Spotlight #14 : Brittany Billmeyer-Finn

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

STATEMENT

I am interested in queerness & magic, the mundane & the tender, meaning made in relation/ship to privilege, oppression, historical implication, friendship & intimacy, the present moment. Something about deeply listening, something about labor & action, something about sleep or dreams, something about orienting & reorienting & loss. Feelings in the body, on the mind, the heart through change. I write these poems from my bed in Northampton, MA, Criminal Minds is on in the back ground. I am thinking about grounding and disassociation. The proximity of Oakland & Northampton as a poem. I am writing about love & desire. I am writing about connection & distance. I am searching & digging.

from the thrill of pining

*

there is something here
about orientation

there is something here
about social encounter
about having the choice

something about being femme
about being femme together

& what about complicity?
& what about resistance?
& meaning making?
& taking up space?

something
about digging
about fear
about bearing witness
about stakes
about feeling it in the body
about friendship

& leaning in

*

angry in the kitchen
coming out from the dark

heart hurt

a bunch of white people trying to feel better

watching her
I felt the friendship
disintegrate
a hundred
different ways

*

what are the demands?

*

displayed along a path in the garden
the rooms could not
be entered
only seen through
windows aligned

gazing downward
descending
from the sky
this motion caused the garments
to cling to the front
of the body

the position of the hands
suggests
the carrying of an object

undoing
the sandal
with the left foot
supported by
the wings
of a small cupid

*

a banshee
with an empathetic tendency

flowers blooming
simultaneously in the cave

industrious bugs
eating holes in leaves
& fruit

in stillness & light

limbs transformed into foliage

unsettling
devouring
laughing
little girl

taking root in the city

*

the crescent moon sits
on the crown of the head of the godx

a high emotional pitch

lime green
edged in pink

rose-grey
seeming to sleep

the landscape in Normandy
oil on canvas
reminds me that I was once there
playing billiards
& walking through a garden

pausing at the pond

*

I feel the urge
to gently push you off the bed

lilac & silvery dashes

I remember the rainbow over Niagara Falls
the romance of the myth
I was moved by it
even as a child
like that childhood book about the talking eggs

I retell the story while I pack a bag to go home

that time of life when all things are possible

*

I watch a lot of TV
mostly anything with murder in it
or people achieving their dreams

looking back at this first winter

what will my truth be?

how will it be remembered?

what will remain
of the cold?

*

mind disturbed by water
overcome with tenderness
the voices of rebirth

these procedures are not
as magical as they seem

so beautiful & so hard

to be kind in the mess of this
full of grace & strength
or quoting a friend, “graceful as fuck”

the scene becomes ridiculous

be fierce, I remind myself

*

I believe in a world where queerness is a strong force

crying in the supervisor’s office
she asks, “is it easier to cry for the client
rather than
to cry for yourself?”

oh yes, this resonates

this accumulation is a direct consequence of another
remembering less in words & more with feelings & bodies

a fierce & wary girl
sprawled on a couch reading
or knees tucked under the chin

ordinary life stressors
the best adaptations a person can manage

requiring the ability to lose oneself & find oneself
in the service of connection

*

expressed mercy

experiencing pleasure & aggression

to be fed
painfully through the mouth & tongue

values
a bit of magic

thoughtful befuddlement

this too resonates

Brittany Billmeyer-Finn is a queer poet & playwright living in Northampton, MA, where she is an aspiring social worker in the Smith MSW program. Her full length book, the meshes, written through the filmography of Maya Deren is out from Black Radish Books. In 2015, she directed her first play, the meshes: an iteration in 2 acts at SAFEhouse Arts in SF. She continues to investigate a queer poetics in her interview series “Blessed Be” at Drunken Boat. Her TRACT Slabs from Timeless Infinite Light is set in pockets, in containers, near water, in the body, & is about queer love.