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Divya Victor

Divya Victor is the author of the Things To Do With Your Mouth (Les Figues, 2014), Partial Derivative of the Unnameable (Troll Thread, 2005), Goodbye John! On John Baldessari (2012), and PUNCH (2011) from Gauss...

Things To Do With Your Mouth

Divya Victor

Introduction by Vincent Dachy
Afterword by CA Conrad
Cover art by Alice Könitz
Book 5 of 5, TrenchArt Logistics Series
Poetry | $15.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-52-3
Size: 9.25″ x 4.25″
Pages: 134
Binding: Softcover, Perfect
Published: April 29, 2014


Attempts to control the mouths of “speaking women”—17th century witches, 19th century hysterics—have taken many forms, both physical and metaphorical. In Things To Do With Your Mouth, Divya Victor repeats, recants, and relentlessly echoes a textual meeting place for the psychic and corporeal implications of this “fear of women with excessive powers of speech and discourse,” creating a cacophonous movement towards the feminist purpose of poetics. Culling language from texts as diverse as nursery rhymes and contemporary pediatric health websites, the biblical Song of Solomon and Freud’s “Analysis of a Case of Hysteria,” Victor confronts this long history of the “silenced mouth.” Section by section, appropriated word by appropriated word, Victor relishes in the buccal opening, its capacity for words and discourse, addressing Nietzsche’s claim that the world “lives on itself: its excrements are its nourishment.” These words will “eat you alive, digest you, leave you scattered.” Or, as CA Conrad states in his afterword, these reutterances will ultimately “liberate” us “one cough at a time. The mouth in, the mouth out, mouths training mouths around the always-imperfect O.”

Praise for Things to Do With Your Mouth:

Things To Do with Your Mouth is not where monsters live but all possible friends in motion, at rest, in the middle of, and even between the middle parts. There is something always ready in here, reactivating the previous line with new understanding, and this is where the useful poem has nothing to do with virtue, but a kind of surviving.

—CA Conrad

I like thinking of how to do things with mouths a hole lot more than how to do things with dicks. And don’t say that’s because I’m a lesbian. Here, Divya Victor straps on the author gesture and does the heavy masticating, stuffing our cocky reader faces with Master’s puppeteered vomit, then masterfully hooking our strung-out flesh down an audit trail of all our shitty cultural symptoms. Whatever you do, don’t forget to close your mouth when Fletcherizing this lusciously abject text; as in giving birth, screwing the system, or spewing body parts through a twisty straw, things can reverse themselves when you open up. Now that’s a tasty concept.

—Rachel Zolf

Things To Do With Your Mouth is an object-lesson in “hey you!” interpellation via musculature. Victor deftly interrogates that old chestnut: Does it always come down to fear of the vagina cutting off the penis, and therefore does every woman have both what you desire and what you fear? And as Victor skillfully demonstrates through variegated lexical constellations, the above mentioned always finds expression in the fear of losing your voice. Well go ahead and get loud—read Things To Do With Your Mouth—it will leave you speechless.

—Kim Rosenfield

[Things To Do With Your Mouth] is conspired, carefully weighted, so delicately that you won’t feel a thing, seamlessly, and you will be had in the web of ‘as if nothing happened.’ This text has the poetical quality of slowing you down, and in doing so enlarges space in your head; then, it can accelerate, intensify its density and make you swing and twist in its breathing.

—Vincent Dachy