Through torsion of discourse and form, poems can operate as sites for bearing witness to different crises of language [in these three pieces, moments of failed interpellation and their forceful impact on bodies] to contest and subvert oppressive structures.
I’m eager to continue learning what this form of art demands: how to best break and transform a police/d line, sieve walls of silence/noise to facilitate the ability of self/others to survive through the interstices of the settler-colonial carceral state and move towards more possibilities for opening. This fall I participated in a workshop taught by Evie Shockley that was incredibly healing and clarifying for me.
Especially as boricua, I am committed to working towards the true realization of free association and freedom of speech – to develop a poetics that is a form of organizing together with, through, and beyond the communities I become made part of on and off the page.
I stand in solidarity with the J20 defendants, wholeheartedly resounding Fred Hampton Jr. and the Prisoners of Conscience Committee’s assertion that all prisoners are political prisoners.
self-portrait in two
self portrait as an island self portrait as erasure self portrait as clichéi. no man is an island man is no i am no man s land no an island i and ii. some context might be helpful for understanding suicide was always a common motif in narratives of puerto rico especially after the very polarizing essay by rené marqués in 1967 traced the phenomenon to what he argued was the docility of the puerto rican male caused a storm of outrage on the island [the midwestern woman grins casually spilling fluorescent light everywhere] in flagrante when storefront glass smashed is not violence tear gas mace flash bang grenades is violence violence is broken windows policing breaking starbucks mcdonalds bank of america windows is not violence when the policeman’s baton struck & i curled like steam brushing strands of wet hair from the back of my head is * the soles of our feet scorched earth [what limousine] smudged bundles of sage to make calm the burning feeling in our lungs we were what escaped kettling * evening impasse street theatre troupes uniformed bright man opposite us in antifaz his plastic visage all in bronze skin of streetlight glistening i desiring chance to facialize see whites of his eyes remove concealment enough to kiss then spit on him like end of riot/porn & leave his body covered love marks everywhere on the body desiring him sore as hell next day yes him unable to walk straight * a silent cop is a crooked cop a silent cop is a crooked cop a silent cop is a crooked cop a silent cop is a crooked cop a silent cop is a crooked cop [they (all) remain silent] broken english sonnet: last call at latin night if you're alive raise your hand calls a man a man came ringing violent melody floor humming llamadas sin respuesta first attempts to identify victims triage soundscape names mangled as bodies pronounced /wrong/ at the scene angelicized accent being to inflect speech through song first response disquiet that doesn't sound like my loved one the desperate chorus echoing // the visceral calls for blood language to bear what corporeal cant first bullets mistaken as our music sung through soma, semaphore to refrain: american killer, dead brown bodies
Nick Cruz is a queer latinx poet of Puerto Rican and Colombian descent living in New Jersey. They keep tropical plants in south-facing windows.