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Wendy Trevino created a playlist • a day ago
Cruel Fiction brings together new material with celebrated work, including the provocative and charged “Brazilian Is Not a Race,” a sonnet sequence meditating on race, nation, and history seen from the author’s native Rio Grande Valley. This is a spectacular debut trying to puzzle though the insurgencies, context, and kinesis of our present, from the workplace to the pop charts but most of all to the politics of struggle.
“Wendy Trevino is my leader in craft. Cruel Fiction is my courage before a county judge. Born captive, I am inspired to at least take back my likeness. Against industrialists who know that in fire we are at home. One more poem could put the ghetto on the brink of irreversible rebellion. The continuum of slave fields will all know justice and Trevino has a proletariat story for every city this side of 2008.”
while they sleep (under the bed is another country) refuses to sweep up the shards of Hurricane María’s aftermath. Written in dialogic fragments and interspersed with prose poems reflecting on the lasting impact of colonial trauma, it is arranged around the two different discourses. The bed on which America sleeps, and which America has made, is built on the fear that the nations it has oppressed will rise up against it, a monstrous shadow in a child’s nightmare. Written in English, while they sleep points to a imperialist American identity: the dormant body of the text. Answering in Spanish, under the bed is another country is the footnote, the monster under the bed, the colony: Puerto Rico.
"Flatly, this is among the most moving books of crisis I have read in more than two decades by a frighteningly talented poet." —Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren and Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
"Out of the impossible, writing the endless lines of the disaster, Raquel Salas Rivera has been talking to us all along." —Fred Moten, author of B Jenkins and The Feel Trio
"Salas Rivera, with stunning clarity, juxtaposes the hollow language of witness with the embodied language of survival, drowned out by the colonial grammars of institutional violence, bureaucracy, and performative politics." —Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, author of Beast Meridian
"This is a book with its form as the heart that is its motor and both its center and its shield." —Anne Boyer, author of A Handbook of Disappointed Fate and The Undying
"Porque el huracán no solo impactó la isla sino también su lenguaje, y es con esas palabras rotas que Raquel Salas Rivera ha escrito este libro conmovedor y tan urgente.” —Frank Báez, autor de Postales
"Pet Sounds is a long love poem written in and out of the collective of us. It truly has a surfing kind of energy, doesn’t get bunched up for long, even pleasantly gets a little specific and gross, but bobs again. Invariably she deals sharp and close because Stephanie’s seriously interested in a total ride through relationship and humanity, song, family and what else."
- Eileen Myles
"It is the power of the nothingness between us – call it love, or love songs – that is the center of all sensation and its interpretation. "
I present this playlist as a playlist to think, fight and fuck to. When I think of playlists there must be a well rounded approach. It must confront on all fronts. So that it make you a better lover, person and one that lives better amongst others. This helps to make one ready for the night of present and the dawn of the future. From many of the texts I share a personal connection to. Cecily is the first person to welcome me into her space in Vancouver and I always feels warmth and gratitude towards her because of this. Especially since I met her after a heartbroken bender of mine. John is always on my mind and makes the same tune as “Something about John Coltrane” but this “John” is my John that I picked up. There’s always something about that feels like the tickle of hair growing out of my scalp. I couldn’t be more in love. Reek is my forever comrade in arms. Probably the most important artist and militant of our generation because of how Reek fights for their friends. Raven is also the most important remnant of the Black anarchist tradition and has the quiet affect of a monk. The two former people I mentioned are leos, and the third one is too, Manuel. Manuel is the most sincere person I’ve met in awhile in the poetry world. I began to read their book “transtrender” and there’s been no turning back. Zaina, the last militant poet in the states. She puts so much passion into her relationships with organizing as she does poetry. Other texts, the only relationship I have to them is that they taught me something. So, I am sharing.
This collection by jayy dodd be a Black soundtrack remixing a questioning condition—be a pristine 16—bars: poplocking & unlocking all our imprisoned ignorance—be a praise song—blasphemous & righteous simultaneous—an altar—an alter ego—a negro narcissus blowing kisses at the mirror of their divine fineness—yes, lawd, these poems root us in the truth—sprout lovely—the opposite of wilt—they “flower in your hand”—bloom sonic in your ear like anti-anthem shading flamboyant & death-dropping to the pulse of its own parade. Amen.
-T'AI FREEDOM FORD
Who is Narcissus? If I thought I knew the answer to that question, I no longer do. Does jayy dodd’s THE BLACK CONDITION FT. NARCISSUS offer a mythology remixed, queered, Blackened, etc? For sure! jayy dodd inscribes and incarnates a dialectical desire for presence and a line of attack into “The Black Condition” as written by White Supremacy, faggotry as written by Hetero/Homo & Trans normativities, femininity as written by misogynoir, genius as written out of and against Black queer/trans/femme subjectivities. But far more than critical mirror or melancholy echo, dodd’s Narcissus emerges as generative principle, birthing the most vulnerable of possibilities, and deftly intimate, if joyously irreverent, critique. Their book is beautiful, voluptuous, daring and demanding of new shapes for becoming, loving and where necessary, destroying. jayy dodd is a genius and I will say that again.
If Amiri Baraka the poet, the pure technician, musician, chronicler of all that is black, blue, purple and lyric, were to metamorphosize and return as a blxk trans femme in spirit they would be jayy dodd. dodd’s poetry captures the magic and the ‘tude, the swing, swagger and tender hands of their experience. It’s an epic, a record, recording, A&B side, CD with bonus track, most importantly it is gospel bristling with raw and tender truths and yearning.