consumption of the personal

photograph by performance artist Tracey Emin

Here is what I’ve done.
There is a ring. There is a sliced-out scream from forearm. There is a love letter. There are many love letters. There is a collection of bodies stained inside my underwear. There is a preference to live out loud on computer screen rather than in imagined silence of mind. There are sexual perversions hidden beneath bed. There is a collection of condoms in bathroom, bedroom, backpack, and back pockets of pants. There is a memorized poem about sofrito, chapstick and razorblades. There is a woman. There are many women. There is a man. There are disposed hairs growing inside knots. There is drug addiction. There is food addiction. There is sex addiction. There is an addiction to addiction. There is some gender stuff. There is an experimental approach to genitals and orgasms. There is a stolen memory, stuffed inside a sock drawer. There is an envelope of money. There is an unclassified stain. There are many stains. There is a revision of memories. There is a pile of notebooks. There are maps of directional patterns on tiny pieces of paper in pockets. There is a tambourine. There is a mix tape. There are many mix tapes. There is a passport. There is a phone number for a man that is no longer alive. There is a Fidgeon. There is an orchestra of padded bras, stockings, and false eyelashes identity. There is a purple vibrator. There is a history of mental illness. There is a pattern of lactose intolerance connected to lovers. There are lovers. There are many lovers. There is a soul mate. There is an un-mated soul. There is a remixed version of childhood. There is a pause. There is a hole. There are many holes. There is this life uprooted from poems and whispered assumptions and how about we workshop the time I lost my mind. Tell me I use too many semi-colons; tell me my imagery is too abstract and distracting; tell me I need to have a beginning middle and end…when I don’t even know how to exist chronologically?

how safe is your wardrobe

I am covered in condoms. My hair is gone and I am sweaty ocean without the water or waves. Just salt. I am salt.

They want to know all about my obsession with condoms. I have more than one human should own. And I am told I misuse them.

I press hot glue to the backs of each one, push onto fabric and wear it unopened.

I feel safer this way, I answer.

A long time ago, in a faraway land called New Jersey/Connecticut/Colorado/New York……lived a redhead with a body unhinged from doors, windows or welcome mats.
And in this land, condoms could not be used due to horrific allergy/ lack of access/ it just doesn’t feel as good and don’t you want it to feel good?

Years passed, and suddenly this redhead got sick. She began to understand the importance of condoms and hand washing. She decided allergies and inconvenience were no longer an excuse to risk her body’s health.

A collection began.

It was small at first. From bathrooms or baskets at parties or gay pride. Then came the hoarding and the need to not just place into pockets, but cover them.

We don’t always ask.
We don’t always inquire about histories or health scares.
We don’t insist upon formalities such as safe sexual practice.

It ruins the mood……….
so does genital warts.

oh magnolia tree or a complexion of condoms glued to women’s wear

(Several) women ask me why I carry so many condoms in my pockets.

All I can say is:
It’s to make up for all the times I gave up on my body and ignored the need for protection.

The bad ones said:
I’m allergic
It’s just not the same with a rubber on
You’ll enjoy it so much more when skin is or tongue is or hard-on is against/inside skin

I want to feel the wrath of security
I want you to want to protect me

I want me to want to protect me

[My body grew rust
a machine without identity or negatives]

Ask me about control, how I perceive men now,
why I lock my doors and cunt at night
and padlock my thighs together



I woke up and spoke the most dangerous parts of me.

(I prefer sex when no one else is involved)

and you still want to touch this?

you ask

I ask

I sucked on soap and tinctures long enough to
un stain this body

just don’t look too long

for you,
I swallow latex
fifteen hundred pounds of condoms and dental dams
consume controlled pills of birth and un-tighten my vagina to fit seven diaphragms,
small rubber domes tailored for my tightness

I got a security helmet for my cervix
good for forty-eight hours
gutted a lamb to steal its intestines
so my body can broadcast its warmth and demonstrate sensations safely

my lips have been smeared with bleach to ensure you of their sterility

{ I exist/ how I want/ to exist/ now}

I counted two hundred and seventeen stars in the sky last night.
I may have lost count or
counted some twice,
but I wished on all of them anyway.

I wished for my flesh to peel like snake skin,
allowing cells a chance to start over.

I wished for an industrial-sized-titanium lock
to permanently block all entrances on my body
so no one could ever get in again.

I wished for love or
a translation of it.
Or the ability to allow it

I want to believe in magic, but
I always see the bulge beneath sleeves
against zipper strain



To the woman who does not own high heels.
Does not pace upon black pavement, cold street cornered posts with tall lights illuminating glow of buy-the-hour smile.
Knees high, laced toes.
Latex teeth already lubricated to save time and the awkwardness of asking.

To the woman who takes up space in carved desk chairs,
listening to lectures by dual-degreed professionals as the scent of student loans linger in the air.

To the woman who multi-tasks, splitting up studying time with secret identity of three hundred and fifty dollar eroticism,
with the add on tasks of swallowing childhood traumas.

To the girl who advertises as sexxxyseductress with triple x’s to represent her eagerness.
Painted as a GFE provider, specializing in DATY.
Stimulating senses no longer saved for special occasion.

To the woman shaking an extra sweet-n-low in her morning coffee,
creating that extra jolt of caffeine to get her through the day.

I am in this world and I am a feminist. Trying to be a humanist. Practicing to be human.
Believing in the secured rights and opportunities of all women equal to men.

All women. Loose women. Right-wing women. Left-wing women. Brown women. White women. Whores and high-class women. Homeless women. Welfare-women. Queer women. Transgender women. Pro-choice women.

I am in this world of pornographic mothers with dripping breasts. Trying to afford diapers and compensate for fathers who forgot what sperm can do. These women are not just dope fiends. Not just single parents, placing children in kindercare as they spread legs rented out by the hour to pay for heat and electric bill, not covered by welfare. Not just women of color, poor misused and forgotten statistics. Not just victims of foster care, runaways, victims of abuse, victims of alcoholic fathers who forget about the mothers and choose warm, virgin skin of daughters as secret alternative.

I am in this world full of violence. Prosecution of prostitution, without the education of alternative options.

I am in this world as a citizen. As a voter. As a body/microphone with breaths/poems pushed out.

I can be naked now
A continuance
Transcendence of
what this body is

A Poetic Response to NY State 3-Condom Law


before you take a step closer, think:
how informed you want to be

Current New York State Law is tangling with the number of condoms we carry.

Did you know this?

New York’s Three-Condom Law is their attempt to prosecute those carrying three or more condoms on the grounds that they are sex workers, in an effort to punish/jail prostitutes.

a silent dialect for those
unable to speak using the signs of
their body.

the scaffold of what is

you see these organs
this tongue hunched over
borrowed by the hour or night
you see this arm which wrangles neck and belt and tangle of of

you see these feet which curl
this hair you pull
you see this brain you forgot
you gut

you see this womb you rot
forget don’t ask

you make this scar
make them plural
you see this harm
this need

you see me right?

Aimee Herman

Criminalization of condom possession directly conflicts with New York’s longstanding policy of ENCOURAGING condom use.

state of new york taps these women
these men
these humans
on the shoulder
checks for evidence of prostitution
calls condoms:
evidence of prostitution
three or more found in pockets
noticed bulge of rubber sheath lambskin latex

with hands in metal cuffs
removal of breaths or rights
punishment for responsibility

Does she look like a sex worker?
What does a sex worker look like?

And how could you not ENCOURAGE her to put one on him
before he puts it IN her?

Since the early 1970’s women have vocalized their need for regulations against persecution for those who engage in sexual activities in exchange for monetary gain.

No Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution Bill is moving forward to eradicate this law, which punishes people for being sex positive in a safe manner.

Sex worker.
Or sexually playful.

There is a shape
plunged into mouth

It resembles—

A splinter.
A diagnosis.
An envelope of twenty dollar bills rolled up and
used to test gag reflex.

Her tongue is a plague and she does not use protection
you took it away from her, New York.

so she grows weary

modified cells
box of accidental gatherings

tiny humans growing on skin
an opposition
a blur

New York,
unemployment rate is rising
you steal these humans away for protecting their bodies

sometimes you test them out before
locking them up
and you wonder why these diseases enter our alphabet

I am responding to the growing epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases draining bodies into corpses

and if we start taking all the condoms away or those equaling more than two, then what
are we contributing to?

So, I’ve got these condoms.
Far more than three.

What does that make me now?