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             pray for me, for i am so helpless and alone
                                       from prayer to saint jude, patron saint of lost causes

                                      under a veil of medicines and labored breathing,
                                      shades cinched in, no splinter of streetlight

                                      labored breathing, tongue wheeze, thoughts
                                      a veil of sickness

                                      i felt the mattress shaking, bracing my arms
                                      on the padding, holding it down. it was imaginary—

                                      the mythology of california; a half-dream,
                                      earthquakes rising from a sleep fever,

                                      rising from a warm tongue of syrups,
                                      tremors that were figments, made up,

                                     the company i had then, when calling
                                     out for lost causes.
            

as my 30-day practice, i’d like to write a poem in response to (maybe sometimes as an interpretation of) a line of a different prayer from a different saint each day. this is me trying to reconnect to/reevaluate/challenge/garner multiple meanings from/etc my catholic upbringing and the sorts of rituals i learned to internalize but later denounced. one hope for this exercise is that it’ll give me some material and/or a jumping off point for my next writing project, which i want to be an exploration of catholicism, lgbtq identities/politics, class, guilt, community rituals, place, etc.

i wasn’t the best at being consistent with this tracking-progress project, but i’ve decided to make it easier on myself. part of a class i’m taking called corporeal mercies and the queer poetics of embodied call and response invites us to create a 30-day praxis, in which we create a fifteen-minute daily writing ritual consisting of a call, which we use as a jumping off point for a quick poem (response). 

to keep up with updating this thing, i’m going to post my daily writing ritual (unless too saucy for public readership).

“Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in ord…

er to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

“because she arrives, vibrant, over and over again; we are at the beginning of a new history, or rather a process of becoming in which several histories intersect with one another. as a subject for history, woman always occurs simultaneously in several places. (in woman, personal history blends together with the history of all women, as well as national and world history.”

i wished that woman would write and proclaim this unique empire so that other women, other unacknowledged sovereigns, might exclaim: i too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard of songs. time and again, i too, have felt so full of luminous torrents i could burst–burst with forms much more beautiful than those which are put up in frames and sold for a stinking fortune.”

-helene cixous