A howl erupts from the body, out into the world. From the flesh of the animal howling, its musicality rides the air, unseen but undeniably there.
A cough or a sneeze releases tiny particles of a disease named Covid-19 from the body, a presence that can ride upon the air and infect those who cannot see it, or deny its presence. It is not a friend to those animals it makes its host – perhaps it has become a friend to authoritarian governments however? Or has it been a monkeywrench in the machine, undermining political-narratives and creating issues for the state? Perhaps neither? Perhaps both? We do not pretend to know, with any quality of definiteness.
We know that we encounter the body as beautiful. We feel a desire for the bodily presence of living beings. If eroticism is assenting to life up to the point of death, as Bataille defines eroticism, there is an erotic quality to our life-desire. What does desire, eroticism, or love mean amidst a pandemic? Is this space that we find ourselves in the best or the worst space for love poetry? Again, we do not pretend to know.
For the fourth issue of The Night Forest Journal, we are asking for submissions on the body, biopolitics and Covid-19. As with previous issues, we will accept poems, essays, short stories and visual art for this project. Suggested areas of focus are –
Health and wellbeing
Love, sex and desire in the pandemic
Free-love during lockdowns
Conspiracy and the art of seduction
Vaccine passports and (micro-)nationalism
We will publish up to 3 submissions from each contributor, but will consider any submissions sent to us. There is no limit in length of poems or essays. Submissions can be sent to us via firstname.lastname@example.org or via our social-media presences. The deadline for submissions is the winter solstice 2021.