Jorge Sánchez

Technology has a funny way of being really slow. The same oppressions, exacerbated now by this delay, are embedded in code and coding and form part of a series of 100101’s. Since coding nowadays is usually whitewashing and big data is really just white data, I insert myself in images, texts, text messages, architectural spaces, our built environment, to interact and challenge these existing codes.

Note regarding audio: In conjunction with International Studio & Curatiorial Program ISCP’s billboard offsite project ‘Amigxs,’ artist Camilo Godoy invited Ella Boureau, Susie Day, Michael Funk, Jorge Sánchez, Pamela Sneed, and Aldrin Valdez for a reading on November 28, 2017. This is the audio for Jorge’s “A wired society will have to eat cables or Una sociedad llena de cables va tener que comérselos”.


Una sociedad llena de cables va tener que comérselos
A wired society will have to eat cables

On a black background, with softwhite light source at top left, from bottom left, a white proprietary Lightning cable is held pinched between a thumb and index finger; the cable housing is split where it meets the eight pin connector. The hand repeats a gentle upwards motion in this short animation.
Figura 1 
A significant quantity of hardware, terminals, power sources, and connector cables of all sorts are pictured. Three black matte monitors are shown from behind, sitting on a wooden desk stained to a finish like cherry. The right (sinister) two of the monitors are legibly marked HANNspree, one of these disappearing at its top edge into the top right edge of the image. At least ten boxes, of indistinguishable type to this editor, are arrayed on the right (sinister) edge of the desk, upon one of which the muscular miniature figurine of a baseball player is place, in white uniform and blue cap, right arm raised and right leg lifted, midthrow. On the floor, which is of a darker stain than the desk, like black cherry, many cables and other hardware are tangled and arrayed, as well as a pair of lightgray sneakers with white accents. A white hardware shell is visible in the bottom left corner of the image, on which a black sticker with red, blue red, drab, green, and yellow lettering indicates GAMERTV.
Figura 2

How’s that for a connection? How’s that for being connected? How’s that for time and space and distance? What the fuck are we supposed to do with all these cables? Are fishes going to eat plastic or fiber optics? Will we eat them too, when we go hungry, when all of our food has been polluted and contaminated? Will bees pollinate fiber optic cables or wires?  

On a finished granite or quartz surface, a white Lightning cable is shown at close view, with visible scuffing to the 8-pin connector, which faces the left edge of the image. The housing of the cable is completely torn from the place where it would meet the housing of the 8-pin connector. In the top right corner, a large yellow Slightly Frowning Face emoji is overlayed.
Figura 3
In the left-two thirds of this image, black, grey, yellow--and to the far right, some orange and blue--cables hang downward onto a grey or beige low-pile carpet. From within an aperture among these cables, completely overhung, protrude two human legs, visible from midthigh outward, clothed in chinos slightly paler than the grey or beige carpet; the legs where greyblack or drab socks, and black derby shoes. The toe of the leg on the left (dexter) is occluded by the bottom edge of the image.
Figura 4

It’s like being deliberately handed a poisonous gift. Cables look pretty for exactly three seconds before you touch them, before you put all of your filthy fingers on them or so they will have you believe.  Apple (are we going to have any of those in the future?) is stashing trillions of dollars of profits overseas and is selling you white cables. And you buy them! Is it a coincidence that all of the Apple cables are white? Apple cables turn darker and darker and break down. Things that now become nonwhite are made to look uglier and disposable with usage. Is it a coincidence? Is it coincidence that when you rip open the chords, the cables, by accident, by over usage, by boredom, you get burnt! You literally get ZAPPED! Wake up! But no, you continue plugging that phone in, you have to, you carefully put tape around it, you carefully find ways to tease the cable, you speak to it, you call it names, you baby talk it, you say, baby come on, you gotta work for me today, you gotta get that 5% charge and that connectivity.  You might receive a text, you might need to listen to an audio, you might need to send that selfie, you might need to take that selfie, delete that post that didn’t get enough likes, unread a message, unsend an email, delete an email, or you might need to see the weather, which in Spanish also means to see the time. Ver el tiempo. There may be no new messages, but let’s refresh. 

From bottom left, two thirds up the frame, a white hardware shell divided itself horizontally in thirds, behind which in top left third of the frame, large bundles of cable terminate in white tile ceiling and along gunmetal gray girders. The white shell is draped with yellow, red, and blue cables. Next dominating the remaining two thirds of the frame, a large black metal stack, with hardware shells and cable terminals, junctions, overwound with cables red, yellow, blue, and purple. In a drawerlike protrusion of this stack, a chrome color laptop with a black keyboard sits open and powered on, displaying a gray screen with some white and green regions, perhaps blue text. An additional black keywboard is visible in the bottom right corner of the stack.
Figura 5 
In chief, this image shows a significant tangle of yellow and blue cables, behind which are variously visible hardware stacks in black and chrome. One or two red or orange cables are visible wrapped among the yellow and blue. The tangle is denser at the center of the image, with more yellow cable on the left, and more chrome hardware, and more blue cable and black hardware on the right.
Figura 6

How does refreshing something become so fucking obsolete? You press the screen on your phone and with your index finger or your thumb you refresh. You want to see what that person you have not talked to in exactly seventy weeks has for comments, you crave to see her posts, like making your daily puritan rounds around your given Facebook guidelines.  You push down and you refresh again, this time with a bit more curiosity, your blood pressure is rising a bit, you flush, you slide that index finger or your thumb down again and refresh, there’s a pause, maybe there’s no signal, but you try again. Information begins to load, you can see more tweets, more likes, more photos, more texts, more videos, more information by pushing the screen again and scrolling your index finger or your thumb down the phone, refresh and you get new tweets, refresh and you found yourself on a photo album from 2013 of that same girl you now want to defriend, refresh and you missed a post you wanted to see earlier, refresh and you try to find it, refresh and you type the name of the person you’re looking for, but first you have to refresh your recollection, first you have to ask your mind what was the name of the post you were looking for? What was it about? You google something like executive, digital poetics, NYC, and a last name. Algorithmic power gives you the most popular and paid for results brought to you by cognitive capitalism. Refresh and you see that your friend has more likes than you. Refresh one last time thinking that you might be able to get a few more likes on that political comment or post that made you think you are politically active.  A couple more refreshes simply mean you have died a little.  The more you refresh the more you give something up.  Something has refreshed except ourselves.  We did not refresh. We left a little of us behind. 

On a dirty and damaged beige carpet, At left, a four plug gray powerstrip with a black rectangular adapter with gold lettering plugged in the top outlet, then an empty outlet, then a white rectangular adapter, last a black rounded slightly trapezoidal adapter. Next from left, a white six outlet powerstrip, with red lettering, with a rectangular black adapter plugged in top outlet, then a semiovular black adapter, then a square or slightly trapezoidal black adapter, then a square black adapter with two beveled edges,  then a circular black adapter labeled sky, then a semi trapezoidal white adapter. Above this powerstrip, a white modem or other hardware shell, to which are connected two white connector and one yellow connector, all with white cable housings. Third from left, and at the bottom of the image, a white three outlet power strip, with a round black adapter labeled sky in the top outlet, then a black rectangular outlet with beveled wings on its upper half, and finally, a black slightly trapezoidal black adapter with a red light or label. On the right edge of the image, a black hardware shell is suggested; over the whole of the image run black, white, red, yellow, and blue cables, this last with winding silver embellishment.
Figura 7

When it comes to networks and social media, time and space like to have conversations between themselves and without ourselves.  The physical representations of our online social networks are killing us. Time and space have morphed into the most boring individuals on the planet, let me tell you, time and space, they always want to play, but because you refreshed, you stayed with them, you didn’t see the phases of the moon, you missed the tides, you missed the tides and saying hello to the seal that came by to tell you, why am I here, it’s so fucking warm, was I supposed to go south?  It’s warm everywhere now and there’s no food, says the seal, I came by to say goodbye because I’ll die, says the seal. You refreshed and I feel boiling water around me, says the seal. 

In the center of this image, an open passageway, with blue grid markings on a shining gray floor of sealed concrete or cement. This passageway has its vanishing point at dead center of the image, where a rectangle of yellowwhite light makes indeterminate some suggestions of windows or doors. The light takes on a bluewhite aspect where it glares on the floor. Over gray framework on either side of the passageway, and from black girders, as well as from a narrow bluegray floating ceiling which tracks over the passageway, hang red, yellow, blue, green, black, white, and gray cables, with the red, yellow, and green standing out most brightly.
Figura 8

There’s no reason to remove any tears, says the seal. Do you have any? When was the last time you cried? Smartphones and their cables have a way to get to them, clean them up, leave the salt behind.

In a recess or alcove of wooden furniture (or perhaps of drywall construction), a white hardware shell, perhaps a modem box, sits attached to a rear frame, above which a blue covering is visible. Over this white shell, and over the entire right half of the image, hand red, white, black, blue, and one or two yellow, green cables, in great tangle. From the bottom left corner of the image, narrowing slightly as it tapers off into the upper left edge of the image, is visible a wooden door or wall with a recessed pull handle in chrome, with a black grip on its bottom edge. The wood is finished to a shine, with a stain suggestive of cherry.
Figura 9

I see you staring at the screen.  The image lasts for so long.  I begin to add different contextual spaces to you. I see you pooping holding the phone staring at the screen, you look back at me but only see a screen. I see you staring back at me now on a roller coaster, staring at the screen. You’re staring at the screen, in a massive protest against police brutality, you’re now staring at the screen at a movie theater, with a lover, pooping again, eating, hands feel heavy, you look at me, your hands are a little burnt from the usage, they become two separate smartphones. Now you can wave goodbye with your two new smartphones, with that extra connectivity, but you will need an additional cable.


In this image, the flag of the State of Palestine (علم فلسطين‎) hangs on a white wall. The flag is a horizontal tricolour of black, white, and green; with a red triangle based at the hoist, the long edge of which triangle is flush with the bottom edge of white crown molding. On a table with a dark walnut stain sit, from left, a tall glass vase holding several stems of purple flowers on an umbel, next, a chardonnay wineglass, thirdfull of transparent paleyellow liquid, next, Jorge Sánchez, in a white sleeveless minidress or romper, with the leftmost (dexter) leg crossed over right. Jorge has short lightbrown or blonde hair, and a short beard and mustache of the same color. Upon leftmost (dexter) arm, Jorge wears a wide chrome or silver bracelet at the wrist, and holds in the hand a chardonnay wineglass thirdfull of transparent pale yellow liquid. Jorge's head is leaned on the shoulder of Carlos Martiel. Carlos wear a brimless, short, rounded cap colored orange, with a gold band around its bottom edge. Carlos has a thin black mustache. Carlos wears a shortsleeved, slim-fitting buttoned shirt, with a red band collar, sleeves, buttons, sides, and accent along the top edge of the pocket. The front of the shirt is printed with a mustardcolored pattern of alternating horizontal and vertical stripes, showing the red ground color between. The top two buttons of the shirt are unbuttoned, showing chest beneath. Carlos wears black pants, perhaps chinos or jeans. In the leftmost (dexter) hand, Carlos holds a chardonnay wineglass, of which the contents are occluded by the fingers of the hand, the third of which is ringed with a plain band. Carlos holds the rightmost (sinister) hand on the shoulder of Brendan Mahoney. Brendan sits in a white, rectilinear parlor chair, at a slightly lower level than Jorge and Carlos. Brendan looks to the left edge of the frame; Brendan has short black hair on the leftmost (dexter) side of the head, and long auburn hair on the rightmost (sinister) side, which hangs to midchest. Brendan  Brendan wears a black, shortsleeved minidress, or perhaps a black teeshirt and black shorts. Brendan's leftmost arm lies along the back of the chair, and has black polish upon the nails of the hand. Brendan's rightmost (sinister) hand lies upon the leg, and has a thin band bracelet at the wrist, and black or darkred polish on the visible nails of the hand. From the right edge of the image, beside Brendan, are visible obcordate, waxy green leaves with pinnate venation.
From left,  Jorge Sánchez with Carlos Martiel, and Brendan Mahoney. Photo by Camilo Godoy.

Jorge Sánchez is a maricón, poet and attorney from Caguas, Puerto Rico. He lives in Newark, New Jersey, and his writings have been recently published by Printed Web, a semi-annual publication dedicated to web-to-print discourse (the full collection was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art Library in January 2017).  Jorge’s writings have also appeared at La Revista of El Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, among others.

Nick Cruz

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 cliché

            no        man     is         an         island 






            no        man     s                            land 






            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 pictured. Nick has tall, dark hair, and looks straight ahead with raised eyebrows. Nick wears a blue shirt buttoned to the top, on which is printed red and white flowers and green foliage. Thereover, Nick wears a light grey or beige v-necked cardigan or sweater. Behind Nick, the wall and ceiling of a room are illuminated to a warm mauve color, and leftmost is visible a dark print, painting, photograph, or other image, with a dark frame, and rightmost, a wooden doorway perhaps, of which the door is light wood, the frame darker finished. Nick's shadow is visibly cast upon the wall.

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.




Zaina Alsous

I wanted to write about Israel as a carceral state that is perpetually expanding, which echoes the spilling nature of colonialism. The effects of this are felt everywhere, within a system where capital moves freely, while peoples’ movements are violently policed. This is an attempt at honoring the rooted entanglements of struggle and resilience embodied by Third World peoples & ecologies battling white supremacist extraction. The land itself knows how to resist.


“Israeli Firm Chosen to Build Prototype of U.S. Border Wall with Mexico”

Most of this space could be wasted
trying to convince you—there exists
an OUTSIDE and an INSIDE. Las Neuces, 
Gila, look there is water, or purchased war
lines in tierra. Empires erase, redraw
we and them in pencil. It remains 
controversial, the question of what
exists. So instead of explaining !again!
WHO is an outside,

                              FREE SPACE                                                                                      

                              To break the weir


                                    Past detectability in the radar zone        unpetaled 
                        dry seed      curled inward      the Rose of Jericho      grows
                            wild      in the deserts of Palestine and Mexico      after
                         fifty years without water        the plant still        remembers
                              how to resurrect        Siempre Viva        Between
                                  OUTSIDE and there      the dead rose harbors      be

                                                                       I wait for the water     and

                                                                                              I know


Notes on Third World Subtraction



Zaina Alsous is picture. Zaina looks upward and off toward the left edge of the image. Zaina has long dark black hair that lightens at the tips. Zaina wears a silver septum ring, a black sweater or dress with a deep v-neck, showing bare skin beneath. Behind Zaina, taking up the right third of the image, is an abstract image of black, red, and blue, with text above visible stating " October / January 14, ", and text below stating "Ferber (American, 1906-1991) / #6, 1959 / magna on canvas".

Zaina Alsous is a Palestinian writer and abolitionist. You can find some of her work in The Offing, The New Inquiry, Mask Magazine, the Boston Review, and elsewhere. Her chapbook Lemon Effigies is forthcoming from Anhinga Press. 




Nkosi Nkululeko

The avant-garde, in my eyes, is a venue for dissonance. My work attempts to re-and-deconstruct narrative, composing a series of images to refer to other images referring to other images that are self-referential. The avant-garde for the black poet or poet of color seems to be in conversation with Dubois’ thoughts of double consciousness. To endlessly aspire for a pseudo-identity one cannot achieve because of the one you were born with makes me believe that maybe the “avant-garde” is all the African, and her descendants, strive for; to push against some of the destructive notions of Darwinism, maintaining the philosophy of “as is-ness”. I denounce this New World through my art. Not only do I believe the avant-garde presents a kind of truth opposing dangerous, illusory ideas in regards to our current state of being, I believe this art playfully mocks it. In listening to Thelonious Monk, one senses a child present, another may sense a theologian, yet, they both provide insight. I hope my poems are seen as the literary equivalent of an A and Bb note simultaneously played; so close they seem to not belong, yet so close it seems the musician is searching for another tone further between.

The Hallways in This Hospital are Narrow

a little like little irises 
scrabbling in keyholes, 

seeing a coterie of doctors 
on the other side, dancing,
wearing coats of crows:

“the maniacal monarchs.” 

They play classical music. 
I didn’t come for Brahms, 
and the small room smells; 
metal, poison curing blood. 

Pollutant. My logic and my 
philosophy can’t touch on my 
plate. Pardon, I eat slow. My 

head’s cottage silvers and rots. 
There’s nothing here to distinguish
the self of something with another thing’s self. 

I’m going linearly crazy and the doctors hold a card for me 
to recreate with language. 
Is it a dark room, beetles scurrying at the fringes? 

No. Men running, with their heads cut off in the capital. 
No. Memories crawling out of the card like the eggs 
of small creatures, seeming to grow 
from a leaf’s face. 

They open my face,
and my face is on their faces (so is a face only a face if it faced faces?) 
if for a moment, 
until multi-realities fracture like a channel’s navigation 
to another channel. Another vision: I killed 

an ant and streaked its body across pages. 
There’s not enough hospitals for them. 
I think they leave their own kind 

for the earth to bury but the epidemic 
for the earth now is that there’s too many walls, 
for the earth is not large enough to keep its dead.

I think most think the walls can’t think, 

but everything holds both the intellect and the savage,
both the grave and the doctor: 
one who buries, one who unburies the buried. 

I found a roach dead on a wall near a door of mine, 
as if followed by some animal or some madman,

but if you could see it, 
you’d see it,
its skeleton, lonely, suspended. 

Wouldn’t it be momentarily fascinating, 
increasingly haunting, to see a human spread across 
the side of a building, their sides splitting, 

blood rolling from the inside of flesh 
to the outside of windows, the old blind folk 
thinking the taps on glass are rain, 

the eyes of the murdered, hanging 
from his skull. No diagnoses for that. 

Where the children play, they look up, 
but it’s me looking down, wondering 
on the methods of burial. 

Maybe we got it all wrong. If this life is too narrow, horizontally, 
why not vertical a death? 

All this time, physics made it so clear 

if a body could stick for that long, 
then maybe the walls 
do have teeth 

The Making of a Sculpture of a Black Greek God

                you can only Reduce:Descend into form. 

out of mountains (MMmm(mountains behind mountains)mM) 

are made cities of marble (mM(re-mirroring-er)Mm) hiding 
in valleys, in the oceans. We’re all mostly made up of rivers 
and fire. death // a union of the core with the out- 
side. That’s why we’re burning, we over-descend. we over- 
reach for the god caged in one of the faces of a stone’s carve-
able carnival. Water weeps on its only brother….. sea-

gulls hang in the grey air like bulbs, dust coated. the ship,
pregnant with men, coursing. To find the African under the exist-
ence of kept-out weather, hold your one good ear, bleed out 
the other like a ghost in a circumference of blue.
i’m asking about dissension, i’m knowing more on the act
of descending. Children in the dark belly of mothers in 
the belly of boats in the belly of water in the belly of he-
avens mistaking us for the belly of a heaven. 
we’re not that but we got math [godhood measured:assess-
ed]. Blade to chest. how far until [it hurts? I think] I got 
a soul in the front of the behind of a soul making ham-
mocks of my organs and their nearby highways.  

the American-African, rephrased in its self in its tenure 
of water. I walk to the shore, the shadow of my body 
flung into the eyes of a lake, Dying making gods of us

Twenty-Seven w/ Script

                for Anton Yelchin

“It’s like an exchanging of eyes,” Anton tells himself before
a window, his reflection seen just so, straining to visibility as the sun-
light severs the burning glass, obscuring his face enough to be mist-
aken for a haunted shadow— fading, but haunted.

(A boy scurries through the dark alleys, his hand bulging with cash as he runs to a diner to see the man he grew to love. The man talked low, as if something dangerous hid in the walls, something that smelled like a mask, masked by masks.)

MAN: You got all that cash. What’cha gonna do now? 

ANTON: Hitch a ride to the next planet off the main roads. 

MAN: And Atlantis?

ANTON: Sometimes you gotta leave it all behind.

(Anton runs back through the alley’s piercing darkness, and like the flicker of a bulb, he disappears through it, his face becoming numerous, a million selves trekking the lonely space. Is this how moons are made, wandering through a road-less country waiting for someone to raise the eye of a camera to a face and shoot?)

On Acting/ On Performance: “Is it like a nightmare,
to know you are acting in another boy’s dream?”
“Is it like, for a moment, your mind is riddled
with prophesies?” “Is life just like a journey
of masks?”

Yes, I do think Process is the machine waiting to turn
the performative self into darkness. The first thing you see
as you put on a new face is darkness. They say you are
your truest self before walking through darkness.
It is obsession that teaches how one could be lost to the mind
of darkness. Yes, acting is as horrifying as half the body
stolen by the mouth of a machine’s darkness.


In this grayscale image, Nkosi Nkululeko stands before a cardioid microphone on a stand. Nkosi looks slightly up and to the left. Nkosi has black hair in braids or cornrows, and a thin black mustache. Nkosi's lips are parted slightly, revealing upper front teeth. Nkosi wears a white brimmed, rounded cap with a dark triangular patterned printed in a band that runs underneath the brim, up and over the top of the cap. Nkosi wears a light colored shortsleeved teeshirt. The blank reverse side of a sheet of paper is visible protruding from the bottom edge of the frame, possibly held by Nkosi. In the background, paintings and photographs of people of color are arrayed, with dates of birth and death; these may be people murdered by police; in the top right corner, the name of Eric Garner is legible under a painting thereof.

Nkosi Nkululeko has received fellowships from Callaloo, The Watering Hole and Poets House. He has performed for TEDxNewYork and the Aspen Ideas Festival. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and finalist for both the 2016 Winter Tangerine Awards for Poetry and the 2016 Best of the Net anthology. His work is currently published in The Collagist, Third Coast, Pank, Apogee, VINYL, and more. Nkosi lives in Harlem, New York. 




Derrick Ortega

As my work is inspired by individuals who are attempting to reenter society after experiencing big T-trauma, I wanted to provide some of them with a time and place through writing; however, having grown up in a working class geography as well as experiencing trauma myself, there is a lot of difficulty in translating such moods and moments with plainspoken diction. Sometimes, the only way to communicate these experiences is to take off in a direction without knowing where the language is actually headed and strongly hope that it’ll either return to where it started or productively arrive in a new place. I feel these works do so in some capacity. Maybe the language represents a kind of growth in each speaker. Or maybe it’s necessary to render a situation complex to achieve respect–to earn the reader’s ear through its music without any expectation of return.

It began as a joke. // He lathered his beard with shaving cream / fixed bayonet to barrel / and presented the rife it stood tall / honest / no more than a fist from his chest // he dipped it back / slow danced even: jaw to jaw / his unshaven / along the serrated / flirting with his hair trigger / necking away weeks of his beard-- / it was a new identity, they said / his identity, they said / hushed and Haji, they said fit in / with the natives, they said tighten your grip, they said your wife's at home, they said her new friend's / at home, they said your M4 is here, they said the bayonet's only a last resort it's your rifle / that'll maintain a safe distance, they said in every direction, they said finger on the / trigger, they said lock it up, they said don't pull, they said squeeze, they said click // chamberless // he begs for the round click // smokeless // it begs for the round click


After clocking out on Friday // , I'll twist my lower / back, left then right, before driving to Bixby Knolls. / And in all honesty, it's because my grifting / father swore tender recollects the spine // --sometimes I'll ease into yellow lights, waver in the faint / of handkerchief, even echo Christian talk radio because, / one day, I'll have committed to an all-white three piece / suit: score pitches of choir / strummed with huff. --As in, to fall along / the scatter, / --or happen alligator petals upon the knees of a / cypress. // Whatever the occasion, / please believe I'm holding hands with someone / singed with arthritic grip. And in thank you, the / song of thinking goes no boom.


(a)warded handcuffs // The officer placed mazes around my wrists and dropped / the key in his chest pocket. It made me wonder if lock makers / needed to begin backwards, forging an exit first, then carving / walls to the keyway. By its tightness, he's new and already tired of / being scared. I guess my father was right--each tooth on a key is / meant to move along its own side of obstruction, but I still refuse / to have seen this coming.


Derek Ortega is pictured; Derek has short dark haired, lightly styled, and a dark mustache and beard; Derek is smiling and looking straight ahead. Derek is wearing a light blue denim collared shirt, with the top two cream colored buttons undone, and a deeper blue cotton undershirt showing beneath. Behind Derek is a green but blurry background suggestive of foliage.

Derrick Ortega‘s upcoming chapbook, Habits (formerly known as Jigsaw Limbs), explores re-entrance sociality after experiencing trauma and touches on performative normalcy. It will be published with selva oscura press in 2018 with poems anthologized in Snorted the Moon and Doused the Sun: An Addiction Anthology and pieces published in Letter [r] Press, Fact-Simile Editions, and elsewhere. Ortega is currently Poet-in-Residence at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and a poetry instructor for Orange County School of the Arts. He received an MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside and resides in southern California.




jayy dodd

I have a habit of becoming antagonistic to things that scare me. As a child I was immensely scared to die, the adolescence brought new negations of health, & life’s value became liminal. I am living now & that all I have to say about that. This work is the expository sunrise on the conceit of «Zumbi», the title & unlisted character of the collection. This collection is an experiment in re-animation. A scene set in the body of the performative Black space, dare I call it a stage, here I fashion it on the page, all this a gesture toward the anxiety of being seen. The characters, each fully (dis)embodied, are gender-neutral, until manifested by the reader. Because gender is your problem not mine, or Black peoples’s. Here, The Nigga-Siblings, (a triplet-like kin-squad of brilliant & honest Black minds) plan their own fates while Blxk (a host, or haunting, audience-addressing figure) sets up their set for the production. {i worry how much death lives in / parallel to / views my body & i want to imagine beyond the literal space to a fantastic time}

Zumbi Act I Scene I:

[scene: A’nigga, Dis’nigga, & Dat’nigga sit in a row comfortable, cozy even, facing the audience. They are lit from the front as if illuminated by the audience. They are already in conversation, though inaudible to the audience.] 

            (now audible) 

DAT’NIGGA: i mean real talk, i ain’t even scared of death like that no more. 
like you know how many niggas die every day? like ain’t one of us dying all that 

DIS’NIGGA: right, but like you can’t go out no kinda way. you gotta go out 
the right way—

DAT’NIGGA: what? there’s a right way for niggas to die now? 

A’NIGGA: well, ain’t no right way, but we ain’t gotta be scared of it. 

DAT’NIGGA: see, that’s what i’m saying here. niggas gonna go out 
all kinds of side ways so i’m not scared of how it happens to me. 

A’NIGGA: how y’all wanna go out? 

            (As Dat’nigga begins to speak Blxk enters stage left 
            crossing in front of A’nigga, Dis’nigga, & Dat’nigga. 
            Only A’nigga notices Blxk.)

DAT’NIGGA: nigga, i wanna go out with a fight. i wanna hollering & live. 
nigga, i wanna go out dancing till my joints becoming chalk-dust, with my hands 
calloused from clapping, my throat swollen from singing every song i know & then some. 

            (Blxk is so far oblivious to the scene already
            in progress, from stage right, they pull out a white obelisk & begins inspecting it.)

DIS’NIGGA: well, i wanna go quietly. want my eyes to simmer, my heart hum
a more docile lyric, for life to have laid me down gently by the shore, each tide, 
holding me deeper, i want my body to return to the water. 

            (A’nigga has completely missed Dat’nigga & Dis’niggas fantasies.
            A’nigga completely taken by Blxk)

DAT’NIGGA: yo, you being your-self again. returning to your own mind
instead of letting niggas know where you are. 

DIS’NIGGA: how you wanna go? 

            (A’nigga distracted.) 

A’NIGGA: what? 

            (Dat’nigga is clearly annoyed at A’nigga’s spacey-ness, Dis’nigga inarguably more curious.
            Neither Dat’nigga nor Dis’nigga can see Blxk.) 

DIS’NIGGA: how do you wanna go? wanna die alone? 
with friends? how do you want to be remembered? 

            (Blxk finally notices A’nigga fixated & begins to silently engage their gaze, 
            exploring the white obelisk with a new kind of intention, a seduction of sorts.
            A’nigga realizes Blxk is aware & immediately tries to re-enter the conversation.)

A’NIGGA: ain’t there anything else worse than death?  

DAT’NIGGA: what? ain’t no-thing worse than death—

DIS’NIGGA: you still ain’t said how you wanna die? 

A’NIGGA: but there are worse things, right? 
like what if you die but you ain’t go no-where? 

            (Dis’nigga + Dat’nigga look skeptically at A’nigga. 
            Blxk stops inspecting the monolith & listens to A’nigga). 

A’NIGGA: like what if your soul gets stuck here, like you die 
but you can’t leave the earth? like you really get caught? 

DAT’NIGGA: nigga, what? when you die you dead. 
over, done. 

            (A’Nigga looks to see if Blxk is still watching). 

A’NIGGA: right but like say when you die & you don’t go no-where? 
what if after death you still here just floating ‘round ghost of yourself. 
or better yet what if you came back better than before? your spirit caught, 
but your body free? 

            (Dat’nigga +Dis’nigga look almost hopeful.) 

DAT’NIGGA: damn, i mean i don’t mind coming back a moth or some shit, 
but you ain’t gonna catch me out here chasing after niggas when i’m gone. 

DIS’NIGGA: yeah, ain’t even too fond of graveyards now. 

            (Blxk laughs & rolls the white obelisk off-stage right, then proceeds to pass
            downstage, exiting stage left. A’nigga notices Blxk’s whole path.) 

A’NIGGA: i’m just saying, i believe there are worse things that simply dying.

DIS’NIGGA: but do you really believe in ghosts? 

            (Off-stage Blxk’s laugh is echoed. Dat’nigga &Dis’nigga jump. 
            A’nigga looks directly at the audience & smiles.)  


jayy dodd is a blxk trans femme from los angeles, california– now based on the internet. they are a literary & performance artist. their work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, EntropyLitHubBOAAT Press, Duende, & Poetry Foundation, among others. they’re the author of Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press, 2017) & The Black Condition ft. Narcissus (Siren Song / CCM Press, 2018). they are a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-editor of Bettering American Poetry. their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy. they are also a volunteer gender-terrorist & artificial intellectual. find them talking trash online or taking a selfie.

[ap=”26″ folioname=”radical-avant”]

Steffan Triplett

“Used” is part of an exercise in queering Black, masculine narratives in popular music through blackout and erasure. Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” are two commercially successful, recognizable songs, but through erasure, the narratives have been altered and merged into a new reality—creating space out of narratives where queerness was not previously present, permissible, or made visible.

In a way, after some stripping away, these narratives already existed, they were just obscured by other noise, just as Black queerness has always existed. In this new form, these narratives, originally about heterosexual relationships, take on new layers of meaning.


[The following is an erasure poem, with | indicating, but by no means exhaustively, sections of blacked out text separating words on the same horizontal line] Indeed he digs on me. / He gives me mess with gold but broken / leave | you use / leave / leave | night when you need | love // when you need / that hot / thig // only // // Everybody knows / you | down / You take too much from us. | Bomb beauty with charm. / Fuck with us. | I can tell you look for the one. / I don't care, I still love gold. | Have you seen me? / I'm a digger when I'm in need. // You used to | one // I found out I was his nigga. / Sayin he ain't mess with no niggas. // Gotta go. / thing / I know | that / one thing // You and me | just don't get // places | you | belong // Now gold you need he can't buy, // leave. | out | in | our / Up his sleeves / he got ambition. // Stick by his side, he gon' leave your ass // for white. / love
Steffan Triplett is picture. Steffan has a short dark beard and mustache, and short curly dark hair. Steffan wears half- hornrimmed rounded eyeglasses, a dark navy shallow v- or crew-neck sweater, and a light blue oxford with the top button undone beneath. Steffan looks straight forward. Behind Steffan, obliquely, a gray shelving unit is visible.

Steffan Triplett is an instructor and MFA candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. Some of his work appears or is forthcoming in DIAGRAMThe OffingWildnessGhost ProposalKweli JournalFoundry, and Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. Steffan has been a fellow for Callaloo and Lambda Literary and is a VONA/Voices alum. He was raised in Joplin, Missouri.




Dimitri Reyes

The act of art itself is in fact “radical” and poetry as a medium is a constant exercise of experimentation and expression attempting to serve the purpose of serving those who read them. 

In terms of content, my work in this collection aims to critique the results of eating habits within POC communities. What we choose to put into our bodies can essentially prevent Heart Disease and Cancer, the two largest causes of death in America.

“In the Chopshop: 100 Names” you can find the speaker (and audience) bearing witness to the fact that they are hacking at — and most likely consuming this other body that is similar to the self. “(insert family member here)” is another poem of realization, acting as the linkage between the first and third piece.

“On Video Playback – Vida” is essentially about the war we choose to have inside ourselves as well as highlighting the loss of this fight. 


(insert family member here)
milk = 80% Casein     Casein  =  cancer     cancer = Casein
 Casein = milk       milk = 80% cancer 

Casein   the main protein present in milk 
strong bones strong muscles
kids drink your milk!

Casein   the main protein present in milk
a building block for strong bones strong muscles.

Casein in our processed foods. it’s stuck around so long 
because it’s used in our adhesives.
Casein in tape.   Casein in our glue.
it holds together wood. Casein laminates doors. 
they fireproof the west coast Casein seals aircrafts shut
and you could paint a picture 
of the same plane with Casein paint 

Casein, the main protein present in milk 
            which means it's present in cheese 
            which means it’s present in yogurt. 
it’s giving cheese to mice. Casein injected into mice,
                        tumors the size of rats.

kids drink your milk with your school breakfast.

Casein   the main protein present in milk
            they put a name to the thing in the 18th century

                        caseus is Latin for    cheese.

Cheese    a food consisting of the coagulated
                                    compressed and ripened
                        curd of milk

            curd   a food of semi-solid milk clots
                        a sweetened/soured milk-paste.

kids, drink your milk with your school lunch  
                                                bottoms up!

milk paste, a semisolid sourish food 
prepared from milk fermented 
through added bacteria 
often sweetened and flavored.

eat your yogurt kids. get your probiotics. drink your milk 
as an afternoon snack. 
drink milk warm before bed.

milk = 80% Casein Casein  =  cancer  cancer = Casein
     Casein = milk       milk = 80% cancer 

cancer killed my (insert family member here)

2 cups of coffee a day 
            cream and sugar.             cream and sugar.
she walked everyday with a coffee in her hand, 
                                      light and sweet was she. 
            her coffee light and sweet as she.

I remember buying her dunkin donuts, 4 sugars 3 creams

I’d watch the barista—    1 casein, 2 casein, 3 casein—    into a styrofoam cup. 

honey nut cheerios were her favorite. the box is heart healthy. 
helps lower cholesterol, it says. drowned in milk, 
helps build strong bones. Casein drinks milk everyday 

broken bones—  
                        a crooked back—  
milk = 80%   Casein Casein  =  cancer    cancer = Casein
   casein = milk       milk = 80% cancer 

cancer killed my (insert family member here)
Casein ripped her 
            from her stomach. 
cancer in her stomach! 
            milk settles in the stomach.
Casein in her stomach!

her mama got no legs!

 osteoporosis is the “o” in cheerios!

no legs! no legs!

                        CANCER       AND       CASEIN 
in osmosis











80% Casein

Casein = cancer 

cancer = Casein

have you had your milk—  
have you had your casein— 

have you had your cancer today?


In the ChopShop: 100 Names
Family Pack Chicken Legs/ Family Pack Chicken Thighs/
18 Piece Chicken Fryer Pack/ Family Pack Boneless Chicken Breast/
Family Pack Leg Quarters in a 4 Lb. Bag *contains up to 4% water/
Oven Roaster Chicken/ Oven Broiler Chicken (Thick & Juicy)/
Whole Chicken/ Whole Chicken Halves/ Cut Up Whole Chicken/
Chicken Wings/ Chicken Thighs/ Chicken Leg Quarters/
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs/ Boneless Chicken Breasts/
Cubed Chicken Breasts/ Chicken Split Breasts/ Thin Sliced
Chicken Breasts/ Chicken Liver Cups/ Chicken Gizzards/
Chicken Tenders/ Chicken Hearts/Chicken Bones/
Chicken Backs/ Chicken Feet/ Pig Feet (Pickled)/ Smoked
Pork Feet/ Smoked Pork Neckbones/ Smoked Pork Hocks/
Pork Hocks (Fresh)/ Pig Feet (Fresh)/ Pork Fat Back/ Bone
less Pork Loin Whole/ Boneless Pork Loin Half/ Bone
in Pork Chops “thin cut”/ Bone in Pork Chops “regular”/
Bone-in Pork Chops “thick”/ Rib End Pork Chops/ Bone
less Pork Chops “thin”/ Boneless Pork Chops “regular”/
Boneless Pork Chops “thick cut”/ Pork Shoulder Bone-in/
Pork Shoulder Boneless/ Pork Spare Ribs (fresh)/
Pork Spare Ribs (frozen in plastic)/ Pork Leg Joint/
Pork Belly/ Pork Belly Joint/ Baby Back Ribs (frozen)/
Baby Back Ribs Smothered in “Sweet Baby Ray’s” Barbecue Sauce/
Lamb Rack/ Lamb Chumps/ Lamb Chops/ Lamb Flaps/
Lamb Neck/ Lamb Backstrap/ Lamb Shoulder/
Whole Turkey/ Turkey Legs/ Turkey Wings/ Turkey Necks/
Turkey Tails/ Turkey Giblets (hearts, gizzards, livers, genitals)/
Ground Turkey/ Ground Chicken/ Ground Pork/ Ground Veal/
Ground Beef 90% “Lean” 10% Fat/
Ground Beef 80% “Lean” 20% Fat/
Ground Beef 73% “Lean” 27% Fat”/
Ground Pork, Ground Veal, Ground Beef (Meatloaf Mix)/
Chuck Steak/ Cubed Steak/ Hanger Steak/ Skirt Steak/
Sandwich Steak/ Beef Chuck Stew/ Beef Chuck Arm/
Beef Sirloin Tip/ Beef Brasciole/ Beef Chuck Bone
in/ Beef Brisket (thick)/ Beef Brisket (thin)/ Beef Shoulder/
Beef Short Ribs/ Beef Stir Fry/ Beef Strip Steak/ T- Bone
Steak/ London Broil/ Rump Roast/ Beef Caps/ Beef Knuckle/
Beef Eye Round/ Beef Heel
Round/ Tripe/ Ox Tails/
Lard / Cow Feet/
Cow Tongue/

My Tongue


On Video Playback
“I want to be remembered for helping
and I don’t want to go
I want to take you to a level
where you could make it
on your own

I want you to remember that when Christmas comes
I was there for everyone
keep tradition
keep everyone together
everybody united
this is what I want—
for youse to stick together

at the end of all this I don’t know what to call myself
a good person? a bad person?
did I try hard?
I still think I didn’t do enough
don’t you know where evil comes from?
I’m a good person but I could’ve given more
I wish I could

don’t think like me— I’m doomed.
you are still too young when your time
comes it will come

I don’t really want to go
god has given me his chances

the last time I went to the hospital I was thinking
I was going to die.
mhm I didn’t want to go but now I’m ready
and I can’t run anymore
you came out to be a very good kid
I am very happy I am very proud
that you never gave up
that now I’m ready,
if I go. I go.
And now I can go in peace.
I’m not scared anymore
I am not scared because no
what happens you will
keep going”

On Video Playback
I want to be remembered for helping
and I don’t want to go
I want to take you to a level
you could make it
on your own

I want you to remember that when Christmas comes
I was there for
keep tradition
keep every
one together
everybody united
this is what I want—
for youse to stick together

at the end of all this I don’t know what to call myself
a good person? a bad person?
did I try hard?
I still think I didn’t do enough
don’t you know where evil comes from?
I’m a good person but I could’ve given more
I wish I could

think like me— I’m doomed.
you are still too young when your time
comes it will come

I don’t really want to go
god has given me his chances

the last
time I went to the hospital I was thinking
I was going to die.
mhm I didn’t want to go but now I’m ready
I can’t run anymore
you c
ame out to be a very good kid
I am very
happy I am very proud
that you never gave up
that now I’m ready,
if I
go. I go.
And now
I can go in peace.
I’m not scared anymore
I am not scared because no
what happens you will
keep going”

Dimitri Reyes is pictured; Dimitri has dark hair parted from the right, and a dark mustache and bear. Dimitri is wearing full rimmed, rectangular black eyeglasses, two beaded necklaces, and a navy chambray collared shirt, buttoned all the way up. Dimitri is looking to the left (dexter), and so shown in half-profile.

Dimitri Reyes is a Puerto-Vegan educator, writer, artist, and community organizer from Newark, New Jersey. His work has been recognized locally in the Star Ledger, and internationally in Australia, Singapore, and the UK. He is the recipient of the SLICE Magazine’s 2017 Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets, and a finalist for the Arcturus Poetry Prize by the Chicago Review of Books. Dimitri is a candidate in the Rutgers-Newark MFA program, and is published in Acentos Review, Kweli, Verity LA, Eunoia, and others.




Asha Futterman

“halloween in college” and “a few things you should know about the universe without swings” use alternate realities to reimagine the past. They both explore language and spacing to give new, radical life to situations that seem unalterable.


halloween in college

IS LIKE when i went downtown to catch the blue line         a Black woman fell on the tracks
and didn’t die          when i got to jake’s place he asked me if i was okay      i said yeah but
              he didn’t get it        she reached out her hands        no one would grab them           maybe
                            they wouldn’t touch her because she smelt       dirty or drunk   or maybe       she
looked too            black to survive another day       jake wanted to go to the movies
get high       get my mind off it       or something       but he didn't get it       the train
came three minutes later       it took me one       and a half minutes            to get her up   we all
got on anyways       no one cried

BUT ON the actual day of halloween       i decided to put my body in a room full of other
bodies       i guess it’s my fault but I was the only black girl at the party       i still
thought i looked nice       and i wanted someone to look at me      or something
when too many drunk and white bodies shoved me       i fell over      searched for an open 
fist       there wasn’t one       it’s the scariest halloween party I've ever been to
       if i had three minutes       left to spare       the music would       just   get

THE DAY after halloween   i dreamt about the woman who fell on the tracks   she turned 
       green and big   stopped the train       with her pinky       jumped       to sky
blocked       the sun       tinted the earth       green       the men

with closed fists       hid underground       and never       came   out
BACK TO the sticky frat floor       here’s how it happened       for real       i melted 
through the ground   deeper and deeper    i made it to the center of the earth    it wasn’t hot
like people say       i felt a nice breeze    met lots of    other       people       we all
said hello        and     danced and danced and dance


a few things you should know about the universe without swings

i didn't know he was dead until i checked
Facebook.       hadn't posted in a while. 

his kid said dada first
and scratched          a lot

came back to chicago
incase he need to help out or something

but he should've
just left.

2. because

the park don't have swings no more.
it's the Black kids' fault

                                they like
                                the swings too much 

and swing too high 

the university don't like 

moving targets. said it's a safety concern. 
i don't think it was. 

i haven't been home since 

the university and the ghosts decided 
they don't want me to have 

too much       fun       without them 
so, now i live. 

in a universe without swings 
       i guess you could call it parallel 

or imaginary  all i can tell you is 
that we usually lay down here 

tough  to get outta bed sometimes 
and, yeah. there are still 
                       flying things. 

Asha Futterman is a poet from Chicago. She is currently a student at Barnard College in New York studying English with a concentration in Race and Ethnic studies.




dezireé a. brown

First off, I’m a blerd. Many of my poems speak to or are inspired by video games and other aspects of popular culture. The poems in this folio are celebrating black feminism, womxn’s sexuality, and black joy while reclaiming what’s been taken from us: our language, our bodies, and our agency. “ode to Tone that ends in a revival.” is an important poem for me especially, because it’s a video game poem that’s directly resisting the idea that video games are electronic garbage.

In terms of form, my poetry is really concerned with white space and how that speaks to the silence that black queer womxn face on a daily basis. In each of our communities, we face an erasure that is both precise and haunting, which can lead to both an inability to use our voices and self-entrapment in the “superhuman” matriarch stereotype. The white space in these poems is an acknowledgement of that silence, of the many black womxn before me who lost their voices, and a reclamation of those words that were stolen. I see them as little containers to pull and trap trauma within the page so that my ancestors’ words can breathe and exist freely.


ode to the walk of shame

lips freshly smudged / afro smushed from the fist / of fingers | you wanted in / your mouth || the same hand / that returns the sequined clutch | with the striped / bra wrapped / up inside || pumps dangle / from giggling wrists / answering | the chatter of birds / and your belly / since you | didn't want breakfast / since you || didn't want more | and they knew / that shit / that black dress || they ripped off/ still fits everywhere you need / | it to / but the sun / the sun / mirrors || this / in ways the moon / could only dream of


an homage to nigga in two parts

I. // This is for that  damn, where you been hiding nigga / and that give me  the fuckin' tea nigga / for the I'm bout  to roast your ass nigga // and that really  nigga, which is to say / throw your hands  up. This is for niggas / who wear rachet  on their sleeve like // a corsage, whose  music can be heard / as they coming  down the street [more // bass please];  who ain't afraid to / laugh like a nigga;  who know a nigga / in a suit and tie  is still  a nigga; // who know a  well-dressed nigga / will still  die  like a nigga; / these the niggas  I break bread with // these them  niggas that are  free // II. // In the car with white  friends listening to K-Dot, // tongues silent, caressing  an absence they expect // me to ignore. Eyes  overturned, buried in the corners // of my lips. These are  your "allies" -- with pauses uncertain, // breath taut, mouths confused.  Dangling.  I know this // is what they do  in the mirror.  Go on then // Say it  now  I dare  you


ode to tone that ends in a revival

after Titanfall II || Tone tells me  we're better together / I | believe her  most when / we are crouched | sonar illuminating  our enemies / and I can | smell  the earth /  burning || I love the way salvo / bursts from her | shoulders /  throaty with weight  of | skulls / eager to claim  another / even | as the legion  threatens / to overrun us || I ask her how  it feels / to be a hundred tons | of doom / and she  chuckles / black women | have always been  titans / pilot | Now focus / prepare the cannon / || here is this titanium / beast slick with blood | stalking bent metal and wrought / iron sword | of bones we draw a precise death || we women crush life together /

dezireé a. brown is a black queer woman poet, scholar, and self-proclaimed social justice warrior, born and raised in Flint, MI. They are currently an MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University, and often claim to have been born with a poem written across their chest. A Poetry and Non-Fiction Editor for Heavy Feather Review, their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kweli, BOAAT, decomP, Cartridge Lit, RHINO, and the anthology Best “New” African Poets 2015, among others. They tweet at @deziree_a_brown.