**FEATURED ARTIST** Rachel Wiley

2016

The year our lord ripped the land  line from the wall/the year white men could time travel and their white wives used their lily soft hands to crank the dial backwards while the rest of us watched/the year my mother got my eye color wrong/ the year no one at all came and I sat in that empty parking lot for hours thrilling at the possibility in every oncoming headlight/the year hours felt like months/the year she left you anyway/the year without Sunday mornings and no absolution for anyone/ the year I got stuck with these sins dyed onto my fingertips, these transgressions a splintered chicken bone in my throat.

 


 

Ghazal for the White Girl I Keep Getting Mistaken For

 

People keep asking me for what you owe like I’m another, White Girl

Black father just happened to fall in love with a rather white girl

You unload your slur heavy tongue when you think the coast is clear

But I see you with that shit cause I’m undercover, white girl

You drink a venti soy latte with extra privilege spice (girl)

corn rows in your hair Columbus discovered , white girl

Swerve to avoid the black bodies on your news feed

but post up that new Iggy cause you’re hip hop lover, white girl

white girl tears heavier than history

Cause you’re not a racist just another badgered, white girl

 


Intersectional Feminism (aka Actual Fucking Feminism) Plays the Dozens with White Feminism

 

White feminism is about as feminist as Dr Pepper is a Medical Doctor

as Rachel Dolezal is Black

 as an orgasm with Donald Trump is real

White Feminism got 1 black friend (Raven Simone), calls itself intersectional

still show up at your Halloween party in black face though

thinks Beyoncé is overrated but Taylor Swift is a feminist though

thinks twerking is a revolution on Miley but wants to know why Nicki   “won’t respect herself” though

White Feminism, What’s Good?

White Feminism doesn’t appreciate being called WHITE Feminism.

White Feminism doesn’t understand why it’s always got to be about race, doesn’t see color and thinks your obsession with race is frankly divisive.

Besides, Meryl Streep says we’re all descendants of Africa, anyway.

and

White feminism swears it will unlock the door to equality and let us all in if we will just hoist her through this window

on our backs

and ain’t that just like white feminism always getting up on someone else’s back.

 


Prime Cuts

 

Every time I go thru airport security

despite their pervy x-ray glasses,

my belly gets an intimate blue gloved rub down

They say I alarmed in that area

and don’t I always?

Perhaps I should submit a butcher’s diagram of all of the things they might find in my fat.

 

The upper left quadrant is primarily made up swallowed bubble gum  and of the hearts of my enemies.

 

The bottom left IS actually made up of snack cakes

suspended in feelings,

a jello mold of angst and sugar,

if you are trying to find my shame it should be there somewhere but there are better things blocking the way.

 

A humble museum of loves lost and kept

occupies the upper right portion,

there is a gift shop full of shit lovers have left behind

it really is a must see.

 

The bottom right is where all of my awesome is stored

it looks like an illegal fireworks trailer,

if you jostle it too much there will be a loud

and beautiful explosion.

This is where I get all of that confidence you so are

perplexed by,

the very thing that likely sounded the alarm.

 

The fucks I give about what anyone thinks of my terrorizing body

are all stored in my bellybutton

notice how it is an empty bowl waiting to be filled.

 


Promissory

For Dez

 

We are far and away from the days we were homecoming queens of the convenience store parking lot, fuel pump island girls who smelled of candy and gasoline, We welcomed in the cars whose bass shook the ground like furious dancing gods,

and offered ourselves up to them

when we knew what our youth and cleavage and the well-timed lick of a blow pop could get us,

but not yet what they would cost us

we never bothered to read the promissory notes we signed to be young

and girl

and without curfew.

We assumed the terms to be ours.

 

We could not know what we would leave behind in wandering naive from our hilltop

that we would come to know what it means to be debt-full

and woman

and still with no one is calling us home.

 

Girls are taught that our worth lies under the earth of another girl’s feet

and in the hot breath of men

You and I have managed a double knotted string from your tin can heart to mine

this guide line leads me back to all of our safe when I dive too far into the dark.

Again and again.

I thank the rumble Gods for you.

 

One of these days we’ll scrape enough gas money from the floor mats to run away

some place where we don’t have to wear this skin like bark.

We will not spend any more years piling on scabs until we are crab shelled laughter ghosts.

We will be unsalted hot pearls.

We will stand on a beach tasting a salt spray not made of Midwest wind and tears after everyone else has gone to sleep

we will peel down to the soft fruit

and it for once it won’t hurt

and for once it will be on our terms.


Rachel and The Bestest (Dez)- 17 years strong 
Rachel Wiley is a performer, poet, feminist, and fat positive activist from Columbus, Ohio. Rachel has represented Columbus at multiple National Poetry Slam Competitions and was a finalist twice in 2011. She is on staff at Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam and the co-host/co-founder of the Columbus Queer Open Mic. Rachel has toured nationally performing at Slam Venues, Colleges, and Festivals. Her first full length collection of poems, Fat Girl Finishing School, was published by Timber Mouse Publishing in 2014. Her work has appeared on Upworthy, The Huffington Post, The Militant Baker, and Everyday Feminism. She also really likes stickers.