Thanksgiving, Biyuti Press, The Guardian, and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul

A day or two ago, Cat Fitzpatrick wrote this great article for the Guardian about trans people and their poetry.  My work is mentioned there, as well as three presses I’ve worked with: Topside, Trans-Genre, and Biyuti.

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. <3

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,

RYKA