King Root

Since 1983

there has been more than one way to make a connection

an intricate dance called a three-way handshake

one way to ask for permission

one way back to ensure what we have is stable

another to acknowledge our transmission

this is the language written from every keyboard that has ever called the internet and landed on someone else’s home

funny that my job title is penetration tester

not the sex kind

the ethical hacker kind

the root boxes and finger networks kind

the kind that uses language that is not kind or ethical

a reflection of a world

where master and slave are used freely

and black hats are bad and black lists are bad

and all things white are good

like white lists and white hats

and the white goods in our office kitchens

where the only kind of attack on your network is done

by a Man-in-the-Middle

and all anyone wants to do is make things fall over

and crash

so they can exploit every service you’ve ever stood up

to own you

with a root your mobile program called KingRoot

google it

the first response you get:

how to safely root your iphone

from oneclickroot.com

 

but like all things built in this world

digital or not

the voice of the Other

has always been running across the cables since the first communication

like a long held breath that meets an exhale

a Zoom call that stutters my voice as it enters your lounge room

and whispers

I don’t want you to root my box without permission

like a 16 year old kid learning to hack with both their hands and their discourse

playing out the history of oppression through ownership and submission

 

I want a new language to describe this position

because how do we open up this boy-in-the-hoodie world

if all the moves we see are white hands pushing on black keys tapping white letters to create sentences only a few us fit into?

how do we move from a one way highway to new roads with new words that are not heavy with a history built on subjugation?

we make way for neighbourhoods that house nomads looking for a new place to rest

to wake up and resist

because the first words of the internet were not mummy or daddy but hello world

or at least the world with the means to listen

and now we know the power of the hashtag

SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA
METOO
SAYHERNAME
BLACKLIVESMATTER

 

because the world wide web launched to bring us closer

but the digital divide is getting deeper

and while we mount attacks on politicians and nation states from the streets

the missiles we launch from our beds when we hold each other

the grenades we push from our hearts when we hear each other

the bullets that rain from our eyes when we see each other

these are the parts of the story that hold us together when the internet is down

and there’s nothing left but to keep one fist in the air and the other re-telling stories of resistance that strut from our lips when we kiss each other.

Originally published by Bent Street.

 

 

 

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Kneel

Kneel

I’ve knelt down and opened my mouth to check the heart beat of many women

it lives there

louder than the organ that sustains us

but only this time have I opened my heart wider than my legs

and said

 

I love you for the way you make my eyes widen before our lips have a chance to re-connect

for the spreading you enact across my skin more thorough than the spread of red across your neck after your first sip of booze

no matter how little you take in

and I know you take it all

I’ve seen you breathe in the beginnings of words so swiftly my mind gets whiplash

before the space between you having an answer

and me having another question has time to even dance.

 

And the way you dance is why hips were created

not a swan song to reproduction or biological evolution

but little revolutions

on the dance floor

between our sheets

and the streets we walk

laboured

wide open

and fractured

with the footsteps

we walk across

to find some kind of freedom

 

hands clasped

fingers bleeding feeling

heads held high

after mornings of crook necks

and outstretched tongues

 

finding pleasure in each others beginnings

 

this rapture isn’t a myth

and I’m not a bone from Adam’s rib

I am the end of God’s creation

another story to take home

and tell the grandkid’s I will never have

and the death certificate that will read

unmarried

 

I love you for the fierce softness that fingers the little bruises under my chest telling them to heal

as you let your desire fire grenades into my limbs

stopping time with every hurricane that rushes over your eyes

 

a creation story in every kiss

is still more real than the fables

I read when I was in awe of moon face, of fanny

and dick, in the treehouse I always wished existed

 

with you non-fiction is more beautiful than any story I’ve read yet.

and I’ve read so many books my skin has yellowed with the age

of those pages

 

I still want to yellow

but I want to red, pink, green, and blue with you

I want to red, pink, green, blue, yellow, orange, black, brown and violet with you.

Originally published by Bent Street 1 (2017)