I want to talk a bit about Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. It is my first book entirely dedicated toward poetry and the life of being basically a queer poet trying to find a reason to go on. I wrote this after the deaths of two friends. Both were trans women. One I knew well; one, I had met only recently. One died from complications associated with AIDS; the other chose to end her life.
It was an extremely difficult book to write. But it addressed matters I could only access through poetry. I write poems, prose, essays. But I have a very different mindset when I work with each form. With poetry, I am most brutal; most direct. If I am pissed about something, or indignant, I will tell you. If I love you, I won’t hide. The form of poetry, even at its freest, still imposes line breaks and beat. I use the formality of poetry as the wall I press against when trying to sleep in an abusive household. I’d like to think, though, in poetry, I create my best lines, and find the best word. Pressure makes things that sparkle, be they diamonds, metaphors, or tears. I think Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul is not so accessible as He Mele A Hilo, nor even Seasonal Velocities. But for those who read it, consider it a gift of my heart.
On this day of Thanksgiving 2015, I am most thankful for the lives, the souls, the experiences–those I love and care for with a fire and fury that only poetry can hope to touch.
Peace, love, and revolution,