"a song of becoming"

"fear of flying"

Lonnie Monka

Lonnie Monka mixes creative, professional, and academic projects. He enjoys reading, writing, and performing poetry; organizing literary readings and cultural events; and exploring the meeting place of art and literary worlds. His poetry, essays, and translations can be found in online and inprint publications. He co-authored an artist’s book, Punitive Marks of Creatureliness (2018), with photographer CY Frankel and is currently writing a master’s thesis about the the “talk poetry” of David Antin (Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem). He curates the reading series Jerusalism.

“For about a year now, I’ve been organizing ekphrastic writing events at local galleries in Jerusalem. The project started as a way to spread my love of ekphrastic writing and to connect writers to local galleries. Most of these sessions have been hosted at Barbur Gallery, a longtime hub of local avant-garde activity, which is now under pressure of getting closed over a legal battle connected to freedom of speech.
 ‘a song of becoming’ was written in response to several paintings by Michal Rappaport exhibited as part of THICK, a Barbur Gallery show held at the end of 2019 that featured work by the gallery’s collective. In spring of 2020, Barbur received an official eviction order. Although the collective appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel, the eviction order has now come into effect.”

“‘fear of flying’ is a response to Judith Yehudit Appleton’s exhibition Observations, particularly her large-scale painting Cessna, Covered (2019).”

     I’ve been trying to eat my own lips
     chewing—raking—crunching
     I want to gnaw at the edge of my face

     the world offers me endless objects
     that can be chewed though I know not
     which ones are truly fit for eating

     so I embrace myself & I try to eat
     I try to eat my lips & hope
     I hope that nobody thinks that this is a mask

     like the everyday mask of the way that I walk
     that mask as the way that I walk & I talk
     the way that I walk & I talk—sometimes singing

     & I walk & I talk & I take breaks to eat
     & I hate when people tell me what to eat
     so I embrace a little singing & then eat my own lips

     how
             my friend
     should I tell you
             that I don’t like your plane?
     yes
             I am pierced by its whiteness
     yes
             it evokes a wonder
     beyond the wonder
             of an empty field

     but I still fear
             telling you that your plane
     mixes thoughts of majestic flight
             with an undesirability of rawness

     so it seems to me
             as if
     I must tell you
             about how I didn’t want to tell you
     that I did not like
             your plane