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A big thank you to Bhanu Kapil for offering Kelsey Street Press’s first Zoom Workshop—Breaking Fire: A workshop on portraiture self-love and the beautiful revenge of your as-yet-to-be written poems. Over 56 participants were virtually present including a few Zoom Bombers. The end product of the workshop was a multi-layered tryptich of text, paintings, drawings, and revenge. Here is the group textual offering shared at the workshop’s end alongside Bhanu’s swallowing of the yellow rose:

the vagus is the core and the core is us

Here the poem is a map of a map of my face

what in space, straight lines that are a variation on a chair

it was a circle that broke free first

how does spiral relate to strands

I want to speak wildflowers, I want to speak in places that bloom and rooms that offer light that exit my mouth

i had my spirits sung to me

the bird on the branch of the bridge of my nose

when i turned pink in the night

Mouth full of birds

I imagine the moon lying on its back in the night I don’t ask enough questions still the song goes up to

the gut brilliances towards the heart

face metamorphosis

a frond, an arched eyebrow, tomato cages holding up the arms, blooms break open seeds.

golden light radiating flickering

he wrong bruise from my upper arm I didn’t yet know the word biceps

three suns they rotate, the silence a chrysalide, inside the chrysalide sap sap warm sap the suns sleep

avocado green inverts into a feature of a face that cannot

let the ants teach you

one day it might become a face a poem a line a word a space a fire

passive fragments of stopping blood so dense against my being

She is taller than me. I look up to her.

The eye whipped with red and pulled by satin ribbons. Hair curled like the curve of the letter S.

Does a root system look like the inner part of a human?

From A digital eye… it appeared in the blue light, the breakdown of yes and no… nothing in-between will operate… what is moving the vision eye?

if you don’t want this scene, change it

Suppose you didn’t believe some pleasures were incorrect.

Like the woodpecker, I find a task

with every tree. Anxiety, dancing naked, that I bed with.

fragile / radical

your father stole your mother and I slept next to a spider

the forest, a mirror-sea between us

This is a red mark, that was a circle then a line and no its just your face

fire from the ditch

The Zoom workshop was a huge success minus some technical glitches, definite lessons learned. Again, thank you to all the participants for sharing in the making of such magic, the space in which to share beauty, and endurance. I am so inspired by your work. Thank you for your offerings and please keep sending us work inspired from the workshop to

The Press hopes to have more offerings soon. In fact, poet, activist and cultural worker Amber DiPietra has offered to host the next workshop entitled—Move/Meant: The intersection of poetics, performance art, and somatics. We are shooting for the end of July, details are forthcoming. In the meantime, I will close by sharing more of the work generated from the workshop and quoting Bhanu Kapil, “I love you, please don’t die.”

Kelsey Street would love to feature more of the work generated by Bhanu’s workshop, so please send us your work @

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