delayed reverberations; tracing fragments of breath: Symposium on Territory Panel

By Angel Dominguez

An evening of co-researchers breathing; introduced by Bhanu Kapil: a territory being created through language: a space for conversation.

Many spaces were opened that remain echoing. What are the territories that are marked upon our bodies? How to write from unincorporated territories? How do we write from a territory of trauma and negotiate the neuroplasticity of the brain?

The invited co-researchers brought with them: jetlag, language, radiant spasms of thought, and curious notions of territories and writing.

The panel charged the room; burst to move into the following day of workshops and readings.

In this deluge, the symposium began.

There were talks followed by a Q&A.

The evening began with Juliette Lee presenting on what it means to be a Korean American—what does KOREA mean?

There was simply far too much to cove., I highly recommend listening to the archival audio/video recorded of the event in order to best grasp what happened.

This was a fragmented documentation—written from scrawled notes and robot recordings after, in the displaced territory of reflection:

A series of perforations


Spectral imaginations: impossible landscapes and structures for beings, or why Korea is another word for kite.

We begin: going there.

(Not a space. A psychological location)

Giving there a positive substance.

Juliet describes growing up in DC at the close of the cold and says,

“Korea was a stranger to me.”—SJL

“My heritage, it is inside and outside of me. Is this just my problem?”—SJL

The distant landscapes of where?

               “What voices speak Korea and why?” –SJL

How can we activate the word: composed?

“The nation frame participates and naturalizes Racial Logics.” –SJL

“Both races and nations are confabulations: consensual fictions we continue to participate in.”—SJL

SJL explores notions of geopolitical and conscious location to bring about dirigible territories of kites: the tug of various territories. Perhaps this is how we form a territory of skin: between tugging territories of being.

“What does it mean that the critical sources shaping the theoretical foundations of my essay, of Korea are white western men.” –SJL

“To fly a kite is to understand diasporic longing.”—SJL

How to fly kites through language; to become levitated?


Trauma and the Brain: Kass Fleischer, “resisting the assignment”

Kass touched on neuroplasticity and 400 yards of neural connectivity that moves in a single direction: Hippocampus to Cortex.

How do we deal with loss—as cyborgs with screens in pockets?

How do we grieve?

Kass spoke about axons perforating paths between hippocampus and cortex.

There were unpronounceable words.

“The frontal cortex is the locus of thinking and voluntary movement”—KF

“The hippocampus: this is where we live whether we like it or not”—KF

“The hippocampus can talk to the frontal cortex, the cortex can’t talk back.”—KF

We rationalize trauma through language.


Craig Santos Perez, fresh off a red eye from Honolulu to give a talk on

Writing from unincorporated territories

“Hoffaday” (spelled phonetically) a greeting from Chamorro people.

“My body is in one place—my heart is in another place.”—CSP living as excerpt.

Guam is an unincorporated US territory from which Craig originated.

Incorporated territory: integrated political entities created to govern.

“Colonies as sites of extraction”—CSP

CSP discusses the territorialization of the Colorado territories where the Symposium is taking place.

What does it mean to be from places of trauma?

“Where histories are forgotten?”—CSP

What are the relations between history and poetry—how to write histories that are overwritten?—CSP

Arapahoe: indigenous presence and absence.

The United States is a monster in literature.


“Poetry can be a way to empower ourselves and others.”—CSP


Juliana Spahr:

“How to tell without violating?”—JS

“How do we engage both the voluntary and the involuntary aspects of migration?”—JS

“Can we write territory in a way that doesn’t replicate the colonizing paradigm of accountability or address?”—JS

JS maneuvers through her own texts elucidating the territories explored and culled in the composition of her texts:

The field of American Literature

Fuck You, Aloha, I Love You

The space of Hawaii—a space: here, a populated place. Hawaii is never mentioned.

The culling of research within writing is meticulous.

NY: an island in the Atlantic.

Beginning with questions and ending in oil and reflection—swirls of though seeping into co researchers and walls. Insipid dialogue, Hawaiian fluency (the Johnson translation is better),

“Territory matters.”—JS


There was applause

There were questions and conversation.

There was an emptying of the room into night.


Angel Dominguez writes things. Originally from Los Angeles, he received his BA in Poetry from UC Santa Cruz. He is presently pursuing an MFA in Writing and Poetics at Naropa University. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the Omni Writers collective and press. He is the co-founding editor-in-chief of TRACT / TRACE, an investigative journal. Most recently he was published in Bombay Gin. Now residing in Boulder Colorado, he is exploring the sentence and what it is for.