...and my emotions dance their way

into the gutter, let them clog with leafy rain...


by Dana Venerable



“I used to laugh to myself about how, as a woman, your story is often attached to the narrative of a man...No matter what you’re doing or how great your work is, sometimes it’s as though you have to be attached to a man to be validated. I’d felt like that at times. And then I started to read about Mary Magdalene and how amazing she was; how she was likely to have been Jesus’s best friend, his confidante. She was a herbalist and a healer, but, you know, her story is written out of the bible and she was ‘a prostitute’. I found a lot of power in the story of Mary Magdalene; a lot of dignity, a lot of grace, a lot of inspiration.” -FKA Twigs  Can *my* emotions be recycled? Can they be returned to whoever sent them my way made me feel all this Does Karma have a praxis? Does Karma have a private meme-page-finsta? {trying not to get cents involved, but it’s clear sense is missin’ ___u} The Awakening type of mood / mehmeh // I concur take this one Most of ___ur “likes” on social media are from fake people People are being paid to “like” ___ur shit Bots ! are being paid to “like” ___ur shit Wasted bots are being paid to waste time On wasted ___u Digital landfill Memes saved in My 9 desktop folders labeled “when I’m coming down with ‘pression and/or c-ptsd daydream/ nightmarez”*scrambles to audio-read ‘the body keeps the score’* *scrambles to skim-read ‘psycho-cybernetics’* *scrambles eggs, eats toast w/ butter right on the counter* “Like” for a “like” only otherwise ___u refuse to “like” shit That is what ___u actually think And choose to live irl Don’t be fooled by digital masks Some people never hang them on the wall Can emotions be wasted? “Likes” are mosdef a form of emotion waste There is very little to this finger choreo “Liking” and longing and lust and love and loss All in one half of a millisecond aided by gravity I love L Words in curlier contexts My eyes are deteriorating slowly as I write this And during all these thousands of paused minutes in between “carrots only” is my grocery list The cardinal at my backyard pleads with me Look anew and listen to what matters Flashes of red Not mind over matter, mind is matter Yesterday I watched a woodpecker in my backyard up closeI received a reward simply by noticing & walking near it, exists Its/it’s beautiful choreography of winged non-flight It remained pecking, soft violence in circles Renewing the ephemeral My picture of it too blurry to share There is pleasure in deletion and secrecy The outline of a moment recorded ad infinitum Through mine and body We can hold these truths simultaneously There is beauty and the world is falling apart And it’s hard to look at old pictures Because I miss who I used to be I feel expired now, more doomed than these artifacts Spoiled and undone and unfolded and wrinkled, still plenty of hair spirals in bundles I’m not surprised it curls better in collectives My hair often gets away from me when it can I pollute wooden floorboards with my teary debris, tiny tumbleweeds I sometimes pollute my mind with thinking why about why those why who’ve left why me behind why why “I’ve always wanted to feel a warm Mulat” He whispers in my ear while hugging me and I shoved Anger is the energy of accumulated emotionsAn oil that coat covers everything, moistens It also functions like rain, maybe even thunderstorms of hail I’ve been told many a time it isn’t “a good look” If I’m dying, can u hang me upside down and preserve me intact Like a rose? Siri, play “mixed girl blues emo music” No, play “black grl emo blues” Blue is mixed &/w black Play it I am because u are is some bullshit I am because trees were roughly 25% shared genes We are not hugging trees, we are hugging family A type that doesn’t let their hand linger on ___ur lower back or under-boob for too long* *[see Ari G. @ Aretha Franklin’s funeral] They have our backs lung-speaking What happens when “Bittersweet Symphony” becomes background noise in a café, barely absorbed? I’m guessing that pessimism doesn’t want to be trendy, but ends up this way it’s worshipped as a determinant of lunch table arrangementsWhat is the new diet for shitting on people? I knew every time u had been with someone else when u told me to “slow down” while kissing If ___u stack enough issues of Vogue magazine, ___u can make a small table to hold ___ur dream girl doll house If my hair is like “a bed of chrysanthemums,” why didn’t u why pick why me I love u i love u i love u love u love i u love u love i love I Meanwhile there’s me, spinning in my tap shoes Turning the word “scared” into “sacred” Can emotion be a door? An entrance to an exit that’s another u? A cul de sac where people buy too many groceries and throw them away A dead end road where I turned my bike around and kept going back All ground is a dancing bike lane I put my foot out because my breaks are broken ___________________________________________________________ THIS———————IS—————————A——————GUTTER made me feel all this  Fake people  digital landfill Ache people wall-like IRL shit Flashes of red between wrinkled debris, tiny tumbleweeds shoved I am because trees are, lung-speaking And I, me intact, shoved like a roseEnds up this way


This poem originally appeared in Snail Trail Press. 

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