A big thank you to Bhanu Kapil for offering Kelsey Street Press’s first Zoom Workshop—Breaking Fire: A workshop on portraiture self-love and the beautiful revenge of your as-yet-to-be written poems. Over 56 participants were virtually present including a few Zoom Bombers. The end product of the workshop was a multi-layered tryptich of text, paintings, drawings, and revenge. Here is the group textual offering shared at the workshop’s end alongside Bhanu’s swallowing of the yellow rose:
the vagus is the core and the core is us
Here the poem is a map of a map of my face
what in space, straight lines that are a variation on a chair
it was a circle that broke free first
how does spiral relate to strands
I want to speak wildflowers, I want to speak in places that bloom and rooms that offer light that exit my mouth
i had my spirits sung to me
the bird on the branch of the bridge of my nose
when i turned pink in the night
Mouth full of birds
I imagine the moon lying on its back in the night I don’t ask enough questions still the song goes up to
the gut brilliances towards the heart
a frond, an arched eyebrow, tomato cages holding up the arms, blooms break open seeds.
golden light radiating flickering
he wrong bruise from my upper arm I didn’t yet know the word biceps
three suns they rotate, the silence a chrysalide, inside the chrysalide sap sap warm sap the suns sleep
avocado green inverts into a feature of a face that cannot
let the ants teach you
one day it might become a face a poem a line a word a space a fire
passive fragments of stopping blood so dense against my being
She is taller than me. I look up to her.
The eye whipped with red and pulled by satin ribbons. Hair curled like the curve of the letter S.
Does a root system look like the inner part of a human?
From A digital eye… it appeared in the blue light, the breakdown of yes and no… nothing in-between will operate… what is moving the vision eye?
if you don’t want this scene, change it
Suppose you didn’t believe some pleasures were incorrect.
Like the woodpecker, I find a task
with every tree. Anxiety, dancing naked, that I bed with.
fragile / radical
your father stole your mother and I slept next to a spider
the forest, a mirror-sea between us
This is a red mark, that was a circle then a line and no its just your face
fire from the ditch
The Zoom workshop was a huge success minus some technical glitches, definite lessons learned. Again, thank you to all the participants for sharing in the making of such magic, the space in which to share beauty, and endurance. I am so inspired by your work. Thank you for your offerings and please keep sending us work inspired from the workshop to email@example.com.
The Press hopes to have more offerings soon. In fact, poet, activist and cultural worker Amber DiPietra has offered to host the next workshop entitled—Move/Meant: The intersection of poetics, performance art, and somatics. We are shooting for the end of July, details are forthcoming. In the meantime, I will close by sharing more of the work generated from the workshop and quoting Bhanu Kapil, “I love you, please don’t die.”
An offering from Julie Phillips Brown