Here Have This…

My new poetry collection under Goddess Works Media Group is coming out at the end of the summer, I’m very happy about how this is coming along and cannot wait to share it with you all!

I have been busy preparing to move to Virginia, but have managed to work on some poetry between school semester’s end and summer’s work and play.

I have two poems in Voices 2016, which is the literary journal for McHenry County College in Illinois. You can browse this publication and download a copy here: Voices 2016. I was very pleased to make “Best Of” for my poem, “Black Girl”. I also have another poem in this publication, I hope you enjoy all the work by all the talented students. I have one poem in the Voices 2015 book.

I was also very pleased to collaborate with Bedlam Publishing to have an Artist Feature spot in their Loud Zoo publication. I was honored to have read poetry have it recorded with Karthik Kakarala. You can find the literary journal here, Loud Zoo No. 7. Like the other projects I was able to be part of, this one has several amazing artists and writers, I hope you enjoy.

Please keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming collection of poetry, Ant Hills. This collection of poetry is 3 stories of young women who are all in the same Group Home and is the story of their journey through hardship and healing, the subtle movements that separate victim from survivor and growing up girl in this modern world. You can read a “sneak peak” post here: Ant Hills.

Dear Melody,

a poem for you…

Three Types of Women

the cult of the virgin birthed woman
restored, achieved by her own defeat
our lady of graceful obstrigillate
walks in her wake, fight vs. flight
the wild woman, resists creation
of becoming the traditional woman;
conceals dependence from herself,
has crafted her heart cage to act as
an odynometer for measuring pain,
results of life’s longing, weaving
burden baskets as the matriarch

the woman you are,

is the type
who was created by the experience
you’ve housed in your throat box; but
today you will act as a sounding board
working with muffled screams, protests
for all of the women who do not exist,
a test of their own possibility

the women who could’ve been
one of the missing two hundred million
the woman you are has been carefully
crafted, she was designed by all
women who came before you, she
was a predestined piece of society,
fabric sewn into the history of land
matriarch that made house home

the woman you are might be
without womb, perhaps something
she never chose to use, but a she before
chose to build you; women’s history is
(much more) complex, a series of moments
beginning embryonic life, the supply of ovocytes
the creation of ova, at the moment of birth
her species has taken possession of herself.

she is everything life craves, and everything
life cannot contain, a double deceptive image
mediator between auspicious nature and
the death of man, the temptation of nature
wholly untamed, a riddle without resolution
carnal embodiment of moral values and all
their opposites, night next to day; juxtaposed.
she is action and it’s obstacles, wicked to the touch
a taboo in the garden of eden, the ripened fruit
even before she’s come of age, raging against machine

this type of woman is inside of you,
man’s grasp on every possible world,
and his failure, she is the reflection
of each existence and all expression
life can give, can gift, can procreate,
suffocating in its own unraveling origins,
complex creations of every version of

woman, womb to tomb.

-You’re a lovely Melody. Thank you for being a voice, not an echo. I stand with you, always.

Domesticated Abuse

 

kansas became a state january 29th, 1861
i was raised partially on
celebrating re-runs of the Wizard of Oz,
quietly whispering song of being lost
somewhere
over rainbows,
trudging through the tedious task
of construction: foundation of concrete and constant conflict;
mother was nomadic, not with gypsy blood
father had deep roots, none had ever dug that deep, stubborn
for survival’s sake,

early childhood lessons in tough love.

we watched yellow brick roads become walls
housing our counted sorrows on
a television set, centered between twin windows
blinking like eyes that squinted through the early morning sun.
we’d begin our mornings with great expectations,
returning with pockets of lint and disappointment

in our house made entirely of echoes everything was always displaced,
water rings sat on night stands, stains from sleepless weeks
insomniacs hammered peep holes in farmhouse wall paper,
showcasing everything but naked ladies dancing,
that’s what 80’s horror flicks were for, misogyny was reel
and real was the fear that filtered
my walks
from the bedroom to the bathroom
during late night rituals.

mother kept tall tales on dusty shelves, thick spines
of stories softly read to a tribe of children they’d learned to love hating;
raised on splitting atoms and siren songs,

reminding me women can also love with hard kisses and furious rage
consuming, father wore his anger like medals of honor,
heavy on his chest. if the flies on the walls of our house of echoes
could scream they would tell you everything.
those years
slipped through rotten floorboards,
mixed by tiny fingertips into mud pies
pushed back into earth, pressed into plots
spots deep under our feet, watered seed
sprouts and fruits to feed future
need-our house of echoes will always be rebuilt
over and over again,
passed on to
future generations
like heirlooms.

Capital Hill briefing on Violence Against Women Act in Indian Country

IN the link above you will find current information regarding the Violence Against Women Act, and resources for Indigenous Women in Indian Country.

Copper Colored

 

Cooper Colored

ovaries cradle eggs, binge watching fallopian tubes
curling around womb like drift wood, gently caressed
by creek wrapping itself around motherlands, winding
through copper colored earth, stones glisten under
turquoise skies, sun-kissed,
contemplated alternative methods to heal wounds,

but this love
is a science.

contorted into exacts;
precise measures taken to eradicate
the brown wombs from holding babies
faulty actions, leaving scars
slapped on bellies like battle wounds

for being born
woman, of color

shades and tones drain from skin gardens
rich reds match the roads less taken,
a home missing murdered women
touch comes with heavy hands, fists balled like wrecking ball,
crashing into safe spaces, made to hold “women like you”

but this love
is a science

and nothing is as honest as hard science,
nothing like the worry lines on my face
magnified by the mirrors in my car
which is why i have taken to living on the road,
traffic stops become mourning sites
kissing curbsides as if they were mother’s breast,
resting between exist signs, clutching steering wheel

knuckles ache from holding so tight,
cramps growing, from sitting so stiff, so still
from holding position, so stiff, so still
from being born woman, of color
so stiff, so still, locked behind morgue doors
behind police brigades,
behind bars, worries deepen, wrinkles
stretch across my temples, crinkles at the corners
every movement made, crow’s feet
wondering if this land will reclaim me tonight
birds watch, helplessly from wires above,
singing warning songs, like sirens blare
this isn’t love
this is a science:
chemical reactions, human actions,

the systematic killing of the indigenous
punishable, by death
for being born,
woman, copper colored.

IMG_1346
Pocahontas Pancake House, Virginia Beach, VA. Summer 2015. Double Exposure

 

IMG_7087
Teepee Poles, Plains Indians. Summer 2014. North American Plains

 

Sarah madder 6
Sarah, 1980’s. Wisconsin

 

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You Are on Native Land, Wyoming Spring 2014
mascot
Dancing on Indian Land, Chicago 2014.

Ant Hills, Part. 15 Book Available Summer 2016

Ant Hills is a series of poems telling the story of two teen girls who are in foster care together, the perspective is of one of the girls who is “mixed” Native American and Hispanic, the other girl is Afro-Caribbean and Irish. There are 20 “chapters” in this collection of poems as well as 20 short stories titled “Mark” about a young girl who is growing up in a house of recovering addicts who assist her divorced mother, who has a major depressive diagnosis. The book will be available summer 2016 under the Goddess Works Media Group, LLC. label, you will be able to purchase on line, in stores, or download for your devices, artwork by young artist and author, Alex Perrote. Thank you for your support.

Ant Hills and Realities, Pt. 15

her blood runs thick through greta’s tender veins,
her skin has turned from bronze to ashen blue gray,
sparklers, fizzled out of her deep set eyes, like twin
spools of wool steel, there is a pastel hue of lifeless
clinging to space between greta and eye;

a mess today, twenty-six miles away a woman stands,
her hands on her bloated waist, waiting for her dead
daughter, who will never again

come home.

she will never live to know if the sun has any idea of
it’s beauty, greta reminds me, we’re all reclaimed,
some of us just waiting. it’s sobering, this somber state
hanging in the balance of being, life’s gently calling
to itself, i rest my ear against greta’s dark skin, the only

home my head has known for just over a year, we’re
matching signals from gods who must all be crazy,
as mad as hatters, séances connect us to lost mothers,
fathers, and fantasy, folklore screams our names,
echoing into futures as dismal as our

mothership’s pasts, it’s in passing we come to see our realities…

once tucked into wombs, which held us lovely, sweetly-
birthed into spacious places where women are hung,
like heirlooms, across generations of manmade expectation,
we’ve become orphans of reality

greta points to an ant, being carried, broken legs hanging
off of a tattered carcass, “they’re probably going to eat her”

-prior to baby coming mama had a smooth belly, her skin as perfect as the clay that sculpted our homeland, mama surrounded herself with guardrails, tiny knee-high walls used to keep shallow men at bay, mama nursed me for four days, after this i was raised on goat’s milk and flammable love, hard and heavy hitting hands occasionally embraced me. mama came home drunk and out of touch; she was swaddled in tender caressing arms, forgiving hands helped her up. seven days after my ninth birthday we moved our aching hearts to a town just across the reserve lines, we had permission to be as white as the next door neighbor’s family, they called mama half-breed, had written her beer breath off as a perpetually systematic killing of the indigenous in us. i watched mama unpack boxes of gently used clothes and toss commodity cheese and dry milk in the trash can, my first taste of life was gone, slipped through the hands of a recovering addict, she replaced beer stained breath with a need to give into her craving for more white men, more white lies, more white bread, lettuce, cheddar, cheese, for all of the things that would never hold me tight and tell me tale tales about growing up a mixed race, biracial mass of contradiction, someday she would tell me…

“i felt obligated to love you, obligated to keep you, when you didn’t want me.”

ant hills would teach me more about family love and loss, more than mama ever would.

Roaming Charges May Apply

Alex Perrote will be illustrating Ant Hills, this is her debut publication, she is a singer/song writer who will have her first single released in the summer of 2016, as well as having her own YouTube chanel with regular updates.

Sister City

you smell like pinecones, a braid of sweet grass wrapped around itself,
dangling from your fingertips, crown us in situational frustration, queens
of barely making it out of burning buildings (alive)

constructed longhouses out of drift wood, we watch them like wolves, by lamp light,
kerosene fumes fill hollowed spaces,
you’ve failed to fulfill pinky promises:
“you are my home”,
burial ceremonies to place our past
in shallow graves, weary women’s histories woven into the fabric of our very being, you
turn to me whispering; “don’t forget me when time and age pile distance between us”,
and us becomes dust collected on undeveloped negatives, growth over anthropological digs,

us becomes
echoes at starved rocks, and long legs curled into fetal position,
you become a ship to wreck into rocky cliffs,
you kiss hard, with teeth and tall tales, heavy sighs,
shape shifting through two worlds;

red roads to cityscapes,

reclaimed by men wearing caps that read, Chicago Native,
but this land knows it’s rightful occupants, the people of the place of fire, she visits
her children’s child in dreamscapes, spread out
like pick your adventure books, novel-

the idea of you happy in our heartland, it’s heartbreaking,
watching children the color of earth demand justice in streets
built over remains of genocidal tendencies, spilling bloodlines that run like rivers
over concrete, ever observant ancestors linger, we wear our relatives
wrapped tight to the sides of our heads, winter wind whispers,

“this is to hear good things”

trees still tapped by all of my relations past, now sit in silence, solace is solitude
choking on the ash, on the bark and bite of bodies that’ve long since passed,

pushed up petals in fields
of forget-me-nots, a lump growing in my throat. i swallow hard, trying-gradual release

to move past longing for you; your fresh smelling skin, pinecones and promise
childish images of toothy grins and twinkling eyes
haunt, like sheet ghosts,

i wake
tangled in bedding that’s built itself into a nest around my sacred site
conjuring a historic timeline of patriarchal crimes, manifesting: festering.
you’re a whisper, a whimper while the dawn stretches,
you’re so far from me, time and distance have piled between us:

a young and blurry reflection, smoke filled pockets
hand-me-down bitter, separation anxiety
a perpetual cycle of lessons unlearned: the addict
isn’t the person you crave, never pack more than
you can carry on your own, we are all temporary
moments, constantly on the verge of transformation,
these are borrowed vessels from the mother earth who birthed you
you are reliving lessons passed down in your DNA like heirlooms,
wrestling with a society’s structure that’s too fragile to carry
the all of you

built on nation of beautiful people
built over community rich in generosity
built atop clan that still thunders over these lands
built with ill intention

it takes selfless acts to find the right voice
a warrior’s stance; you, strong and resilient, smelling like pinecones
sweet grass crowns dangling from your fingertips, indigenous
walking through streets that’ve encased your lineage,
the city of wind, built atop silenced voices, idle no more

sister, come home. it’s time to reclaim.

To Indigenous Women

you smell like pinecones,
a sweet pea vine wrapped around itself,
dangling from your fingertips,
crowned us in situational frustration, queens
of barely making it out of burning buildings (alive)

constructed treehouses out of drift wood,
burial ceremonies to place our past
in shallow graves, weary worries woven
into the fabric of our very being, you
turn to me

whispering; don’t forget me when
time and age pile distance between us,
and us becomes dust collected on
childhood film reels, us becomes
echoes and long legs curled into fetal position

you become a ship to wreck into rocky cliffs,
you kiss hard with teeth and tall tales, heavy
sighs, walking through forests of skeleton branches
tangling your hair around twigs that look more like fingers
there is a sadness in your smile we can’t love away

you come to visit me in dreamscapes, spread out
like pick your adventure books, novel-
the idea of you happy, it’s heartbreaking,
to grow up and away from family plots
bloodlines that ran like rivers

now sit in silence, solace is solitude
choking on the ash of bodies that’ve long
since passed, pushed up sweet grass in fields
of forget-me-nots, and there is a lump growing
in my throat, i swallow hard, trying

to move past longing for you, your
fresh smelling skin, pinecones and promise
childish images of toothy grins and twinkling eyes
haunt, like sheet ghosts, i wake
tangled in bedding that’s built itself into a nest

conjuring historic timelines of the patriarchal plotted plans
you’re a whisper, a whimper while the dawn stretches,
you’re so far from me, my past: a young and
blurry reflection, smoke filled pockets
hand-me-down bitter, separation anxiety

learning and relearning lessons: the addict
isn’t the person you crave, never pack more than
you can carry on your own, we are but brief
moments, constantly on the verge of transformation,
these are temporary vessels, invest in the spirit

or you will always leave this world empty handed