is the time to construct new being and new significations.


Seek the Real in a dry area to avoid reification. Keep abstraction nearby when launching. Be sure to overcome the market and postmodernism simultaneously with a wind under grade 3. Ensure launch in spacious areas, places with the singularity of artworks.

Do not launch within 5 kilometers of mediation or interchangeability and army-prohibited areas.

Release the artworks immediately when they uplift. Do not hold them too long. Be sure to reveal thereby the fundamental human nature of the world.

Labor is not liberated if without artistic labor’s instruction. Artistic labor itself is not liberated without immersion in the diagram.

Suggested areas for launching: machinic assemblages, class struggle, the collective force of labor, the ground of being, and outskirts without trees.


Sources: Antonio Negri, Art and Multitude | Found instructions for the release of a sky lantern

Andrew Cantrell is the author of the chapbook Stratigraphy (2015). A Pushcart Prize nominee, his poems and performance texts have appeared in artist’s books, anthologies and journals including a previous issue of Posit, Anomalous, and Lana Turner. As Local Projects, he has organized and participated in performances at High Concept Laboratories, The Logan Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. He lives in Chicago where he works as a union organizer.

Editors’ Notes (Posit 12)


In these most anxious and somber political times, it is my honor to introduce the enormously relevant and genuinely fortifying creations we have gathered for this 12th issue of Posit.

When I introduced our last issue, the United States was in the midst of an “election cycle in which the complacency of most notions of “normalcy” [had] been shattered, giving rise to an appropriately pervasive anxiety about the depth and scope of the humanly possible.” Three months and a globe-rattling election later, that anxiety has proven to be nothing if not accurate. Many in the arts find ourselves questioning the relevance of our projects, and even our ultimate endeavors. In this moment when the (non-fake) news carries a toxicity which strikes fear into the hearts of so many, I believe the poetry and prose in this issue makes a solid case for the ability and even duty of writers everywhere to deliver the kind of news William Carlos Williams reminded us we “die miserably every day / for lack of.”

So I hope you will wrest your gaze from the ominous spectacle of our political moment to bolster your courage with the extraordinary literature in this issue — assured that, to quote from Andrew Cantrell’s The Gate is Open: “There is no speaking here not undertaken in defiance.”

To wit:

Sam Ace’s urgently tender love song to both the “fairy body in my bed” and our planet itself, from “north of the mountains” to “the fields spread below in a buoyancy of grains,” from “a tarry bit of hot sidewalk” to “the still bare woods” cradling “our nights scavenged in a sleep of mortars” while “others make slings for the dense matter of broken things;”

Andrew Cantrell’s deceptively simple declarations, the matter-of-fact intonations of which belie the profundity of their personal and political investigations into “how practice makes of movement another moment” able to “bear witness to an era of despair” and “construct the artwork as a figure of collective liberation;”

the delicate, suggestive mystery of Laton Carter’s prose poems, which, like the grace of the ballerina in his first piece, “[i]gnoring the straight lines of the boat and the physics of its ways . . . serves to uncontain what . . . is contained;”

Carol Ciavonne’s gorgeous riffs on Simone Weil’s notebooks, evoking Weil’s phenomenological approach to epistemology by unpacking how the physicality of writing echoes and illuminates our very existence, this “tempest of atoms/this wat’ry world,” the universal “shift into being from being other;”

Benjamin Hollander’s tragically posthumous parable about the slippery nature of art, memory, and communication — its bricolage of memoir, art criticism and sociological critique evoking echoes of Pynchon and Murakami, even as it revels in the inimitability of its own voice;

the elegant, elemental, and wry verse of Rich Ives, “dutiful and divided in the single intention of arriving” at such surprising and deeply satisfying revelations as “[t]he opposite of now is not always then” and “time is transparent. You cannot live there, but you can visit/constantly;”

the mystery and paradox of Philip Kobylarz’ densely potent declaratives, “an alternative the same as its opposite” in which “[g]ranite by another name is akin to granite” and “[t]he end is an end and the beginning is a false start towards making ends meet;”

Lori Anderson Moseman’s delicate, genre-defying response to disruption and mortality on the global as well as personal level, stitched together by the rich implications of darning (the collection’s title trope), with its suggestion of mending even while ruing the “nesting artifacts jettisoned” to spawn this “story [which] flaunts its missing gown;”

Trace Peterson’s inspiring monologue, manifesto, and cri de cœur, issuing from a narrative ‘I’ simmering with exultation, defiance, and irony, a self “invisible but . . . unavoidable,” “an ampersand and . . . a pronoun,” a presence which “belong[s] here, where I cannot not appear” in the course of an arrival which “is final as in completely incomplete;”

Jerome Sala’s self-sufficient, comically profound ode to ‘content’ in all of its elusive potency, “a textual form of meat product . . . nothing in itself / but the something out of which all is made;”

Dale Smith’s lyrical prose/verse memoir with its arrestingly beautiful meditations on “past selves pillowed by labor or expansive regimens of age” via stories which do “not focus — they spill” along “a pretended wilderness interiorized like dream energy” even while “hold[ing] in mind the certainty of erasure;”

Leanne Staples’ resonant verbal collage, “a bed of borrowed ease” in which “metaphor leaks of thingness . . . easing into selfness” “not waiting. / Or weighting. Without noun or renown;”

Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino’s enigmatic and tantalizing excerpt from his flash fiction novel, Suicide by Language, enacting its own prescription that “[t]o be poetic is everything;”

and Laurie Stone’s masterful flash fictions, buzzing with the energy of unpredictable yet penetrating juxtapositions fueled by the lived intensity of imagined experience.

Thank you, as ever, for reading.

Susan Lewis


Welcome to the art of Posit 12!

Beth Dary’s sculpture reflect an intense and thoughtful response to the natural world and our relationship with it. Using a wide variety of materials, she draws attention to the delicacy and strength of barnacles and bubbles. Her installations of masses of small objects create artificial universes that mimic nature, asking us to consider life’s interconnectivity.

In the accomplished compositions of Steven De Frank, we see an exuberant embrace of life’s absurd, gut-wrenching, nutty beauty. His work seems to flow from id to paper or wood. The result are artworks that are funny and intense, accessible and mysterious. This is work that demands a second look.

Mie Kim’s paintings offer both a humorous commentary on Asian pop culture and a serious examination of painterly issues. She marries the two trains of thought effortlessly, producing riotous and sensually beautiful paintings that dance the line between abstraction and figuration. Her color palette is downright delicious.

Sandy Litchfield’s paintings play with the balance between urban and green space. She paints portraits of cities, with their tangle of buildings, roads, color and energy. At the same time she often portrays the relationship of urban growth to nature. The intertwining of natural and man-made forms creates an interesting conversation about space and place.

And Amy Pleasant’s spare and elegant work reflects her interest in the body and how it can be broken down into simplified shapes without losing its humanity. Her use of repetitive gesture and reduced palette focuses our attention exclusively on form. There is a deceptive simplicity to her work; deeper consideration reveals the subtlety of its form and content.

I hope you enjoy!
Melissa Stern