The master is dead. The house is not haunted. #2
don’t want to wear no white skin,
don’t want to rep no colony boot
don’t want to fuck with disaster
don’t want to incur no late fees
don’t want to pick-a-pay or default
master’s dead and disembodied;
become more dangerous by book
book came thru globalism with bible like
basic instructions before leaving earth
bitch I better leave earth,
or english. I’m trying to leave
english from it’s inside, I feel
fat in its fabric, the language
a four season funeral
my tongue is a blood stained codex
sitting in the land of my colonizer
so I’m digging a hole to get there.
I’m done digging ditches for the master
I’m done digging redacted bars for truth
I’m done digging dysphonic tendencies
so, now I’m digging to collapse these colonies.
I’m digging for the bones of decaparicados
I’m digging for the bodies that built these cities
I’m digging for the maids and the nannies
I’m digging for los lava-platos, y los cocinerxs
I’m digging for the gardeners y los roofers
I’m digging for the migrants and the immigrants
I’m digging for los viejitxs, amadxs, y todos
hasta que se acaba todo.
Dear Diego, (#188)
I’m always dodging debt collectors, calling 6 times a day, waking me up and ruining my sleep cycle / I hallucinate a brief glimpse of my grandfather in the far off man that stares into himself, and thereby the sky. I vortex a heap of marijuana and try to go about my day without crying, but just look at the white world around you when you’re brown.
The brown body in repose is never quite in repose. Always a question of who will see it, and will they be a threat? —do I die today, like this? Do I disappear with the rest of my ancestry into an unmarked grave? this body inherits an instinct to feed upon the flesh of ancestral invaders; this body is colonial-dystrophy in praxis, just by breathing.
I feel guilty whenever I think or talk about race. I’m never well read enough to understand my own skin, apparently. I’ve never had enough language to explain the extent of my annihilation. How do I stain my pain as a relatable atom so that we might molecule a fire to burn down histories atrocities; how do I recuperate an organ formed of ash?
I stay quiet.
I document micro-aggressions.
They pile up to form the mountain I live on, where it’s quiet, free from light pollution – it’s where I see my breathing clearly, stolen from its ancestry, my tongue loves the shapes of its oppressor, the way it curves the globe around me into broken fragments of other sounds until there is a bridge of body language to point to what we lack. I’m always pointing to safety; I’m always pointed home: sky.
DEAR DIEGO (#223)
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD BY THE DOOR I’VE JUST BEEN WRITING ALL DAY
DON’T MIND THE WAY I KEEP PACING ON THE CEILING JUST BEEN CRYING FOREVER
DON’T MIND THE LONG NIGHTS THAT BECOME DAYS THIS IS ALWAYS BECOMING
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD ON THE WALLS IVE JUST BEEN TRYING TO THINK
DON’T MIND THE WAY I KEEP RETCHING UP NOTHING JUST TRYING TO POEM
DON’T MIND THE LONG WAY I HEAR IT’S THE SCENIC ROUTE WE LIKE THE FIRE
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD AROUND MY MOUTH IM A VEGETARIAN THIS IS HUMAN
DON’T MIND THE WAY I KEEP DIGGING UP YOUR CORPSE I’M JUST COPING
DON’T MIND THE LONG WINDED MOMENTS OF RECKONING THAT AWAIT US
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD IVE BEEN TRYING TO TRANSLATE IM SURE IT’LL DRY SOON
DON’T MIND THE WAY I KEEP WASHING MY HANDS WITH MY TEARS ITS ORGANIC
DON’T MIND THE LONG WINDED LETTERS IVE SENT YOU FOR YEARS IDK IF U READ
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD I KEEP POURING INTO MY COFFEE IVE MOVED ON FRM ROSES
DON’T MIND THE WAY I KEEP RETURNING TO THE SCENE OF OUR SOURCE, ITS NOT IRL
DON’T MIND THE LONG MOTIONS OF LIVING WE’RE BOTH DEAD AT THE SAME TIME
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD I SPILLED FROM MY FACE I HEAR I LOOK HEALTHIER THESE DAYS
DON’T MIND THE WAY I KEEP YOUR NAME IN MY HEAD LIKE A HAIRCUT OR A DEER TICK
DON’T MIND THE LONG GONE ASPECTS OF MY CULTURE YOU BURNT THEM INTO THE SKY
DON’T MIND THE BLOOD THAT SINGS ATMOSPHERIC MEMORIES OF NOTSOBAD DAYS
Sanity Prayers #3
Never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never give up never
You are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive you are alive
Never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up never giving up
You will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive you will survive
About The Work:
I’ve included a poem from a chap-length project tentatively-titled “haunting,” that deals with the concept of “the masters house,” and “the masters tools” with the supposition that the master is dead, and the house is haunted. I’ve been working with this writing as a means of working through racialized systemic oppression, with poetry as resistance. You can find more of these poems in Elderly Magazine (#18); Oatmeal Magazine (Rage Issue).
I’ve also included a pair of epistolary poems/letters to diego de landa, the spanish friar who on July 12th, 1562, set fire to hundreds (if not thousands) of Yucatec Maya books, idols and hundreds of human bodies as an auto-de-fé in converting the Maya people, with the hope of obliterating my ancestors written and spoken word. He did not succeed. I’ve been writing letters to diego for the last few years and its grown into its own manuscript of hundreds of letters; there’s going to be a collection of these letters coming with Econo Textual Objects in Spring, 2017 (eternally grateful to Raquel Gutierrez!!!!) as a chapbook entitled, Desgraciado.
Lastly, I included a poem entitled “sanity prayer #3” which comes from a self care manuscript I’ve been working on for some time entitled “prayer to the person you’ll become.” Which is really a book about keeping yourself alive, despite everything around us. A long poem accompaniment can be found in Eric Sneathen’s brilliant, Macaroni Necklace project (#5).
*You can purchase Black Lavender Milk here.
Angel Dominguez is a Queer Latinx, Los-Angeles born poet and performance artist dedicated to dismantling and destroying white supremacy. He's the author of the Black Lavender Milk (Timeless Infinite Light, 2015), and Desgraciado (Econo Textual Objects, Spring 2017); you can find his work in Berkeley Poetry Review, FENCE, New Delta Review, Elderly, +elsewhere; find him on twitter @dandelionglitch or irl in the redwoods, or ocean.