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Poems Are the Only
Real Bodies

Jennifer Tamayo

June 2013
Chapbook, Limited edition
7 x 7, 28 pages
Full color 80 lb. cover
Natural white interior
Machine sewn in a zigzag stitch
$8.00


 

Sorry, this chapbook has sold out.
But you can read it free as an ebook here.


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Poems Are the Only Real Bodies is the fourth chapbook in the 2012-2013 series from Bloof Books. Each chapbook in the series will be released in a limited edition of one hundred numbered copies, followed by a digital release.

A collection of letters to the historical object, Harriet Tubman (aka Araminta Ross/The Conductor/Moses) the sequence considers the pleasures and difficulties of what it means to encounter and experience a radiant historical figure—how do subjectivities collide? How does poetry service the body? Most of the chapbook was written in situ at the Harriet Tubman Memorial Triangle in Harlem, the neighborhood in which Tamayo both lives and works.

Harriet,

my clit perks and waves to the sun!

it thinks it to be its own reflection

and it looks up the word ENTITLED

At your memorial, I dangle from your big hand like a metaphor: I'm the slobbery noodle.

The way out of this, Hurryet, is through language but I can't stop narrating, guh, it feels so good.

YOUR ART CONTROLS YOU BY BRINGING UP PRIVATE MOMENTS THAT YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO BE GENERAL KNOWLEDGE, AND TURNING IT AROUND SO THAT YOU COME OUT AS THE FOOL AND THEY COME OUT AS THE HERO.



Dear Moses,

In Art
none of us hero.

There are many versions of me on the internet
and they are all arms!

Have you heard:

What a pair of hips can do
to your historical line.


YOUR ART CONTROLS YOU BY MAKING YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR, AND IN DOING THIS AVOIDS ALL ACCOUNTABILITY. IT WILL BE YOUR FAULT BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T REMIND THEM, OR SET A GOOD EXAMPLE, OR STOP THEM SOON ENOUGH WHEN YOU SAW THEY WERE DOING THE WRONG THING.

 

The design concept of Poems Are the Only Real Bodies includes a detail of one of the interior illustations—JT with a statue of Harriet Tubman in Harlem—and the colors are inspired by a popular fast-food chain located in the same plaza, which also appears in the poem. 100 copies are machine-sewn in variations of orange, white and pink.


Jennifer Tamayo is a writer and performer. She is the author of the hybrid collection of poems and art, Red Missed Aches Read Missed Aches Red Mistakes Read Mistakes, winner of the Gatewood Prize and published by Switchback books in 2011. JT serves as the Managing Editor at Futurepoem. She lives in Harlem. More on JT can be found at www.jennifertamayo.com.

Excerpts from Poems Are the Only Real Bodies previously appeared (and can be read online) in Poemelon's epistolary issue.


Praise for Jennifer Tamayo

"Jennifer Tamayo's writing is cacophonous, rude, and stripped. She uses equal measures of English, Spanish, and Spanglish; she landmines her poetry with malapropisms so the music is startling and pleasingly discordant. [Red Missed Aches] feels defiantly unfinished, adhering to a DIY feminist punk aesthetic so that it is more rough assemblage than bound book, a palimpsest that provocatively revises female sexuality and citizenship. Tamayo's debut collection is a daring and astonishing work that refuses borders"

—Cathy Park Hong

 

"Jennifer Tamayo's Red Missed Aches Read Missed Aches Red Mistakes Read Mistakes is fueled with a feminist DIY punk aesthetic weaving in and out of narratives which explore the "body" as well as personal and cultural identity. Tamayo layers her fragmented poems with complexity by mixing in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, moving from elevated language to guttural yawps as a means of exploring and ultimately contesting borders and barriers."

Coldfront,
Top 30 Books of 2011