We stand in solidarity with the uprising unfolding across the country following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Jamel Floyd, and those affected by generations of structural violence against Black communities.

We're putting together a list of resources for self-education, mutual aid, and ongoing action in the struggle for racial justice.

The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2019

All Issues
FEB 2019 Issue



Altitude with benefits!
Up in the sibilant nightgown
whose cleavage holds mail, “a word with the world,” my nose bleeds
“No.” The blood spirals down its pole
like a nude called to duty.
One or two rosy pubes loose themselves in air (their own spirals?)
and slideland onto the tiny ring fingers
of the absolutely most desperate--
whose despair is prayer!
From afar my grandmaternal lover comes, with his long trail
which is taking all things
personally, nocturnally
made of a giant marshmallow
blushing on a thorn.
To read this the marshmallow
does a hot ungodly backbend
till a hovering witch shoots hat
frosting out her splits.
She justifies:
stars I know-- how I know them!
Always with wet
hands on their faces!
Getting so close the roses
swap petals, the roses undo their turbans
which they hold up so the sun can’t see
how very close he is, my love--
It is then I must raise my hand
to a stop:
“Do you know how I get about the bald?
How my gut wells? How I pore over their maps
so my face falls to their bottoms?
My rides—do not take my rides! Another comes to take my face!
I do not know where it ends.
Anyone in this plot stands up who knows
a child preacher in gold leaf bush
humped to his own whispers about pogs
learned snails loved from behind on a bed of postage stamps
that the coil in their shells was just the suggestive trace of a god’s finger a god who had
just sharted himself and later bled the high score -- myself -- in the sand.
And the speech
this made finally -- sweet privation, earth!
Walking through the green blade wood and its powdered wigs
more precision was made
as if treading on a precious scale told him
You’re fucking the big pic now
old graph of idle hymnal Florence
in which rot
three squares that in mattering death
become stairs of such a cakewalk
Each momentary landing occasions its caroler
He gives himself wholly without tally
of ears,
so slight in its stay and
singing just “XYZ”
who internalized that even zippers were his own burdensome invention
a reaction to the sky he once fancied was reasonable.
How it glows down there of a poor judge, a grand being!
But I came down here myself.
The whole way moths loved beating my bottom
made of beating pop-up books on anthems gone.



Farnoosh Fathi

Farnoosh Fathi is the author of Great Guns (Canarium, 2013), editor of Joan Murray: Drafts, Fragments, and Poems (NYRB Poets, 2018) and founder of the Young Artists Language and Devotion Alliance (YALDA).


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2019

All Issues