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.
Photo by Stephen A. Miller
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.
Photo by Stephen A. Miller
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.
We embody what nuclear weapons mean, and we want to share that. We work, in the words of poet Carolyn Forché, against forgetting. We hope you’ll consider supporting us. Much more info is here.
After We All Died is officially in the world. The people at Ahsahta Press have written a stunning description of it over at the site–to be compared to one of my heroes Ursula le Guin!
I reviewed Sue Landers’s stunning new book Franklinstein on Jacket2. It’s an exploration of how meandering becomes an ethics and a poetics, and poetry becomes a healing.
My book After We All Died is out from Ahsahta Press! I’m really happy to have the opportunity to appear at several upcoming events with some incredible poet colleagues. My gratitude to all the organizers and hosts.
Upcoming readings and events:
September 19: People’s Co-Op Bookstore, Vancouver, BC, 7:30 p.m. reading with Stephen Collis and Kaia Sand
September 23: The Black Squirrel, Washington, DC, 8 p.m. reading with Leslie Bumstead and Sue Landers
September 24: Charmed Instruments, Philadelphia, PA, reading with Sue Landers
September 26: Fall for the Book Festival, George Mason University, 6 p.m. reading with other alums
October 2: Fall Convergence, University of Washington at Bothell, 1 p.m. panel “What is Poetics?”–with some great co-panelists
October 29: Segue Series, New York, NY, reading with Angela Hume
November 13: Small Press Traffic, San Francisco: A reading and conversation with poet Lindsey Boldt
The amazing people at Hatch Innovation recorded a podcast featuring the collaboration bringing together me as a poet and native of Los Alamos, NM–the place where the atomic bombs were made–with visual artist Yukiyo Kawano from Hiroshima and Butoh dancer Meshi Chavez from Albuquerque.
Here are three new poems published at Across the Margin today. With many thanks to the editor, Richard Roundy.
Kaia Sand and I read last night–pieces on fire, desire, fossil fuels–at Passages Bookshop, thanks to the generous David Abel. Kaia sewed and burned skirts for us. She burned the word “desire” into my skirt.
Kaia illuminates the moth so it shadows the wall behind–with fossil fuels we are like moths to flame.
I made this poem about loss, and Prince.
rain. I mean
how the breath
can quit. It comes
and goes you don’t
stops. That mark
in your chest.
it looked? The toes
stare at. Pick.
thought. The single
light becomes from
a Prince. His
mouth and eyes
his chest, the sound
he tears up
from the soil
and fight. Dance
my hips—the bone
up. I felt
I—no. I never
mouth. I did.
my core. I burned—
of want. I snuffed
myself. That dark.