Poets

Search more than 3,000 biographies of contemporary and classic poets.

Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Dispatch, winner of the 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor's Choice Award and forthcoming from Persea Books in 2019, and Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016). He is an assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

By This Poet

2

Faggot Poetics

Yet I was, in peculiar truth, a very lucky boy.
—James Baldwin

 

In any case, the story begins
with darkness. A classroom. 

A broom closet. A bowl of bruised 
light held over a city. Or, the story 

begins with a child playing
the role of an ashy plum—

how it rises to meet the man's teeth
or doesn't. How the skin is broken 

or breaks because the body just wants
what it wants: to be a hallway 

where men hang their photos
on the wall. Does that make sense?

To want to own the image of the man
but not the man? To bask in that memory

of what first nailed you to the dark? 

Cento Between the Ending and the End

Sometimes you don’t die

when you’re supposed to

& now I have a choice

repair a world or build

a new one inside my body

a white door opens

into a place queerly brimming

gold light so velvet-gold

it is like the world

hasn’t happened

when I call out

all my friends are there

everyone we love

is still alive gathered

at the lakeside

like constellations

my honeyed kin

honeyed light

beneath the sky

a garden blue stalks

white buds the moon’s

marble glow the fire

distant & flickering

the body whole bright-

winged brimming

with the hours

of the day beautiful

nameless planet. Oh

friends, my friends—

bloom how you must, wild

until we are free.