In this book of many crossings over tangible line and graph, across khaki hills and ashes, to an anthem of river ford and bullfrogs, survive the encounters of an excitation left by a conspiracy of outsiders. Jean Louis Berlandier (ca. 1805-1851), of the Mexican Boundary Commission, unites with his namesake John Pluecker, contemporary surveyor, to dispose a location where the veins and arteries of the earth throb in a tangle of tongues, the “account of an undoing.” Here, lands are the residue of speculation, place names the wreckage of dispossession: “explorers of this that this” meet in “soonday sun [to] speckle [and] glisten in [the] gaping wound” that is the colonial ground for any chart of experience.
Señalar las fronteras, investigarlas, cruzarlas, infringirlas, construirlas mentalmente. Levantar muros de lenguaje, fronteras de lenguaje, seccionar el lenguaje; transportarnos a través de mapas, apropiarnos de una exploración que, al habitarla junto con el autor, la volvemos nuestra: viajar. Viajar con el sonido, viajar con las personas trazadas en los mapas. La brillante experiencia de la transportación más allá del cuerpo, la transportación de la mente se activa aquí, en Ford Over.
Diving into old archives as if into bodies of water, John Pluecker has enticed back images and maps, words turned into cut-ups, wounds. Untranslating, he holds our hands and, gently, never forgetting our basic vulnerability, invites us to walk on page as if on land (or is it vice versa?). There is no innocence in land; there is no blank slate. Our feet always fall on footprints left by others; our words reverberate too with echoes of other voices, struggles, memories. Don’t read this book; walk on it or dive into it. Let it guide you as you, too, ford over.
John Pluecker is a writer, interpreter, translator and co-founder of the language justice and literary experimentation collaborative Antena. His work is informed by experimental poetics, radical aesthetics and cross-border cultural production. His texts have appeared in journals in the U.S. and Mexico, including The Volta, Mandorla, Aufgabe, eleven eleven, Third Text, Animal Shelter, HTMLGiant and Fence. He has translated numerous books from the Spanish, including Antígona González (Les Figues Press, 2016), Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border (Duke University Press, 2012) and Feminism: Transmissions and Retransmissions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). His most recent chapbooks are Killing Current (Mouthfeel Press, 2012) and Ioyaiene (Handmade for Fresh Arts Houston-based Community Supported Art Program, 2014).
$15 Paperback | Published 2016