body of work / when you take away punctuation

dear readers/friends/comrades,
first, a plug for my fellow writer a.m. o’malley and some fundraising she’s doing for her upcoming memoir project
support her!
you won’t regret it!
click here for details

second, i have returned to ye olde blogstone
(blog + grindstone)
and it feels good to be back
hope ya’ll enjoyed the break

thirdly, i rarely directly address you
and i am enjoying it
and am wondering how to do this more

fourthly, the details:

it’s basically like a lovefest
she says at the top of the stairs

poetry works best as a tax write-off
he says in the dimmed-lit blackbox

in a sea of achievement
you are showing up to this
joolie says via satellite
which is apparently one of the things i needed
to hear
tears gathering
as i perch somewhere outside
the engineering building

what if i lined up
all these words
just to hear you say
you have an impressive body of work
i mean
i didn’t
but what if

largest population of tomorrows
in san diego

people forgot how to build canoes
craig santos perez says of his people, the chamoru from guam/guÄhan
the first contact was very violent
when you take away the punctuation
he says of
lines lifted from the documents about
military-occupied land
its acreage and location
you take away its finality
opening the possibility of other futures

susan m. schultz mentions the
‘proof of existence’ form
the font alone enraged me

feels like sri lanka right now
says liz r.
and even though
i’ve never been to sri lanka
it’s the best way to describe
the marine layer plus raincloud rolling in
they gray but still somehow blue up there
still somehow patches of bright
still somehow spring air
cool but not edgy

approaching mid-terms
wayne says
this is just where you have to believe
in the people around you
and along those lines
to the entire lecture hall
i don’t care if you like me
i don’t like you
i love you

poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless
he quotes audre lorde
and what follows is this:
first he drops his spoken word poem/remix
followed by myself
calling down my students to stand with me
so i don’t have to do this poeming alone
and there are at least eight of them
one of whom hugs me afterwords
and then
there’s alex
self identified queer asian
gets the lecture hall to clap a beat
for him to lay his rap over
which includes the line
i was born this way
and other gutsy dislpays of
and then
through all this
there’s me
pinching myself
at the sight/sound
of 200 undergrads
cheering on
their queer fellow student
during ‘out and proud’ week
pinching myself
at how anyone
could create a safe space
out of an anonymous-feeling 200-student lecture hall
but this guy did

make some noise
bang on the desks
he says
i hear they were made in prison

and i haven’t even mentioned the kid
that rolled in on gold rollerblades

liz a. texts about
the one raindrop that lands
on the head of a pin and
days that sparkle
and i text back about
the tectonic plate we perch on
that broke off
looking across water at a jagged edged continent