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tail

There are little words
that can fit in little places
if you say them small enough.

To fit a song into a pore
you have to be prepared
for the day it will sweat.

If words could stick on people,
if spoken, they would become
a different creature.

Blinded and you’re turned
five times around. Nothing
in you knows what it knew.

It’s the best part of the game:
Prick the girls you like best
while pinning on the donkey’s tail.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon. With funding from the City of Oakland, Post Pardon was adapted into an opera. Her full-length collections Hurrah’s Nest and A Penny Saved were published in 2012. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards, and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. One of the founding editors of HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a 2013-14 recipient of an Investing in Artist Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, which funded the dear Gerald project, a regional representative for Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and a faculty member in the BFA Creative Writing program at Goddard College. Her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Arisa is a native New Yorker, living in Oakland, CA, with her wife, Samantha.

More on Arisa White.

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