Titties out for Poetry.
I close my eyes and think about standing at the bus stop, trying not to drop it low, writing poems on my phone.
“I’m a motha fuckin monster.”- Kanye, Monster
I tapped the poems into my notepad app, muttering along with Kanye, sometimes in the dark I’d stand under the streetlight spitting Nicki’s verse to myself. I wrote poems I wanted to read to Mykki Blanco, or I wanted them to be whispered in my ear by Saul Williams.
“I’m fucked up. I know that. I need help. I’m so sad”- Mykki Blanco. Loner
I wasn’t trying to write a legit chapbook. I had zero belief that I would ever actually do that, so I just wrote the poems.
“Freeze without an answer Free from all the shame”- Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Omar Rodríguez-López. The Mars Volta The Widow
It was the first time in many years I very earnestly wrote poems for myself. I wrote out of my body, my pain and exhaustion and anxiety. I wrote into my body, booty bouncing on the two and the four, my jiggly ass, how I can’t twerk but I can make my thighs clap.
“Run up motherfucker, get shot”- Will Putney, Vincent Price, Ernie C.& Ice-T. Body Count, Talk Shit, Get Shot
I wrote poems that I knew wouldn’t be touched by most poetry magazines. That, would not make me a pobiz darling, that spoke to my relationship with words and genders and everything. I wrote poems to bust it wide open, wrap myself in secrecy, expose my own secrets. I wrote like I was bleeding.
“My pussy glitter as gold”- Cardi B. Bodak Yellow
I let go of advice that said to be universal. To court Whiteness and cisness and heteronormativity. I wrote my blood the way I hear it in my ears when I’m too afraid to live.
Occasionally, other poets ask me how I got a chapbook published.
I sang it.
I twerked it.
I wept it.
I stopped giving a fuck about the rejections and the Whiteness and the pressure to bow to white broets and shitty conceptualists. I gave them up. I threw them out.
Fuck me too for trying so hard for so long.
I just let it out.
And Gasoline Heart was born.
And I am grateful to Elizabeth Treadwell for working with me and helping me make my tiny book. See and get it here.
The incomplete playlist.