It’s been a year since the death of Prince.
I’m proud to have this poem about him, “On Loss,” in the Delaware Poetry Review.
I wrote a poem responding to the beautiful song “Summa” by the Estonian composer Arvo Part, and my pal Andrea Murray interviewed me about it for National Poetry Month on Portland’s All Classical.
Here’s the poem:
for Arvo Pärt
in shining dark.
Photos by Stephen A. Miller of our performance Tuesday at Littman White Gallery in Portland. Art by Hiroshima-native Yukiyo Kawano and poetry by me, a native of Los Alamos, where the atomic bombs were made. Our aim is to bring to life the human impact of nuclear weapons so they will never be used again. Please learn more and support our project at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/suspended-moment-community-education#/
New poem. I feel pretty good about coming up with “pussyboard.”
A nasty woman has a vision
I have a vision, a vision that the people of this nation possessing of vaginas, those of every race and color and faith, of every state of wealth and poverty, with missing limbs and breasts, with scars and luscious rolls of fat, with the taut, uplifted skin of youth, in full health and sickness both, in every abled and disabled state—descend upon the marbled throne of power, and with our pussies overwhelm the gates, with our vaginas swallow up the guns and sights of snipers, with our pussies leaking blood and fluid drown the guards in Kevlar vests, flood the marble stairwells, swallow desks and pens, computers, bleed the written words to nothing, with our pussies redolent with scents of all our living, all our births and lusts, our coming and our fucking, pussies melon pink and eggplant dark, tucked in nests of fur curling black and grey and brownish, red as stripes on oval office couches, blond as velvet drapes, or bare and shining in the light—let us bring our pussies down upon the men of state, the orange one in his golden gaudy flesh suit pinched with hate, let us bring our pussies down and pussyboard them with our flood, let us grab them with our pussies, and sink them in our juice-wet folds, fingers on the buttons that swell ourselves and make our mucus flow, crying out with grunts of our own pleasure til their voices cease to gurgle from their lungs—and their breaths, every one, come to an end.
This is a photo of Yukiyo Kawano and me standing in front of the world’s first plutonium reactor, which made the plutonium for the atomic bombs. Yuki is from Hiroshima, a third-generation atomic bomb survivor. I’m from Los Alamos, where the atomic bombs were made.
That night, not far from this reactor, Yuki and I along with dancer Meshi Chavez and composer Lisa DeGrace performed a piece centered around Yuki’s life-size sculptures of the atomic bombs, made of kimonos from her grandmother and stitched with strands of her own hair. I blogged here about our whole trip to Hanford.
Talking about it later, I think none of us predicted the impact this experience would have on our bodies—how we felt coming together in this place—with all we carry from Hiroshima and Los Alamos, from our parents and our ancestors.
We’ve launched a fundraising campaign to bring this performance to nuclear sites all around the world. The nuclear threat is far from over—as Trump’s rhetoric about arming Japan with nuclear weapons makes clear.