I am filled to the brim with gratitude as I announce the publication of my second full-length book of poetry: meant to wake up feeling, put out by great weather for MEDIA. Due out in October of 2014, this is a collection of experiments. It is a series of disturbances on the page, deconstructing the body’s moans and costume changes. It wraps its syllables around gender, love, travel of skin and memory, masculinity, a mix tape of how to remain, measurements of stretchmarks, letters to the ones who haunt….. Keep an eye out for upcoming readings and celebrations…………..
It is defined as: articulation of language / understanding of the magic found within the poetics of body.
You must read books. You must walk outside the magnetic glow of computer screen and sewn-to-palm fancy phone in order to understand the coordinates of your magic. No one is just given the recipe on how to make all this work. Walk. Ride bicycle until your knees collapse against the rust of your peddling. Sing out until your voice cracks open. Do enough mathematical word problems to understand that that is a language as well and numbers can just be exploratory as letters.
I’m excited to facilitate a FREE writing workshop tonight for people in the sex trades in NYC!
Red Umbrella Project offers free, peer-facilitated Memoir Writing Workshops in New York City for individuals with experience in the sex trades. In our workshops, participants generate new writing in class and at home, build their writing skills and confidence, share their stories and get feedback from peers, and ultimately publish a piece in our biannual literary journal Prose & Lore. We also offer a Page to Stage workshop for people who complete the workshop and want to read their work at one of our storytelling events.
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org for the workshop address!
When was the last time you called yourself a musician of ink, wax and particles of verbs. There is no need to cite your sources when you quote the lineage of a breath. Don’t go rummaging in your lungs to find where it first arrived from. You can just footnote all of this as a harmonium housed in the folds of your skin. Don’t pretend you’ve been in love before. Don’t artificially enhance the stamps in your passport. It’s ok to be an amateur at living. We cannot all be expected to know how to exist right away.
My fourth lover has left the country. She has been traveling since I first handed her my weakest muscle over a decade ago and now I think she is getting closer to settling. The last time I traveled with passport and backpack, I was just getting over the Canadian. I was on a hunt for language that didn’t hurt when I spoke it. I wrote poems beside canals with the haunt of red lights in the nearby distance. I almost got arrested for possession for hash that time, but it wasn’t mine, nor did it taste my lips; we were just exchanging words for stanzas.
You are traveling over pages and memories. I want to know what it was like to see his tattoos and smell his distance. Do lovers change shape once they no longer belong to us. Or do they always belong to us?
My seventh lover (not counting the ones that didn’t count) was difficult to get over. I ingested medicine cabinets and poetry books, slapped starvation on my tongue and called my collarbone a rail for many months until I no longer needed to think about the disturbance of breaths and bruises.
We mourn and mourn until suddenly we can longer remember what it felt like to hurt. Are you there yet. I am there.
I recently met a human who reminded me that there is no one way to approach someone.
And I wanted to retort: there is no one way to love. Each time is different because we all arrive with varying marks and allergies and desires.
Rebel, we love differently because we are poets. Our kind of loving simmers and boils simultaneously. Our kind of kisses pass through megaphones.
It never gets easier, but it can make more sense. Some love spends months or years trapped in a lost dialect that neither lover speak. I am finding that when you meet someone who has studied the rules and historical lineage of phonics, you can stop. That is the right one.
Sometimes we are meant to meet someone that exists in our lives for one night. And in this particular night, we learn that when they dance, their hips reveal the newness of their bend.
We learn that eye contact can be far more intimate than kissing or exchange of phone number.
We may learn that it is far easier to describe the ways in which gender can be experimented with for someone who never knew you before.
We also may learn that there is so much to be studied in a gesture of accidental brush of flesh against wrist.
We may also gather that tattoos can become a way in which one learns your skin’s habits.
We may also collect insight in the ways in which vocabulary is shared, thrust as a device for understanding the awkwardness of strangers.
Sometimes it isn’t necessary to exchange too many syllables or surname.
Sometimes postulating about what all this means is just a means to take away from a moment. Sometimes moments are just that: temporary.
Sometimes poets can be described as analysts or social workers winding their way toward the innards of an understanding.
Once upon a time there that was that time you fell in love on a makeshift dance floor with mix tape prepared by fiction writers and you kept this to yourself. Then, you called yourself a dormant drug addict. Next, you compared the ritual of coffee drinking to cocaine. After that, you called your knees weak for hammocks and hip hop. Finally, you titled yourself a hippie because of your lackluster bank account and lean toward bartering. And when the evening called itself over, you walked away with empty pockets, a dry mouth and a need to walk off the burn of a human like a summer sunset.
Thank you to The Mackinac journal for publishing my poem unconfirmed liner notes.
This poem is loosely based on one of Vera Pavlova’s poems:
A tentative bio
A tentative bio:
read till dawn,
fell in love with weirdos,
cried buckets of tears
for reasons unknown,
birthed two daughters
by seven men.
I thought about introductions and ways in which we reveal ourselves to others. What we keep in and what we keep to ourselves. When I desire another, I am often quite silent, searching for the right words….often landing me in a pile of incomplete sounds. I loved the way in which Vera created magic in her bio. I especially love the line: fell in love with weirdos, which I can definitely attest to as well. But……aren’t they the best ones to love?
Here is my version.
unconfirmed liner notes
grew an affection for quinoa
rode highways of stripped concrete and pothole’d sing-a-longs
came out as human
crashed a funeral & kissed a woman with a fetish for teardrops and soil
confessed to manslaughter of seventeen lightning bugs
drove sharpened syllables into the bend of my wrist and ate from the wound that remained
experimented with curry, collarbones and cough syrup
fell out of windows and love
peeled keratin from hair and learned how to chew without teeth
read excerpts of dictionaries and fondled the cover of Ulysses
bartered for therapy
subscribed to trauma and the New York Times
inhaled several bad decisions
learned how to play percussion off starved ribcage
called my mother a liar
called my knees disturbed
grew an allergy to February
wore a dress
photographed loneliness but ran out of batteries
traveled to the red light district
carved my name into several park rangers
contracted several unspeakable viruses
took a nap
misplaced my gender
drove through a stop sign on a Sunday