PROMESA: An Essay (in-progress) on Blackout Poetics

Image Description: A large wooden door in Viejo San Juan painted Black and White in the likeness of the Puerto Rican Flag, a star is nailed to the top of the doorway. For many Puerto Ricans, the Black Flag has become an image of revolution, decolonization and independence. The image features figures of everyday people stenciled on crumbling white façade over brick depict. Graffiti in the lower right reads “TODOS SOMOS HUMANOS” which translates to “We are all human.”

For the Abolition of La Junta

Joey De Jesus


a palimpsestina

and in each for such as fall to board

reduced to liquid dispute over sight

the term means and the term means

territory the term me- island budget,

its sole discretion reports instrument

pursuant to paragraph or subsection

session the public powers by section

data in the sunshine code; the board

shall secure a metadata government,

document electric metadata insights

with respect to Puerto Rico its budget

with respect to the budget the meaning

given to debtor. Trustee made means

operative under this operative section:

a wild refuge of solid waste to budget.

No electricity, water, nothing to board

to pool the pool separate or cite sight

in violation of violation. Instrumental

in such noncompliance, the governor

deadlines instrum-, deadfreeze, mean

bankruptcy of public faith in oversight.

Privatization, redeem this Act, section

on behalf of debtor submits to board

no coven to plebiscite ‘cept budget

bond bond restructuring budget budget

certain lands exclude land instrument

in decline—body of waste overboard

nothing shall endanger species means

emergency of waterbody undersection.

Enforcement of property all the sights

an opportunity for privatization, sight

the insolvency, counterparty budgets

to reduce oil electric for island territory

island electric power authority means

transitioning to privatized government,

a cause to challenge unlawful board.

(First published on Poets.Org)

In “The Trump-Era Boom in Erasure Poetry” (2017), reporter-researcher Rachel Stone writes, “the poetic form gained new political purpose online in 2017,” referring to “erasure poems” by Solmaz Sharif, Jay Dodd and Niina Pollari, situating them within a literary heritage spanning Doris Cross, Tom Phillip, and M NourbeSe Philip, whose book Zong!, composed entirely of language found in the legal case Gregson v. Gilbert concerning ramifications for a slaver’s decision to throw 150 enslaved bodies overboard, has rightfully come to haunt a generation of American poets. We might think of Trans poet Chase Berggrun’s R E D, an erasure of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, orformer Poet Laureate of the United States Tracy K. Smith’s poem “Declaration” (derived of the Declaration of Independence) in The New Yorker, which circulated widely online as other recent examples of the form. Very recently, my dear confidante Muriel Leung wrote “Erasure in Three Acts: An Essay” for Harriet, Blog of the Poetry Foundation, which she opens stating, “Tell me about disappearance, and I will tell you about palimpsests. Everything we try to erase still manages to leave something behind.” Her work encouraged me to revisit and share this piece.

On its website the Academy of American Poets defines erasure or “blackout” poetry a “form of found poetry wherein a poet takes an existing text and erases, blacks out, or otherwise obscures a large portion of the text, creating a wholly new work from what remains.” If we subscribe to this definition, erasure poetry involves three seemingly discrete texts: an original text, a copy of the original text upon which the poet inscribes or “blacks out” and what emerges as, for lack of a better term, “a new work” composed of select remainders derived from the source text. These three objects (the source text, the redacted palimpsest, and the “new work”) form a triptych; they are tethered. They are contingent upon each other. They fold into each other.

In “The Near Transitive Properties of the Political and Poetical,” Solmaz Sharif offers several points of departure for considering the poetic practice of redaction. In it she writes, “Erasure means obliteration. / The Latin root of obliteration (ob- against and lit(t)era letter) means the striking out of text. / Poetic erasure means the striking out of text. / Poetic erasure has yet to advance historically. / Historically, the striking out of text is the root of obliterating peoples.” (2013) How might we think redaction otherwise, or “Other”-wise, while holding these the truths Sharif names? Perhaps, to redact is to cancel, “to cross out something written”, marking the word with crossed out lines, from *cancellus (n.) “lattice, grating,” diminutive of cancer, “crossed bars,” a variant of carcer, “jail, prison.” Blackout poetry reminds us the prison is not a metaphor, but a very real site of dehumanization and atrocity.

In the associative registers of my mind, “erasure” connotes expressions of power, obliteration (lived, literal and figurative), a tool of settler-colonialism, while “blackout” denotes and connotes powerlessness, broken circuitry, as in, the island suffers a blackout, a loss of electrical currency, obfuscation, darkness, expulsion (“out” of light). When I think of the phrase “blackout” poetry as an expression for erasure poetry, I think immediately of the sanctity of Black life and the anti-Black forces hell-bent on our collective obliteration. I think the loss of consciousness as when overwhelmed, assaulted, inebriated or poisoned, loss of memory. The word connotes too the vernacular “Blacking”, which otherwise means to attack verbally or physically in rage. Erasure or Blackout Poetry describes a selective reading practice in which the poet selects words to the exclusion of other words, imposing a progressive teleology (mimetic of settler-colonial violence) upon the source text to produce a poem regulated by measures of time (repetition, meter, rhythm, chiasmus, grammar etc…). I wonder what sounds does this conjure in the mind? Is it shrieking, a monotonous beep, or a gasp for breath? Is it silence? PROMESA is in many ways an attempt at triangulating a sense of this poetic form. What tools might we hone in the study of erasure as a poetic practice to ultimately abolish “La Junta”, H.R. 4900 PROMESA? What might it mean to consider that which has been redacted, to listen there for the exhausted ancestor who suffered keeping magic to the mountain?  

In In the Wake, scholar Christina Sharpe posits blackout poetry as an example of “wake work,” calling for new modes of writing and sense-making in/of the cataclysmic wake of Middle Passage. She writes of the cursed route of Zong, of Africans underwritten after capture and rendered cargo. There, in the dehumanizing hold of the ship, anagrammatical blackness[1] exists as index of violability and potentiality. Sharpe redacts the first paragraph of an article titled “Schools’ Discipline for Girls Differs By Race and Hue,” which tells of Mikia Hutchings, 12, whose writing “Hi” on a school wall heinously escalated into a juvenile criminal case. She writes, “Through redaction we might hear what [Mikia] has to say in her own defense in the midst of the ways she is made to appear only to be made to disappear. Put another way, with our own Black annotations and Black redactions, we might locate a counter to the force of the state … that has landed her on the front page of the New York Times.” Sharpe redacts: into “Hi” / “I only wrote one word, and I had to do all that,” / “it isn’t fair.” (122-3) As Sharpe asserts “Black redaction and Black annotation are ways of imagining otherwise.”

Sharif lists state objectives speaking through the redacted FBI file of poet Muriel Rukeyser, later citing erasure poetry by Jen Bervin, Phil Metres, Srikanth Reddy, M. NourbeSe Philip, Janet Holmes, and Anne Carson as examples at subverting respective state objectives. Wake work. Her list of “Possible political and aesthetic objectives of poetic erasure” includes:

  • Highlight via illegibility and silence an original erasure.
  • Collapse time and instance between dead and living
  • Expose author’s authority and, therefore, role as culpable participant
  • Care for what is left behind so that erasure has an additive or highlighting effect
  • Render incomplete a text to invite collaboration between reader and text
  • Point to the nearly infinite possibilities and infinite centers of a single text (e.g. any appropriation)

I’d like to add: Blackout poetry reproduces settler-colonial logics of exclusion, which violently prefigures and situates an ontological whole (not “Man” but the selected word) at the center of the universe (the poem). Erasure or Blackout poems are (anagrammatical) scenes of subjection, remonstrations of the settler-colonial imaginary insofar as each imposes improvement toward aesthetic ideals; the erasure poem requires “blacking out” text in favor of ideal words that together form an otherwise idealized whole: a poem, whereas the settler-colonizer, historically overrepresented by cis-heterosexual Man, erases bodies “marked” Other toward the realization of a wholly colonized World. Does erasure poetry reciprocate in kind violence? Blackout poetry subordinates words of the source text toraw materiality, codifying them as signs of endless improvement by way of negation, in which necessity is enforced as an absolute contingency—the diabolical usufruct, the vicious grabbing of its objects including itself.[i]Redacting a text into a poem is a selective reading/writing process that requires violence: extraction, redaction, inscription, selection, evaluation, all tools weaponized in omnicidal decline. This is precisely why “blacking out” an official document or law to create a poem produces very different responses then when a poet erases the creative work of a writer of marginalized identities persecuted by settler-colonial states.

A poetics of redaction consider the idealization, if not idolization, of an abysmal entity of abyssal ground—a rational subject who founds a “New World” of promise or the speaker of the poem. The blackout poem requires a subjectifying gaze and pain to effect an inversion of signs to trace violence from the poem to its source.[1] In order to remonstrate the violence of H.R. 4900 PROMESA, I instrumentalized words (usufruct) found in the source document, defined legally as the right to use and derive profit or benefit from property that belongs to another so long as property that property is “not damaged” (the definition of which is dictated by the colonial power). I blackened-out words deemed unfit to live in the poem’s world, performing upon the source document the very violence it legislates by reproducing (lampooning) the exclusionary model of subjectivity the Law advances.Blackout poetry requires a subjectifying force, which imposes a properly-constituted ideal upon the surviving word. The process encrypts the word, sentencing it to either bare life (survival) or obliteration. In the surviving word, we trace specters speculating at what visual, aural and structural cues might signal of hidden truths about the world. A blackout poetics considers how we sense for cyphers of the redacted world in the signs that constitute the poem. We might think of this work as listening for voices from the noise of legalese or the presence of an absence. If poetic erasure renders “raw materiality” opaque, what might be said of the immaterial? Might specters, portal through the blacked-out line tracing a source text’s promissory force (violence) through the annals of history? To appropriate literary critic Ranjana Khanna’s argument, when official narratives show that the state has chosen to forget the uncomfortable past of those it claims to represent, the erasure poem, especially those poems forged of official or canonical narratives, realizes thepolitical use of memory to“right a wrong,” or render an infelicity, violence, apparent.[ii] The erasure poem intervenes against forgetting, calling forth revenants of a dismembered past to address ongoing obliteration.[iii]

PROMESA involves three texts: H. R. 4900 “Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act” known shorthand as “PROMESA”, which was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on April 12, 2016 “To establish an Oversight Board to assist the Government of Puerto Rico, including instrumentalities, in managing its public finances, and for other purposes”, a print copy of the Law that I physically redacted (a palimpsest), and finally, “PROMESA”, the titular poem derived explicitly and entirely from PROMESA’s language.[2] “Promesa”, Spanish for “promise”, evokes J.L. Austin’s paradigmatic performative speech act: in its case, the promise of (obliteration as) colonial restoration, a promise premised in bad faith. Provisions within H.R. 4900, for instance, protect the Oversight Board as well as the Federal Government of the United States from liability for failure to restore the Puerto Rican economy to “manageable debt levels” through fiscal austerity measures. (26) PROMESA’s administrators improvise older-style colonial rule with new forms of security and governed mobility, expediting means of appropriation and removal by accommodating and innovating existing forms of oppression: namely specialized methods of accounting for Puerto Rico as means to extract and monopolize upon its resources and people. Fundamental incompatibility between powers afforded the Oversight Board government and U.N. standards for self-government corroborate this infelicitous avarice.[iv] As philosopher Theodore Adorno warns, the new misers … indulge their asceticism no longer as vice but with prudence. They are insured.[v]

Blackout poems adhere to specific formal rules. Paul-Michel Foucault differentiates rule from law, the former, empty in themselves, violent and unfinalized, can be bent to any purpose, whereas the law, finalized, is a calculated and relentless pleasure, delighting in the promise of blood.[vi] Jacques Derrida reminds us, Lawmaking is power making, and, to that extent, an immediate manifestation of violence. If the law reads violence in the hands of the individuals as a threat to the legal system might Blackout poetry run discourse against its limit wheresilence walls up in the violent structure of the founding act?[vii]A blackout poetics considers the poem, in the registry of that founding and justifying violence that institutes an ideal, which is always an interpretative force in complex relation to instrumentality and power.[viii] It understands (withstands, bystands) that what’s erased is not exterior to the language produced.I redacted 122-pages of the Law, known shorthand as “PROMESA”, into a sestina, a 12th century French troubadour poetic form that adheres to a complex structure of repetition: six six-lined stanzas, each line ending in the same words, though in alternating configurations. The pattern of end-words reads: (1) ABCDEF (2) FAEBDC (3) CFDABE (4) ECBFAD (5) DEACFB (6) BDFECA. I selected end-words based on frequency in which they appear in the Law.

I profiled in the Law and selected words that appeared most frequently: “board,” “sight,” “means,” “budget,” “instrument,” “government,” and “section” and attributed to them the privileged status of end-word. PROMESA includes “electric,” “metadata,” “unlawful,” “water,” “privatization,” and “endangered species,”[3] all peculiar references in the Bill: hyper-referential signs, exemplars of the promise of colonial restoration. “Instrumentality”, for instance, appears in PROMESA eighty-eight times in the source document, often to define “territorial instrumentality,” premised on the Instrumentality Rule in corporate law, which permits a court to disregard the corporation when it is operated solely for the benefit of the parent corporation, which controls and directs the activities of its subsidiary. In this context, instrumentality realizes and reifies possession by improvement. To borrow from musicologist Sarah Hardjowirogo, Puerto Rican objects are not instruments of restoration in their ontological definition, but become instead instruments defined by their use (utilitarian definition) toward realizing an ideal (erasing Puerto Rican life and social services).[ix] PROMESA sanctions the usufruct of the island instrumentalities just as the blackout poem requires usufruct of words from the source text toward the production of an aesthetic ideal (a poem).

By extracting the words that appear with greatest frequency, the semiotic majority, I expunge the semiotic minority (the majority of 122-pages of source text) from the poem, literalizing epistemic violence of the extraction required before instantiation of a subject such that words, as they appear in the final version of the poem, survive as signifiers of engulfment, having been swallowed completely, incorporated, literally encrypted into the world of the poem.[x] In a derived sense, the erasure poem plays vernacular against revered terminology; the poem is constituted not just by the word that’s seen but by what the poet conceals in order for it to be (a poem in the world.) When we read erasure poetry, we read signifying practices of representation and aesthetics within a matrix of socio-environmental affectivities, which cohere signs into an idealized whole, the poem. The aesthetic rules of the blackout poem (the means behind erasure toward the ends of the poem) realize the aesthetic ends of a source text (its relationship to erasure) by imposing a progressive teleology, which unifies select signs into a poem, a world, an otherwise whole.

Logically, the line of text that adheres to grammatical conventions of the source text—the English sentence—comes to signify a properly-constituted kinship unit insofar as the sentence syntactically collects and collates properly-constituted signs into ruled sense-making. To think along with Black Feminist critic Hortense Spillers, the grammatically correct sentence in the erasure poem becomes a mythically-revered privilege reserved for free and freed community.[xi] Considering a “Blackout” poetics reveals alternative (grammatically incorrect) kinships (repetition, rhyme, alliteration, silence, image etc…) in the poem as potentially dangerous to the privilege of the proper sentence in the new world’s order.

The logic of exclusion reproduced through poetic erasure critically mimics the symbolic regiment of human difference, lampooning the advancement of claims in the ‘name of man’ by erasing words, just as Law erases bodies racialized Other from modern political grammar. The poem signals the demise of race—others, who fail to signify the properly-constituted ideal—is already under way.The poem contains “me-” and “instrum-”,words half-redacted. These two words mark what DaSilva considers minor transparent I’s, sites of engulfment, that is a partial negation, the symbolic appropriation that produces them, inaugurating a relationship precisely because, in the regimen of representation interiority governs, it institutes unsublatable and irreducible subjects.[xii] The partially obliterated text concretizes an affectable I in a world of words, the hyphens in “me-” and “instrum-” literalizing a horizon of death. The hyphen silently shrieks at the oblivion out of which the word escape scathed. The redacted content is coetaneous with the words in the final piece insofar as the same raw material produced the entire poem. The hyphen signifies the chasm between the cultures of rulers and ruled;it amplifies into transparency at the aporia. The hyphen signals engulfment into power groups.

PROMESA remembers erasure as original technique foundational to the colonizer’s “new world.” Just as I scoured source text to produce an idealized whole poem, erasure, redaction, and inscription (of Laws) each serve as discursive methods of aesthetic production foundational to realizing and maintaining a colonized Puerto Rico. At the close of the Spanish-American War, 1898, President McKinley’s administration acquires Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines as colonies from Spain “not as a means toward the end of making new states, but as an end itself.[xiii] Puerto Rico today remains an “unincorporated territory” subject to Congress’s limitless power to legislate over it without end.Congress obliges to prepare territories for entry into the sisterhood of states, however, as Evelyn Baring, colonial administrator of British-controlled Egypt and contemporary to President McKinley advises, the commercial spirit should be under some control such that the colonized population remain, nationally speaking, more or less ‘in statu pupillary,’ masterless among themselves.[xiv] As a result, the U.S. regards territories colonial possessions rather than proto-states.[xv] The Harvard Law Review argues the relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico (Pre-PROMESA) is akin to territorial federalism,[4] an analogy that entitles neoliberal market fundamentalism. In the vacuum of nationhood, American corporate, capitalist, military, pharmaceutical agents of colonization, run up a continental hostage-taking, demanding payment of a massive and incalculable debt[currently over $87 Billion] by those who never promised it. In June of 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that federal Bankruptcy Code excludes Puerto Rico from any federal debt-restructuring contingencies as well as relying on the Recovery Act toward absolving liability for damage caused. Congress and the Obama Administration arrived at PROMESA just as repayment deadlines neared.[xvi]

The Oversight Board occupies the niche of “new world Master”—not the redacted, but the selected, the extracted, “saved”, the properly-constituted subject, whose very being dictates and embodies a new normative subject, properly-constituted and destined for survival. They form a body who instructobjects of policy with the hope that the colonized will, by natural authority, at once diffuse the instruction and exact the necessary. It presides over instrumentalities of the island imprint its character on the whole of society, forging a world of violent social order.[xvii] Rules for eligibility include having demonstrated mastery and expertise in finance, municipal bond markets, management, law, or the organization or operation of business or government. Simultaneously, Oversight Board eligibility excludes any officer, elected official, candidate, or employee of the territorial government—elected bodies tasked with speaking to the lived realities of their constituents. Additional criteria for Board membership, includes proper mastery of disciplines, knowledge, and technologies of finance, business, governance and banking and need not hold permanent residence on the island.[5] Baring writes, “that each special issue should be decided mainly with reference to what, by the light of Western knowledge and experience … we conscientiously think is best for the subject race, without any reference to any real or supposed advantage which may accrue … to the special interests represented by some one or more influential classes of colonizer,” which reverberate in the exploitive potencies interred within PROMESA’s provisions:

Chief among its provisions, PROMESA establishes a federal Financial Oversight and Management Board (Oversight Board), whose stated purpose is “to provide a method for [Puerto Rico] to achieve fiscal responsibility and access to the capital markets.” Consisting of seven presidentially appointed members the Oversight Board is designed to function as the island’s “finance czar,” endowed with the power and responsibility to oversee the development and approval of (1) territory and instrumentality budgets by Puerto Rico’s elected branches of government and (2) territory and instrumentality fiscal plans — pre-budget proposals “to achieve fiscal responsibility and access to the capital markets” — by Puerto Rico’s elected Governor.[xviii]

Oversight Board powers include: the authority to reform or dissolve structural interdepartmental and interagency relationships within the territorial government, to modify and/or establish revenue structure, to devise alternatives for pensions of former territorial government employees, to modify or transfer public services to privatization, commercialization and alternate service delivery mechanisms, and authority to effect territory’s laws and court orders regarding the operations of the island. PROMESA turns to the commercialization and privatization of public utilities and lands as compensation for its accumulating debts mythologizing bureaucracy through violence, redefining governance to expedite extractions of surplus value of which all Puerto Ricans are subject—The former dominate; the latter must be dominated, which usually means having their land occupied, their internal affairs rigidly controlled, their blood and treasure put at the disposal of one or another Western power.[xix] PROMESA’s language valorizes privatization and access to capital markets marking positive its signs and hypersigns (private loans, private monopolies, private business, crypto-currency) as paramount regardless the needs of the people for a reliable power grid, housing, healthcare, pensions, education and other social services recently cut through austerity. These negatively-marked hypersigns are obliterated (redacted) becoming sites of construction in service of an ideal—demonstrating totalizing poetics of erasure.

Government officials cannot legally enter into contracts[xx] greater than $100,000 without approval of the Oversight Board. Ultimately, neither the Governor of Puerto Rico, nor its legislature has the authority to prevent the programs of the Oversight Board, three of whom may execute decisions on behalf of the board, despite consensus or public opinion. The Puerto Rican government, at most, may “deem” the Board’s budget approved.[xxi] Additionally, PROMESA states, “the Oversight Board shall have the right to secure copies, whether written or electronic, of such records, documents, information, data, or metadata from the territorial government necessary to enable the Oversight Board to carry out its responsibilities.” (20) The Oversight Board’s fiscal responsibility for and unfettered access to records of island metadata confirms domination by those whom presume to that know the dominated and what is good for them better than they could possibly know themselves.[xxii]

Redaction literalizes the strife between being and concealment; it is a mode of world-making which Gayatri Spivak argues marks the colonized as unspeakable other. Blackout poetry literalizes poesis as “projective saying” or “the saying of world and earth, the saying of the arena of their strife and thus of the place of all nearness and remoteness of the gods,” for the blackout poet “worlds a poem” of the materials rendered raw and otherwise assumed uninscribed earth. Spivak draws analogy between worlding and the inscriptions of cartography over space deemed uninhabited prior to conquest. Accordingly, when the Heideggerian concept-metaphor of earth and world is used to describe the imperialist project, what emerges out of the violence of the rift … is the multifarious thingliness of a represented world on a map.[xxiii] A poem. Rightly, scholar Rajana Khanna expands, Projective saying is saying which, in preparing the sayable, simultaneously brings the unsayable as such into a world.[xxiv] Blackout poetry concretizes projective saying as such, especially when the poet considers the palimpsest as poem.

The law sentences Puerto Rico to the normative ideal of perpetual subjugation, terraforming land and its inhabitants into images of enforceable ends and administrative means. PROMESA establishes a legal precedent for the United States to strip its colonies any semblance of self-governance, or autonomy over economic decisions and instrumentalities. The bill defines its usage of the term “territory” to mean not only Puerto Rico, but Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and US Virgin Islands, promising colonized land to would-be administrators of new incarnations of colonial time and the worlds shaped in their universes. (8) PROMESA “worlds a World” held together by teleological time, materially and immaterially violently redacting the world terra nullius by veiling normative ends of colonialism, wealth extraction, and land seizure under prescriptive, quantifiable ones (fiscal responsibility, access to markets, etc…).

It is upon this land the settler-colonizer builds his house. Perhaps a poetics of redaction elucidates  French Philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s concept-metaphor: the househe evaluates, its corners, corridors, cellar rooms—is far less important than what poetically it is endowed with, which is usually a quality with an imaginative or figurative value we can name and feel: thus a house may be haunted, or homelike, or prisonlike, or magical. So space acquires emotional and even rational sense by a kind of poetic process, whereby the vacant or anonymous reaches of distance are converted into meaning for us here.[xxv] The erection of Bachelard’s house predicates upon the rendering of space (otherwise occupied) empty; like PROMESA, it presumes a principle of vacante soyle, or vacuum domicilium, or terra nullias, territory that has not been subject to the sovereignty of any state in international law. PROMESA and PROMESA tyrannically represent the so-called new world as vacant and uninhabited … a central trope of settler colonialism, employed to banish, sequester, and dispossess indigenous peoples of their lands.[xxvi] The Law imprints the likeness of the Oversight Board, in everything, the poem blackout remonstrates the process. Space is not empty and (settler) Man, homologized to his house, does not prefigure its center. Bachelard’s house is haunted, no doubt; it is populated too by specters that resulted from the totalitarian bricklaying of settler-colonial terror across polities—the blackout poem mimics and therefore reproduces this temporalizing force that opens the world (of text) to extraction.

Can a “Blackout Poem” exert enough force in the world to disrupt colonial time? Erasure/Blackout poems offer testament to officiated time and the possession of earth through counterfactual narrative mimetically mined of the source text. The redacted line signals the unifying force of temporalization, a force of worlding, weaponized toward to the production of a history required for actualizing a “higher world” of superior forms, a meaningful whole that brings all beings into relation.[xxvii] PROMESA redefines the grammar of the reality in its own terms, ushering a new era of colonial domination, extraction and obliteration.If redaction or forms of erasure (poiesis) render present an absence, is a redacted line spectral matter concretized and what might the practice teach to break colonial regimes of time?

Repetition and syllabics regulate a traditional sestina’s rhythm as aesthetic rules. A traditional sestina culminates in an envoi or tornada as its final stanza, which reconfigures the six end-words across the ultimate three lines of the poem. While composing a sestina out of PROMESA, I bent the rules, eliding resolution by eliminating the tornada for aesthetic purposesfor the last to literally occupy the position of the first, Frantz Fanon’s metaphor for decolonization.[6] I reread the bill several times, physically redacting fragments, paragraphs, and pages of text while reserving words from which to compose lines of poetry. I engaged in an extractive, destructive, reading practice: each read-through, I erased more text from H.R.4900 until only the words in “PROMESA” remained. These formal rules shape the poem, which must be thought not simply what appears on the page, but include (by negation) all that redacted, erased matter. The poem and the palimpsest, as two seemingly distinct documents, are inextricably tethered to each other—folded up, blurred into poem together they form, in this case, a palimpsestina, a portmanteau of “palimpsest” and “sestina.”

Just as I select the source material to otherwise arbitrary aesthetic rules, the Oversight Board reformulates time to their own calculations in order to maximize and expedite extraction of raw materials, while slowing or reversing growth in other sectors. PROMESA bureaucratizes time, resubmitting Puerto Rico to teleological chronometry: a time in which cause and effect follow each other in an irreversible sequence of succession, a time circular and self-returning. Final causality actualizes a rational end into existence: perpetual colonization.[xxviii]The Oversight Board, in its sole discretion, schedules, calculates, and manages appropriations of time. The bill authorizes the Oversight Board to determine scheduling, timetables, and deadlines, especially in Section 2, subtitled “Approval of Budgets,” which outlines several processes by which to arrive at a territorial budget. One such schedule outlines that the Governor drafts and submits a budget to the Oversight Board, who may unilaterally accept, nix or revise it. The Board then returns their report (on their time) to the governor, whom, within 90 days, might “deem” the budget approved or rejected. Ultimately, the Oversight Board possesses—or is possessed by—the authority to execute its program uninhibited by juridical or governmental disapproval or intervention—reshaping Puerto Rican time itself.

H.R. 4900 authorizes such a manufacturing of time, slowing the territory’s juridical mechanisms. It installs the figure of Man in the form of the self-owning, earth-owning Oversight Board that keeps time in the “realm of freedom” by instrumentalizing pain: Of humane laws in colonial Egypt, Samara Esmeir observes, While informing the law, humanity was simultaneously established by it. The relationship between law and humanity was therefore one of performativity. The project of juridical humanity instrumentalizes suffering such that becoming human by law equates to the reduction of suffering. Unreduced suffering signals dehumanization, the reforms that put suffering to use … reflected and constituted a sensibility of humaneness, which located suffering on the side of the inhuman, thus carve out spaces for colonial intervention.[xxix]The law establishes a Term-of-Service for Board Members of 3 years (14), power to initiate hiring freezes (46), and 4 years of accordance with accrual accounting standards (61). Additionally, an immediate stay on litigation essential to stabilizing the region for the purposes of resolving this territorial crisis suspends pre-PROMESA claims in legal limbo by forcing “voluntary resolution” between the Puerto Rican government and its creditors instead of defending numerous, costly creditor lawsuits­—reparations for the pain. (56, 88, 91) PROMESA actualizes its colonial mission through empiric subjectivation of time into manageable quantities; In the words of Cedric Robinson, the Oversight Board plays timekeeper in the “realm of freedom” by instrumentalizing pain in their ordering of significance, meanings and relations.[xxx] The cause of teleology is not external, but originally immanent to its (diabolical) effect.

The juridical project of PROMESA, and by extension Congress, capitalizes spheres knowledge, power, and utility, calling pain into being by putting it to use. Humaneness reflects the capacity to manipulate pain, by measuring and calculating what otherwise remained arbitrary, for instance: Section 403 of PROMESA, “FIRST MINIMUM WAGE IN PUERTO RICO”, which establishes a minimum hourly wage of $4.25, an arbitrary sum well-below the federal minimum wage of $7.25. This discrepancy in the value of labor perpetuates outmigration, displacement, cycles of poverty and pain. Pain is put to use for it is not pain as such that dehumanizes … rather, it is pain’s own biological reconfiguration as separate from morality that dehumanizes a suffering subject. The imperative to overcome pain becomes a means of humanization—and humane legal reforms accomplish precisely this.[xxxi]Escalated outmigration and exile result from the instrumentalization of pain.[xxxii]  Puerto Ricans escaping deteriorating social and environmental conditions on the island exercise the “right” and “freedom” as citizens of the United States to migrate to the “mainland.” Doing so performs a rational spontaneity that characterizes the … power of self-determination initiating the Puerto Rican into the domain of American freedom.[xxxiii] The Puerto Rican exiled to America offers the body up to engulfment becoming “Transparent I”, with full voting rights, though hyphenated by foreclosing tactile, material claims to the colonizer, opening those sites to corporate interests and ceaseless extraction. The remainders suffer the pains of a zone becalmed by depopulation, where raw materials are ceaselessly transported…[xxxiv]

The Oversight Board divides, deploys, schematizes, tabulates, indexes, and records everything in (and out of) sight; to make out of every observable … an immutable law; and, above all, to transmute living reality into the stuff of texts, to possess (or think one possesses) actuality. Of Cromer, Edward Said continues, knowledge of subject races … is what makes their management easy and profitable; knowledge gives power, more power requires more knowledge, and so on in an increasingly profitable dialectic of information and control.[xxxv] Rhetoric around accrual accounting [over cash basis] offers one such specialized dialectic valorized by the bill, its architects, and the Oversight Board. PROMESA imports the language of a “governing race of Men,” inaugurating a Bibliotheque boricua, an emergent glossolalia, an archive that protects private interest from prospective violence.[xxxvi] Accrual accounting standard is thought to improve accountability, transparency, and public finance management; detractors say it is costlier, and easier to manipulate—to inflate income, grow receivables and keep books open after year’s end.[xxxvii] Accrual accounting standards are also more complicated than cash basis, which the standard method by which the U.S. holds its budgets. Due to its complex mechanisms, accrual accounting standard risks potential gains and raw life on fiscal illusions in exchange for income statements that better measure profitability. The Oversight Board thus delays, delivers death-sentence to vital infrastructures alien to their desired world—legally banning access to water, electricity, education, the land. The Oversight Board, in its sole discretion, executes legal violence all but criminalizing the colonized as “fiscally irresponsible” and therefore subject to rendering (from the Latin “redere” or “give back”) as “given back” to the earth, or dead.

If PROMESA lampoons the Bibliotheque Boricua, the monopoly on language and values, legislated in writing by the colonial regime, might blackout poetry always literalize a production of language that threw something into the world (the poem), and simultaneously remaindered another as earthly raw material (the redacted or blacked-out material)?[xxxviii] PROMESA and PROMESA each homologize the colonized subject to said remainder, corroborating that one cannot constitute the figure of Man without rendering the rest in abjection. The same violent instant that produces the self-owning, earth-owning individual embodied by its board members, its paragons, produces ghostly matter. Thrown into the world we find ghastly figures such as the American citizen or the Board member, entities calculated, measured and definitively human to the exclusion of the colonized subject whose dehumanized flesh appears indiscernible from the earth in which it is (or will be) interred. “Humanity” is only ever a possibility for the Puerto Rican postmortem.

Puerto Rico as a constitutionally unincorporated territory is neither on a path to statehood, nor independence. Rather, it remains stuck in a constitutional limbo — a limbo of the Supreme Court’s creation.[xxxix] Ranjana Khanna writes, If this limbo had a national language, it would be one made up of prosopopoeia … in which, the spectral is even more pertinent than the strictly etymological returning us to the question, what matters (physically, semiotically) a redacted line?[xl] The violent erasure of words may fail at undoing history but it does render spectral matter legible in its traces insofar as encryption is a symptom of the illness, and haunting is a symptom of [colonial] melancholia.[xli] Put another way: if law implies in itself, a priori, that there is no law without enforceability, and no enforceability of the law without force, then the power of the Oversight Board, is present and represented everywhere in PROMESA’s enforcement, always effective, wherever there is preservation of the social order; they are there, the faceless figure. [xlii]

Poetic erasure calls for divining pain in the production of textuality—force, the blackout poet understands history as an utterance projected into the world and understands the world … as profoundly shaped into unconcealment through that event of saying. The erasure poet reveals the way in which earthed specters exert pressure on that which is unconcealed.[xliii] PROMESA and PROMESA each literalizes erasure. Does considering redaction as poetic practice excavate secrets from the earth—an exhausted, ancestral well of spectral force? Is a blackout poem an object, or a refraction of an object, massively distributed in time and space to the extent that their totality cannot be realized in any particular local manifestation? Is it a sort of crypto-utopia?

I derationalized the words of the bill, translating them into affect and music such that words and sentences in the bill cease “to mean.” PROMESA produces an ostensibly free, open, and public soundscape, but this soundscape resounds over something silenced, built of and upon the literally erased. What sounds emit from the plane of consistency, that long harmonizing note of redaction, that uniform sound em-dashing into oblivion?[7] In its poetic use, redaction reflects and refracts the dominant mode of violence as medium for the abjection of language. If the visible word and the sentence signify the properly-constituted subject and the sociality in which it participates, what then might the redacted line denote in its over-determination if not the historical mobilization of sonic signifiers to produce color lines? If redaction serves as a sign of negation, the rendering of unwieldy heterogeneous material (graphemes, letters, words, sounds, etc…) illegibly and inaudibly homogenous, does the redacted line mark an aporia of engulfment into transparency/opacity? Redacted signs are denied access to legibility, where the extracted word literalizes what Alexander Weheliye names the conjoining of flesh and habeas corpus. [xliv] The black line reflects an articulated assemblage of the human (viscus/flesh) borne of political violence as metaphor forlaying bare the flesh of the word’s sonority, intonation, intensity—the shout that the articulations of language and logic… the aspect of oppressed gesture which remains in all speech.[xlv]Redaction neutralizes the sonic and phonetic qualities of speech, rendering text hieroglyphic in uniform negation. Text is denied legibility, its aura negated and speech prevented. In other words, redaction produces a textual space, in which audio-visual signifiers enmesh, such that no speech could condense or comprehend.

A redacted line cannot be read aloud without the reader having access to its pre-existing content, but the content within the black line of redaction may be speculated at. How might we read a redacted line? How might we consider the sonic qualities of a redacted line as sign of plentitude rendered uniform? Does erasure poetry demonstrate the force with which dominant listening produces a literal sonic color line—that *bleep*? Redaction demonstrates the ideological barrier between the proper word (in the poem) and the raw materiality of its source, literalizing the visual and sonic representational processes of settler-colonial white supremacy and the dehumanization of social others; it literally marks the liminal space between the proper and impropriety, concretizing DuBois’ metaphor for the color line.[xlvi] One might imagine redaction a concrete expression of universalizing force, a deliberate reduction externally imposed upon the legibility of the word—the word is denied reduced and so denied the integrity of being.

Jennifer Lynn Stoever recuperates the aural imaginary through the listening organ, offering listening strategies we might effect to survive the cataclysmic fate proffered by settler-colonialism. Stoever blurs the border of actual and imaginary sound. The aural echo of the visible color line (erased/redacted text)constitutes an imaginative landscape of experimental sonority. Poetic redaction rehearses a hermeneutics of race as marker of material presence. It literalizes an over-determining force that attributes to its subject a signifying property plus as simultaneously silent (acoustically) and loud (visually)—by negation, ghostly, haunted imaginary sound loudly populates the redacted line. Redacting text-bodies demonstrate a telegraphic coding, embedded in bizarre axiological ground, a crisis of over-determined nominative properties. Might we listen for sound in the redacted line? Stoever offers embodied listening as practice, listening, she says, offers an epistemological venue for our particular embodiments; our embodiments, in turn, filter incoming sound along various indices of classification and value.[xlvii] In the words of Spillers, the redacted line is loaded with mythical prepossession that there is no easy way for the agents buried beneath them to come clean.[xlviii]By considering embodied listening as a practice integral to a blackout poetics, perhaps we might sense, if at all conduct, that which shrieks back at diabolical forces of obliteration. The silence of every caesura in the erasure poem resonates loudly.

Puerto Rico has become a haven to fanatical multi-millionaire investors in crypto-currency who pay 0% taxes on capital gains. In her New York Times article “Making a Crypto-Utopia in Puerto Rico,” Nellie Bowles investigates newly-landed crypto-investors in Puerto Rico. She writes, “They call what they are building Puertopia. But then someone told them, apparently in all seriousness, that it translates to “eternal boy playground” in Latin. So they are changing the name: They will call it Sol.”[xlix] “Sol,” “the Sun”, “the One”, summarily names the settler-colonized ideal, of biblical proportion, an exaltation of the Whole.  

Returning to Adorno, PROMESA makes clear, Only a humanity to whom death has become indifference as its members, that itself has died, can inflict it administratively on innumerable people.[l]I believe forces hell-bent on collective obliteration, through Congress, seek to colonize the very sky, terraforming an increasingly erratic climate into unrivaled weapon by which to execute the omnicidal sentence. Can a poem interdict reality with enough ghoulish force to prevent what seems inevitable planetary doom without reproducing the colonial mission of restoration? The erasure poet commits to breaking this cycle of belonging and forgetting by un-writing to lostness, literally enacting a mediumship of presences through erasure. The poet voices the corpse word by listening.

I began (de-)composing “PROMESA” in the summer of 2016 with the hopes of mobilizing the abolition of H.R. 4900, which ushers in a new era of colonial brutality. The poem, first published on the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, thanks to Carmen Gimenez Smith, appeared on the heels of learning that an estimated 4,500 Puerto Ricans died because of mismanagement and failure at every level of government in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Disgraced Republican Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s Office first announced an official death toll of 64 despite public outcry otherwise. The Puerto Rican Government officially revised the number to 2975, only after CNN opened several lawsuits with the aim of acquiring official documents on the numbers. If the process of redaction articulates select text to the disavowal of text rendered abject visual or sonic phenomenon, how might with think state-enforced prohibition of words, censorship, as not simply obliteration, but rather, rendering words Black? The dead include my kin. After suffering a stroke earlier in 2017, my Grandmother’s Sister, Titi Iris, couldn’t breathe. Without regular access to electricity, we were told she suffocated in the weeks following landfall, that she died calling out for our grandmother, there were no means to keep the bodies cool and funeral homes were overwhelmed. 

Derrida warns whoever traces the mystical foundations of the Law’s authorityit to its source annihilates it. Again, my hope blacking out, or channeling in kind violence to instigate a showdown divine: repeal of PROMESA. I also hope to add to the ongoing conversation about poetic erasure, that it appears blackout poetry might channel and/or trace the diabolical across worlds. “Blacked out” text serves as a nexus, the literal codification of wor(l)ds black; the poet who practices it therefore divines a what seems a mirror, a portal to the crypto-world of text as usufruct. Erasing the bill, I remember and recall ghostly forces: millions of unceremoniously buried now encountered as spectral traces in the world. Revenants echoing in Oversight Board member Jose Carrion’s voice when he announces austerity cuts to social welfare programming on the island. What ghosts echo in my voice too? Blackout poetry proves that which is hidden must have been worth hiding (the excess of the text: the noise, volume, mass, mess) and that considering that which has been absented, that ghostly matter, not only threatens the presumed integrity of the idealized Wor(l)d but heralds its destruction.

from PROMESA H.R. 4900

(1) IN GENERAL.—If the Oversight Board determines, based on reports submitted by the Governor under subsection (a), independent audits, or such other information as the Oversight Board may obtain, that the actual quarterly revenues, expenditures, or cash flows of the territorial government are not consistent with the projected revenues, expenditures, or cash flows set forth in the certified Budget for such quarter, the Oversight Board shall—

(A) require the territorial government to provide such additional information as the Oversight Board determines to be necessary to explain the inconsistency; and

(B) if the additional information provided under subparagraph (A) does not provide an explanation for the inconsistency that the Oversight Board finds reasonable and appropriate, advise the territorial government to correct the inconsistency by implementing remedial action.

(2) DEADLINES. —The Oversight Board shall establish the dead lines by which the territorial government shall meet the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1).

(c) Certification Of Variance.—

(1) VARIANCE.—If the territorial government fails to provide additional information under subsection (b)(1)(A), or fails to correct a variance under subsection (b)(1)(B), prior to the applicable deadline under subsection (b)(2), the Oversight Board shall certify to the President, the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Governor, and the Legislature that the territorial government is at variance with the applicable certified Budget, and shall describe the nature and amount of the variance.

(2) CORRECTION OF VARIANCE.—If the Oversight Board determines that the territorial government has initiated such measures as the Oversight Board considers sufficient to correct a variance certified under paragraph (1), the Oversight Board shall certify the correction to the President, the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the Governor, and the Legislature.

[1]“…I arrive at blackness as, blackness is, anagrammatical. That is, we can see the moments when blackness opens up into the anagrammatical in the literal sense as when ‘a word, phrase, or name is formed by rearranging the letters of another’ (Merriam-Webster Online). We can also apprehend this in the metaphorical sense in how, regarding blackness, grammatical gender falls away and new meanings proliferate; how ‘the letters of a text are formed into a secret message by rearranging them’ or a secret message is discovered through the rearranging of the letters of a text. Ana-, as a prefix, means ‘up, in place or time, back, again, anew.’ So, blackness anew, blackness as a/temporal, in and out of place and time putting pressure on meaning and that against which meaning is made.” Sharpe

[2] Despite the acronym and the fact that 71.8% of Puerto Ricans on the island do not consider themselves fluent in English; the bill was written entirely in English and sponsored by Republican Sean P. Duffy, a reality-television persona from MTV’s The Real World: Boston, Road Rules: All Stars and ESPN turned district attorney, who represented Wisconsin 7th Congressional District and sat on the House Natural Resources Committee.

[3] Provisions regarding geography, economy, wildlife, and wasteland management fit the narrative of humanitarian restoration. PROMESA instructs its reader not to “construe” transitioning to privatized generation capacities as affecting “the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973” despite climatological reality of a warming planet, mass extinction, and their otherwise executive control of the island. In regards to Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, previous legislation approves military and defense activities of the Department of Energy, including weapons and nuclear testing. H.R. 4900 PROMESA specifically names these and lands relegated to solid waste management free from its jurisdiction. See Vieques Island, Section 1508(c) of the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001.

[4] Territorial Federalism refers to distribution of power over territorial entities. The overarching State, the federation, is divided into territorial sub-units (states), and State Power is dispersed over these federated subunits.

[5] The Oversight Board includes: José B. Carrión III, of the Banco Popular dynasty, President and Principal Partner of HUB International CLC, LLC, a “leading North American Insurance Brokerage” who collects claims for catastrophic fires in California; Ana J. Matosantos, President of Matosantos Consulting, a budgetary advocacy group; David A. Skeel, Jr. a Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Judge Arthur J. González, a Senior Fellow at NYU’s School of Law; Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a prominent thinktank of American Neoconservatism involved in political advocacy; Natalie Jaresko, former Ukrainian Minister of Finance (2014-2016), who was named Executive Director of the Oversight Board in 2017 and earns an annual $625,000. In the spring of 2016, Jaresko formed a provisional Cabinet of Ministers, and running (as a U.S. operative) for Prime Minister of Ukraine; and Carlos M. García and José  R. González, both CEOs formerly involved in leadership positions at Santander Bank—a 2016 report titled, “Pirates of the Caribbean” alleges “that Garcia, Gonzalez and other executives at Santander presided over an explosion of lucrative underwriting that allowed the financially strapped island to continue borrowing huge sums, but on increasingly risky terms. The structure of those loans, the report suggests, was more favorable to Santander and other financial institutions than to the government ― and thus the taxpayers.” According to the report, Santander participated in the underwriting of $61.2 billion of the island’s $70 billion in debt, according to the analysis. The report estimates that more than $1 billion went toward management fees for Santander and other banks.” Daniel Marans, ”Two Of Puerto Rico’s New Overlords Are Accused Of Helping Create Its Debt Crisis” See Huffington Post [online]

[6] Frantz Fanon (1963). The wretched of the earth. New York, NY, Grove Press, 37

[7] In Representing African music: Postcolonial notes, queries, positions, (2003) Musicologist V. Kofi Agawu corroborates harmony and tonality the dimensions of European music with the greatest colonizing power insofar as its sonic ability to fold disparate sounds into/under a universal note.

[i] HARNEY, S. & MOTEN, F. (2017). “Improvement and Preservation, or Usufruct and Use” Futures of Black Radicalism,  Verso Books, 83

[ii] KHANNA, R. Dark Continents 12

[iii] HARTMAN, S. (1997) Scenes of subjection: terror, slavery, and self-making in nineteenth century America. New York, Oxford University Press Hartman, 55, 65

[iv] HARV. L. REV. (1656)

[v] ADORNO, T. W. trans. JEPHCOTT, E. F. N. (2005). Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life,  London, 35

[vi] FOUCAULT, M. (1977) “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” In Language, Counter-Memory,. Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, edited by D. F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell. University Press, 151

[vii] DERRIDA, J. (2002) 12, 14 “The Force of the Law: The “Mystical Foundation of Authority”

[viii] DERRIDA, J. (1878). “The Theater of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation”. Theater 9 (3): 13

[ix] HARDJOWIROGO, SI. (2017)  “Instrumentality. On the Construction of Instrumental Identity,” Musical Instruments in the 21st Century. Springer, Singapore 3

[x] DA SILVA, D. F. (2007). Toward a global idea of race. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press,12

[xi] SPILLERS, H. J. (1987) ”Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” Diacritics, Vol. 17, N. 2. Culture and Countermemory: the “American” connection 74; 79

[xii] DA SILVA, D. F. (2007). Toward a global idea of race. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 29, 33

[xiii] Developments in the Law — Territorial Federalism, 130 HARV. L. REV. (2017) 1645

[xiv] BARING, E. (1913). Political and Literary Essays, 1908-1913 (1913; reprint ed., Freeport, N. Y.; Books for Libraries Press, 1969), p#

[xv] Ibid, 1645

[xvi] See Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust; Recovery Act

[xvii] ROBINSON, C. J. (2000). Black Marxism: the making of the Black radical tradition. Chapel Hill, NC, University of North Carolina Press, 21

[xviii]  HARV. L. REV., 1640; PROMESA, 10

[xix] SAID, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. New York, Pantheon Books, 36

[xx] TOTIYAPUNGPRASERT, P. Bustle “Puerto Rico’s Whitefish Contract was Leaked and this is why it is so Problematic” Pub. Online 10.27.2017

[xxi] HARV. L. REV.,1641

[xxii] SAID, Orientalism 34-35

[xxiii] SPIVAK A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (?)

[xxiv] KHANNA, R. Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism 3

[xxv] SAID, 55

[xxvi] LOWE, L Intimacy of the Four Continents

[xxvii] PHENG, C What is a World?: On Postcolonial Literature as World Literature (7)

[xxviii] Ibid

[xxix] ESMEIR, S. (2012). Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History  Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press, 145

[xxx] ROBINSON, C.J. The Making of the Black Radical Tradition 177

[xxxi] Ibid, 121, 123

[xxxii] POLLEY, L. A. (May 3, 2016, 8:42 AM)  “Forced Exile,” Say Puerto Ricans Leaving Island amid Financial Crisis, NBC News

[xxxiii] PHENG, C. 8

[xxxiv] FANON, F. “Concerning Violence” The Wretched of the Earth 51

[xxxv] SAID, 36

[xxxvi] Ibid, 71

[xxxvii] GAA ACCOUNTING: The Journal of the Global Accounting Alliance. 2014. “Experts Weigh-In on Pros and Cons of Accrual Accounting.”

[xxxviii] KHANNA, 5

[xxxix] HARV. L. REV., 1648; see Igrartua-De La Rosa v. United States

[xl] KHANNA, 18

[xli] ibid, 25

[xlii] DERRIDA (2002), 44

[xliii] PHENG, C. 8

[xliv] WEHELIYE, A. (2014) Habeas Viscus: racializing assemblages, biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human Durham, NC, Duke University Press 11

[xlv] DERRIDA, J. (1978). 237; 280

[xlvi] STOEVER, J. L. (2016). The sonic color line: race and the cultural politics of listening. New York, New York University Press, 11

[xlvii] Ibid 10

[xlviii] SPILLERS, H. J. (1987) ”Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” Diacritics, Vol. 17, N. 2. Culture and Countermemory: the “American” connection 74; 79

[xlix] BOWLES, N (2018)

[l] ADORNO, 233

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