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March 2017

Chain of Fools

· The Stay Project,Trump,Feminism

The chains around your neck could slip right off.

Try it. Then send the pieces to

Artist Index

7 - Ryann Peats

6 - Ryann Peats

5 - Austin Anderson

4 - ic

3 - Dennis Sweeney

2 - lw

1 - bvonhoene

7 -

It’s 2017

at the Center for Literary Publishing I read

a poem about a hate crime

two men in love

            in bed

            shot to a heaven through the head in bed queers get dead                      

I read Ocean, how he talks about the impossibility of being a good gay citizen

                      how men can love each other tenderly

                      how men who love each other at all

                                    get set on fire in their beds

I read bell hooks no woman has written enough

I read the bodies of trans women their fur and bones that can squeeze through all these narrow holes

“in small presses, they only found evidence of one trans person’s work (this was in 2007).”

a statistic TC Tolbert cites in his introduction to Troubling the Line: A Trans and Genderqueer Poetry Anthology

between October 2015 and September 2016 there were 295 reported murders of trans and genderqueer people worldwide according to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project 

in the US alone:

Keisha Jenkins Zella Ziona Jasmine Sierra Monica Loera Kayden Clark Veronica Cano Maya Young Demarkis Stansberry Kedarie Johnson Quartney Dawsonn-Yochum Shante Thompson Keyonna Blakeney Reecey Walker Mercedes Successful Amos Beede Goddess Diamond Deeniquia Dodds Dee Whigham Skye Mockabee Erykah Tijerina Rae’Lynn Thomas TT Saffore Crystal Edmonds

Since January 1st 2017: Mesha Caldwell, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, JoJo Striker, Keke Collier, Chyna Gibson –all black trans women  

read : insides filled with flowers with bombs filled with deep sea and spiders their becoming their limbs that crawled their bodies

to bus stops and vestibules gurneys stirrups elevators to planned parenthood to survival sex trafficking transit stations tool sheds the DMV daycare the doctor bellies bars bottles bang bankrupt bandage backhand baseball bat border bed basements bathtubs only just in their beginning

beaten by 5-6 men / shot in back of the head / found shot in head and groin / police called to protect them from self-harm, claims they were armed, shot dead/ she was only 16 / set on fire / stabbed 119 times in the face

I am a mirror / How much longer

this list how many more unreported

            This is a silence I am concerned with

at shelter on a crisis call I ask what her name is

really listen

all dead names wash mouths

out with stone

one round to weight

you to the ground

it’s 2017

4,200 wolves have been killed in 6 states in the last ten months 

            feel : that absence in your chest

            the bees sung until they died /dead

            howl rings like a new year’s cheers

the president walks steps ahead echoes of his wives

gags our pussies, our pinks, insert : word for what makes

a woman

it’s January 22nd 2017

a gay man was brutally beaten

blocks from where I live

the picture of his face bruised

bubbled unbearable

I am white I am feminine bodied

I can still fit we can still fit

quietly read : hide

            roommates friends women

it’s February 22nd 2017

the president revokes protections for trans students

to use the bathroom matching their gender identity

today Laura and I make living wills

after health care, climate change and LGBT pages disappear from the white house website

after reading that the vice president believes you can shock the gay away

after reading that trans and genderqueer people are murdered at a rate of one every other day 

I am queer

I am quiet here

It’s 2017

“there are 347 pages of poems by 55 trans and genderqueer authors from all over the country” sitting on my lap

“I am not alone today”

(*quoted from TC Tolbert’s introduction to Troubling the Line titled “Open and Always Opening”)

6 - 

maybe our pussies are the problem

all these women marching with their pink cat ears

can’t hear

            an email from the DV shelter reads

            “attn: transgendered woman in shelter

            salt and pepper shoulder length hair”

instructions to list her “real name” first

hear all these dead names

ripen all these

dead trans women

always the gaze at her transition

whether she is in it or not

            passing –an arrival

            a marker of trueness

devout woman

we are scared

we pass around your photo like a mug shot

            in case we see too hard your jaw

            in case we are only capable of saying the word “transvestite”

            in case we mistake you for a perp

                                                for a man –this woman


this noun

            because must have a pussy

to be grabbed

by it

5 -

those coral pink cliffs

of rolling sandstone, gutted

& pocked by desert winds

& desert rains, a heft

like the upperside

of a cloud, the ocean

gone, the sky somehow still

between a plane or a boat

or a car on a desert road

& the stars. or the nothing

between a few moons.

or the sun. the suns. waiting

on a radiator at the trailhead

for chinle toadstools—

what would it be

to waste here, to walk

a desert without a home

& maybe without shoes

& maybe without hope

& maybe without words

or a word to offer

the cactus or desert fox,

the raven & the vulture

who know the land.

what would it be to be

in a place, blink,

& be there again. near

the toadstools. waiting

on a radiator. to blink & be

beyond a fence by a desert

lake or a stream whose sulphur

makes the water milk

& wraps white along the lying reeds.

to know no borders

or statelines: only the bend

in the canyon & the folds

of the rock there

& the waterfall spread

like a veil. to be limitless.

or simple: wind, rock, water,

sage, pine, aspen. to take

a fist of dirt, hold a hand

& pass the earth, breathe

two breaths & look together west

for the lake or east for the canyon

or south for the sun, north for the shadow.

to watch them here

where the grass is matted.

& there where the grass is tumbleweed

& yellow. & there where the grass is sand,

& where it is green

& where it is stone

& where it is ice

& where it is coal

& where it is

drying leaves.

4 -

There’s the video with the dogs who bare-teeth snarl and bark on two sides of an electric gate which begins to slide open as the dogs bare-teeth snarl and bark and retract as the gate retracts listing sideways and thickening in a canine pile up until the gate is fully open until the gate is gone.

The dogs disperse in silence. No border, no blood lust.

It’s funny.

I like how the dogs just cease to give a shit once the gate’s gone.

Game over.

3 -

I was sitting at a reading and thinking about how words hit us when they're aloud. It isn't like music. It's less emotional, more intellectual, and the wheels have to be turning, but there's so much else to turn over, and I was bad at paying attention to the readers this time around. Then I was on my way home and the night was nothing around the car and I was worrying to my friend (sitting beside me in the passenger's seat) that maybe what we see as an injection of emotion into a product, into a humming thing-in-the-world we call a story or poem, isn't much more than a way of compartmentalizing feelings. As if writing is a setting aside rather than an action for good or for change. In response to this my friend said she knows writing is not the best thing or the only thing but it is the thing for her. It is what keeps her moving through life. And I understood that I expect a lot--too much--and writing is mercy enough.

If it all takes place in my head I am lucky. It means my body is safe. I got up the next morning and did the thing again. Wrote.

I have been thinking about human extinction, which feels inevitable to me, and it seems all right that the stars will have each other, and that the ice caps will have the ocean and slowly become it. I don't mind getting out of their way. But also, maybe (maybe), in our blip of geological time, we get to have some small ideas of purpose. They are like diamonds, meaningless but nice. They are some lost random thing to find and wear, even if our dreams by now are blank.

2 -

1 -

pisces: it’s all fucked right?

scorpio: yeah it’s all fucked

pisces: why don’t you come over?

scorpio: mmm I’ll wear you like a suit

pisces: let’s play that game where you’re the ventriloquist and I’m the dummy

scorpio: let's suck shrimp down whole

pisces: swap jeans

scorpio: put things in each other’s butts

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