Ic: A Sociolinguistic Conspiracy Theory
Serena Chopra
Horse LessPress, 2017
“Serena Chopra’s Ic mourns our difficult inheritances and longs after a soaring union with our greatest desires. In her text, “Ic” is a discarded Icarus, adrift among the waves and re-identified as flotsam or jetsam for divers to collect. She recounts Icarus’ tale as a denunciation of a world that gives us wings while demanding that we limit our skies. Chopra acknowledges that this ”Ic” is recognizable to so many of us, whose talents, dreams, and gifts have been pulled down by limiting social histories. In this world, gravity is a “vertical conspiracy.” Yet “Ic” is also a body of possibility: “Ic” is a suffix adrift, free from the words it once modified. Ic bobs and melts into a sonic celebration, demonstrating how illegibility can transform into fluid alterities. Ic cries out to us all–with a full throat that syncopatedly gasps and gives lyric flight.” -Sueyeun Juliette Lee
“If a self is partly created through a flow of information, what is the sound of its interruption? What violence has a constrained self endured before escape? What lyrics accompany that endurance? If “tyranny / controls the air,” how does one recover from a shattering? All of the above are questions Serena Chopra’s Ic addresses, suggesting a surviving self creates its own language from the fracturing. Chopra writes: “I am / the human shape /of loving you,” offering us a rhythmic, elemental, gorgeous and modern take on the Icarus myth, a promise of resurrection amid the ancient and perilous process of becoming.” -Khadijah Queen
“Writing in the tradition (but not imitation) of Anne Carson, Serena Chopra re-contextualizes Icarus (“Ic”) and his supposed hubris with searing, hilarious, and tender brilliance. Chopra’s language, too, is not arrogant but fearless in its faith in tensegrity. How thrilling it is to find a syllable hung in midair – becoming and already become. “They/list/en/a/way/the/end.” A name, a word, an I, a body, a narrative – all history and (still) possibility. I love what she is doing here and what she has done. “I can/not imagine/a transparent/white erasing/is drawing too.” -TC Tolbert