I organized an event with blackout poetry as an exhibit, that included the crowd trying their hand at doing blackout poetry and leaving it for each other to read. I told them that it was a way to use up old media, old books we have from dead white men that we bought for a class and couldn’t resell, and books that were water damaged and just plain books that sucked. Folks seem to think that gutting a book is like gutting a bible, and my growing up in the church self knows that it's not the same t…
But it was also about January when I found out my friend Mateo died, someone I came to know through zines and we’d eventually visit each other, him here in South Texas and me over in Durham, North Carolina. I even went to live in Durham for a few months, renting the apartment next to his. And the kids played in the snow and saw squirrels and it was different and not the valley and it was nice.
And when I heard of his passing and that of his husband passing, I felt that life had played a cruel joke on us. Life had told me that you can find love and be in love and have this shining couple but be it because of sickness or poverty or the way life is not fair, things like this happen. And I couldn’t write or read the usual way in which I healed.
And I went to bed with a few books that were just god awful and ended up spending five hours trying to come up with poems. The next day I dug around my garage and found books that had been water damaged after my washing machine overflowed. It passed the time and took my mind off that hurt in your heart for a bit. It activated this mental block that had formed in my head, this idea that I had formed against poetry, that I was out of poetry (can one be out of poems?)–