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We're starting off this week with poems by the series' three curators: Aurielle Marie (ATL), mónica teresa ortiz (Lubbock, Texas) and Alysia Nicole Harris (DC-ATL-TX).
Aurielle was recently named as Lambda Literary Award-finalist for her debut poetry collection Gumbo Ya Ya. mónica is the author of two chapbooks, autobiography of a semiromantic anarchist and muted blood. Alysia is a spoken word artist with one chapbook and a shit ton of poems on YouTube. The three make up Scalawag's resident poets.
TRACK 01 …….. Aurielle Marie
"grxl gospel i: all the women were white, all the Black folk, men & so, we were brave"
Aurielle Marie is a Black queer storyteller, a political organizer, and child of the Deep South by way of Atlanta. An award-winning poet, essayist, and cultural strategist, they received their Bachelor's in Social Justice Strategy and Hip-Hop Theory from the Evergreen State College.
TRACK 02 …….. mónica teresa ortiz
"12/15/2017," words after Jessica Lanay
I have questions you no longer answer stillness has lasted five years and counting this is the land where we buried you
raised in dust layers my skin cannot wash off it is the only land I have left here in this county that will go dry once the Ogallala runs out of water did you come here knowing you might run out of
did you come here to spit on land in hopes the plains would be more fertile than the desert did you come here looking for prophets who promised we had time to salvage water did you come here looking for milkweed whose habitats have turned into power lines and cables gaps filled by
did you come here looking for euphoria
what invasive species will grow over you this is not the land that birthed you none of us can return home anyway I watch the jackrabbit shoot out of the garden of plastic flowers where you
I dare not even whisper
the ground anything but
monica teresa ortiz is a poet born and raised in Texas. They are a freedomways journalist in residence and an artist in residence with UT Austin's Planet Texas 2050 initiative. mónica is the author of two chapbooks: muted blood and autobiography of a semiromantic anarchist.
TRACK 03 …….. Alysia Nicole Harris
"In This Unfamiliar Posture"
Let loving you be my first expression of milk.
Let us learn together another
tenderness. Where there is no persuading
or pleading—no, something other than
danger and the love of it.
Here we don't negotiate
power, only the angle
of your head against my breast,
nerves sharpening my body
to its softest point. One day the earth of my pelvis
One day I'll give at the center
and out of me crawls a new continent
but today, do not move the mountains,
let my nipples near your mouth.
Come to me thus,
not as a weapon but as a young boy
startled by hunger. Say my name
When you say my name,
the alchemy I'm capable of. Almost
instantly when you say my name,
through my shirt, a dark ring
Alysia Nicole Harris is a performance poet, linguist, and Christian from Virginia. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from Yale University and her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Alysia is the author of the chapbook How Much We Must Have Looked Like Stars to Stars. She serves as arts and soul editor at Scalawag and a regular arts contributor for Dallas Morning News. She lives in Corsicana, Texas.
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