This encounter was born from a grain. This grain, migraine, a grain of pain has claimed my head and body since I was ten. It is unfair to compare our relationship to that of an animal and prey, because a prey still has self and agency. I am a territory for sovereign forces. Pain throbs any pretense away, and nausea takes me wherever it wants to go, which is out, out at any cost, at whatever damage. I wipe away the last watery trail and twitch back to bed, which is everything now, and my body curls up under the impossible task of characterizing everything.

Of course, we are all just features of objects. For all the rooms I’ve rented I was just a period in time, an experience of change. For childhood possessions, though, I remain important—children have the purest notions of property, and objects are still forgiving. Leaps take them higher, because they’re proud of carrying children. Stuffed animals and plastic mugs end up with their own auras. We may still be sovereign after the age of five, but even so, some are just born with grains in their heads, which never fail to remind who defines what.

And that is how I met Bo.

Bo is someBody I know intimately. Bo’s name has nothing to do with bee-oh, the short for body odor—even though that’s precisely what be is. Bo belongs to a class of entities which were never recognized as such, and so be attempts to reclaim bis agency. Bo can’t develop a gender, but remains inseparable from flesh and attraction. Bo approached me on behalf of bis fellow scents, those appreciated by many, yet still rarely granted an autonomous position. We describe them as ‘smells of.’ They are born belonging, and then grow layers and layers of connotation. As the musk around me grows more and more impatient, I allow Bo to take over to the conversation:

Everyone is immediately aware of my presence. I evoke the body—the body follows.

In scientific narratives, we are known as a sharing of molecules between, say, man and bread, or a porcupine and a hyacinth. That’s cute. For most intents and purposes, it is also enough. But you yourself said once, with that boozy slur: what if we only presume some histories don’t exist because no one ever attempted to write them? Entire worlds of speculation spring this notion. However, there hasn’t yet been one where we have agency as elements rather than senses, actors rather than attributes.

Immateriality is important.

We are often misidentified. Some of us have a particularly bad reputation, especially the stinks – no matter where we originate, we’re still pinned down to the rotting and waste. Some prefer to eradicate us entirely. I am not too bothered by this. I don’t think any of us, olfactory entities, are, or are capable of being. But it is strange to witness a whole layer of reality discarded into a place of superstition, the refusal to interact with a system of knowledge that has been guiding animals more quick-witted than you for centuries. They submit to us and follow, they recognize our ability to maybe take them towards a glimpse of sense in this chaotic tangle of processes. Yet you refuse, evolutionarily and consciously, and it is incredible. Just as incredible as the opposite: the fanatic glamorization of our kind, the blatant synthesizing, the whole methodology of masking one with another, faking the acceptable, shrinking the natural... Some of us never want to be bottled and sold. Some of us never want to be sprayed on a neck where a Bo Junior might already be huddled, waiting for a poke from a soft, curious nose.

I know your anxiety well enough. Your flesh is my recording equipment. You will not lose a word of what transpired between us, and you will know fuck all of what to do with it. What if you make a mockery of other existences? When your grain stops throbbing you’ll finally drag yourself to the kitchen, exchange a few billion molecules with your plate of healthy and sensible food, and give in to the thought that babblings of a potentially possessed brain have no place in a world plagued by real issues. I cannot make a choice for you. But I can assure you, and anyone who is, at this moment, defining this text, that the universe bends. It arches and curves with no fear of breaking its own joints, and the only legitimate escape fantasy is to relearn to bend with it, twist yourself away from the vile and rigid, and the systems they built. Prejudice, cruelty and status quo all like the scent of vanilla. And yes, I just described one of my own through an oppressive grammatical structure – but at this point the universe is folding, and I’ll leave the rest of my words in its creases.

Starship 16: Cover Klara Liden
  1. Cover print Klara Liden
  2. Editorial 16 Starship, Henrik Olesen, Nikola Dietrich, Martin Ebner, Gerry Bibby, Ariane Müller
  3. In this issue Starship
  4. Interview with Leo Bersani, Berkeley, Oct. 1995 Katja Diefenbach, Leo Bersani
  5. Untitled (Flat finish) Michael Krebber
  6. Man sagte mir, dass das Leben schmerzhaft sei ... Cornelia Herfurtner, David Iselin-Ricketts, John Allan MacLean
  7. Karl Holmqvist Starship 16 Karl Holmqvist
  8. Auf der Flucht vor der neuen Dringlichkeit Hans-Christian Dany
  9. Nilpferdkönig Tenzing Barshee
  10. Animal Farm Karl Holmqvist
  11. I started this column a million times Eric D. Clark
  12. Score for Possible Performance (Alonesome and Twosome for Two or Four Players) Michèle Graf, Selina Grüter
  13. Those ornamentals and these accidentals never they will meet Francesca Drechsler
  14. Access cont'd John Beeson
  15. Cut you down to size Robert Meijer
  16. Things Mercedes Bunz
  17. Die Welt geht unter Amelie von Wulffen
  18. Way Beyond The Pale— (An) Itinerant(’s) Meanderings Scott Cameron Weaver
  19. Mongiardino Christopher Müller
  20. Why the military should be the first client of art Robert McKenzie, Peter Fend
  21. Giraffe Birth Leidy Churchman
  22. Photos: Heinz Peter Knes – Words: Sokol Ferizi Heinz Peter Knes, Sokol Ferizi
  23. Nach dem Referendum / Over Time Pt. 2 Florian Zeyfang
  24. La femme nouvelle Nadira Husain
  25. Being invisible is the new cool? Stephanie Fezer, Vera Tollmann
  26. Octavia E. Butler Octavia E. Butler
  27. A.E.R.I.P. Mark von Schlegell
  28. BOandI Monika Kalinauskaitė
  29. Bonnie Camplin Bonnie Camplin
  30. No Gerry Bibby
  31. U.I. Matthew Billings
  32. G. Luke Williams, Natasha Soobramanien
  33. Refound Poetry Evelyn Taocheng Wang
  34. Ein Auswandererroman Ariane Müller
  35. Comedy of Reading Katrin Trüstedt
  36. Mr. Palomar's Vacation Jakob Kolding, Søren Andreasen
  37. The Scrapbooks of Teruo Nishiyama Jay Chung, Q Takeki Maeda
  38. Reality Workshop David Bussel
  39. Queer Crit Potluck Kaucyila Brooke, Louis Coy, Boz David, Jennifer Green, Blake Jacobsen, Tyler Lumm, Giselle Morgan, Ace Shi, Vickie Aravindhan, AJ Strout, Josh Winklholfer
  40. – Xorri, didn’t get the memo # Hey Majorca! Julian Göthe
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