TEACHING A MUTHAFUCKA HOW TO TALK TO GOD by Ally Ang

i turn you into liquid

with one touch. in our photographs, i am just

out of frame

a blurred figure haunting the margins

in bloom. get on your knees, motherfucker:

i don’t think you’re ready

for this magnificence.

there is a woman-shaped space just big enough

for you to fit into & that, too, is a form

of worship. who’s to say what is holy?

i talk to god whenever i touch myself

turn a cavern into a cathedral

& then burn it to the ground. who’s to say

what is holy? i talk to god when i tell you

to fuck me so good

i forget my own name.

years later, i am still haunting the margins

of your memory. still in bloom.

open wide--now you, too

are blooming.

What does the title, “Emerging poet,” mean to you?

 

To me, “emerging poet” means someone who has not yet received widespread/mainstream recognition. Because the literary world is so heavily dominated by white people and cishet men, queer poets of color rarely get that kind of recognition, even when they are incredibly talented and deserving. It’s important to note that not every poet even wants to be “recognized.” 

 

Do you consider yourself an “emerging” poet? Why or why not?

 

By my own definition, I would consider myself an emerging poet. Although I’ve published a chapbook and I’ve had poems published in some dope journals and zines, I’m not really a name people recognize outside of my close social/literary circles. And that’s fine with me; I don’t write because I’m trying to be recognized by anyone in particular. I’m really just trying to build community through my writing, which is not dependent on validation from the “mainstream” literary world. . 

 

What do you think it takes to be “recognized” in the poetry community?

 

First of all, I don’t know if there is a singular poetry community, just like I wouldn’t say that there is a singular “queer community.” However, I would say that recognition in any poetry community is dependent on social capital and talent.​

 

How do you think power politics shape the poetry community?

 

Power politics shape any kind of community, and poetry is no exception. If you think about which contemporary poets are the most recognized, who are making the most money from their writing, it’s usually those who are white, cisgender, able-bodied, male, etc. Even beyond that--I’ve known many women of color who have been exploited, abused, or treated shittily by white people, cis people, and men who are respected in the poetry community.​

 

What does community mean to you?

 

Community means mutual care and support. It means accountability. It means taking responsibility for the well-being of each other and of the community as a whole. It means uplifting one another. It means a definition of family that is so much more expansive than blood ties.  

 

 

    

ALLY ANG is a spooky femme poet and author of the chapbook Monstrosity (2016, Damaged Goods Press). Their work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net anthology, and has appeared in The Fem, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and more. Find Ally on Twitter and Instagram @TheOceanIsGay.

 

 

 

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