Cannibal Acker

Matias Viegener has an incredible journal entry/meditation piece concerning the death, cremation and legacy of Kathy Acker up at suspect thoughts.


When I have a question, like about the scattering of her ashes, I try to meditate on K[athy] to find the answer. It’s like being sucked into a television. But whatever I need to know, the only consistent response K gives me is “I don’t care! I don’t want to be dead.” KA was cremated in the Funeraria de Carmen, Tijuana. (And why, a friend asked me. She was always afraid of being burned and afraid of fire. And it’s not Jewish.) In San Francisco we transferred her ashes from the anodized tin to a nineteenth-century French brass urn, something between Art Nouveau and Beaux Arts in style. Several of her friends gathered together to acknowledge her death, and then we spooned them from one receptacle to the other with a silver serving spoon. Everyone was crying. What do ashes really mean? As careful as people were, a bit of ash was spilled. I saw one man, another writer, wet his finger, wipe the ash and put it in his mouth. It was horrifying. Perhaps what hit me most was that K would have no choice about whom her ashes inhabited. I decided that I would swallow some ash too, so that whatever the meaningless relation between ashes and human, some choice was made available again. I decided for her. My first decision as literary executor.

Tangentially: Viegener’s more recent online publications and projects can be found here, here and also over here.


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