Cohen, Notebook

By PHILO COHEN

10/29 — 1:51pm

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Marks made in response to Bhanu Kapil’s prompt — free walk. I put the notebook on a wet banch, trying to dry wounds. Trying to surround the families and other loved ones with what I can give without suffocating them. How much is the sponge effect intrusive and how much my own trauma will heal while sponging you.


*Sarah Lawrence College

Mark across the 1942 Berenice Abbott sign on the wall of the center of the arts that lists all the faculty to this day. Jewish. 1942. 

This morning, I realized that one of the reasons why my family and I flew France was because of the indirect rise of antisemitism in the early 2010’s. A professor points out that we all flew here to flee some type of persecution. Or if privileged enough, to flee the fear of persecution. Safe America. Safe land. The land of the possible. The land of immigrants, progression and free beliefs. As I grow in you, I know that I will never allow my child to grow in you. My child may be a Cohen. Maybe my child will die in you if I allow them to grow here. 

The government of the non-people, of the ignorant. The land of the dangerous, of the white man, the terror land. America. I make my notebook from materials I found on you and I will wake up tomorrow, terrifies of my own name in your presence. Unsafe.

There are too many places on you that have allowed bodies to be destroyed, to be suppressed, for no reason but hatred and stupidity. You allow men to destroy on the land since the first one that penetrated you, since the 1492, destruction is promoted in all forms. We, the “other” body, will resist. We will march, and speak, we will write and educate. But no superhuman is in America and none of our bodies can resist bullets. No bodies wether black, white, brown, dark, pink can resist bullets. As long as I live, I will stand tall and brave. We will be stronger than hate.

 Unrevised notebook entry from 10/29/18

Unrevised notebook entry from 10/29/18

Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland, City of Pittsburgh

Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township

Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood Borough

Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

David Rosenthal, 54, (brother of Cecil), of Squirrel Hill

Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg

Sylvan Simon, 86, (husband of Bernice), of Wilkinsburg

Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington, City of Pittsburgh