Is the Rectum a Shopping Mall?


Is the rectum a shopping mall:
where the old grave was overhauled and gentrified
from the bottomless pit of time & the boundless boundaries of pleasures
into the automated bright lights at the parking lots eating alive your Amex
nagging deep inside Rubin is the Catacombs;
lost to be refound in times when return and refund made easy on Amazon.



Is the rectum a shopping mall:
where a fist can stumble upon basic necessities for your living:
Campbell’s soup & Vaseline & Crisco & Nongshim’s Jinjja-Jinjja noodles & Miss Fame Lip Voyeur Creme Lipstick & TRUVADA & CVS ExtraCare card
earn rewards and get discounts every time you share your nudes on the dating apps
nagging deep inside Edelman is the future;
no only kid stuff, it is also Grindr stuff–you cannot wait for the upcoming meetups.



Is the rectum a shopping mall:
where the urinals, despite their labor-intensive cleanliness, keep retaining their dirty epistemology
a glance = a temptation, a gaze = an admiration, a wink = an invitation, language words
nagging deep inside Sedgwick is the closet;
the too many times when the desire has often not been uttered beyond the downs
as the curtain call:
“down your knees” or “pull down your pants.”



Is the rectum a shopping mall:
“This is a human-non-human assemblage gone wrong,”
what you say to the emergency room’s nurse
when the night suddenly becomes too dark
the Rabbit, too long being forced into its inhuman status,
rises in rebellion.



*This poem draws on the work of Leo Bersani, Gayle Rubin, Lee Edelman, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and on the Rabbit episode of Sex and the City.

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Hendri Yulius Wijaya

Hendri Yulius Wijaya is an Indonesian writer and the author of Intimate Assemblages: The Politics of Queer Identities and Sexualities in Indonesia (Palgrave Macmillan 2020). He completed a research master’s degree in Gender and Cultural Studies at The University of Sydney and a master’s degree in Public Policy at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He writes about gender, sexuality, and popular culture for a mainstream audience in Indonesia.