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GLITTERBRAIN: poems from Anomaly

Every day, the mainstream media is shocked that there are still Nazis in 2020. That people of color are being lynched. That the US government has renewed its zeal for taking more indigenous lands. But it’s not just the media. It’s friends and colleagues sharing their disbelief that this could happen in America. That this is “not us.” Except, of course, it is. And for people of color, queers, and the neurodiverse communities in America—this is how it’s always been. It’s no coincidence the current US President’s favorite insult is “delusional.” It’s no coincidence that he’s popularized the new summary dismissal: “Sad.” Of course we’re sad. How is that even an insult? This is a time to check in on the people we care about, to witness one another in struggle and triumph, and to honor our common goals of humanization and liberation.

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Featured on February 10, 2020

Noct—The Threshold of Madness

Garden-pathing, it was recently explained to me, is a grammatical sentence that lures readers into one meaning, only to be misled, whether through syntactical arrangement or flat-out lexical deception. Isn’t this, I wondered, what poetry is? Joey De Jesus writes early on in Noct—The Threshold of Madness, “I shatter the expected / to access the page” and I think of garden-pathing, the lexical arrangement and its access. Who is left out of the page when we expect any system? Noct—The Threshold of Madness is an erasure poem based on a popular how-to book in black magic. In this chapbook, De Jesus chronicles identity disrepair by internalizing the homology of blackness with the demonic. He writes, “I—I / trick of my mind / Goal and motive coming to me / As the I speaks forth.” There is a possession to his disrepair, one that throttles intended meaning into a spatiotemporal sphere of one. The language is at once devastating as it is curated by a mastermind. Here, agency is pushed under the lens as with everything else. The “I” is void as it is also muscle. It sings without epiphany. It thrives on the splintering explanation.

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Featured on February 3, 2020

Deus Ex Nigrum

With its flora crossing boundaries, Deus Ex Nigrum is, above all else, an invitation to bloom. This chapbook of poems holds a speaker remapping her body, which travels from a site of betrayal to one of renewal. Enacted here is an interlocution of self and body, a configuration outside of canonical human experience, a trans speaker who so finds posterity & futurity in the surround of human being: flowers, seasons, satellitic cyclings. These poems, forever embarking on the commute between monster and human, paint for us the hypervisibility and interior awe that accompany a trans femme’s movement through urban landscapes. Despite being rooted in Baltimore and Brooklyn, there is an unmistakable pull towards the botanical and the cosmic. These poems take us upwards and outwards, coiling and opening with a kaleidoscopic preference for synergy, oceania, and beauty. There is a persistent vulnerability which accumulates & allows the text to arrive upon a new speaker, one who knows herself & says, "here is who i am. i am. i am."

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Featured on January 27, 2020


Marion Bell's first book, AUSTERITY, is poetry written through and against neoliberal demands, "committed to what can only be approached by trust which is impossible to imagine after the things we've lived thru." In conversation with friends, activists and philosophers, these poems explore love, intimacy, queer liberation, and time. What takes shape is a music "that happens also / while looking for work / so you can keep living / to undo / what work does."

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