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About this poet

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.

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? 

From Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Cameron Awkward-Rich. Used with permission of the author.

From Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Cameron Awkward-Rich. Used with permission of the author.

Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich

Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016).

by this poet

poem
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
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