"my own disaster"

brandy ryan

brandy ryan (she/her) is a cis-femme meandering poet who loves to collaborate and blur genres and forms. she has published two chapbooks — full slip (Baseline Press, 2013) and After Pulse (co-written with Kerry Manders; kfb, 2019) — as well as pieces in CV2, Windsor ReviewMediaTropes, and elsewhere. with Kerry Manders, she curates and hosts an inter-disciplinary art series called The Thing About.... they are also currently working on a photo-poetic collaboration called "Queering Domesticity / Domesticating the Queer."

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"'my own disaster' is a poetic engagement with one of my favourite painters, a French artist with a background in fashion who turned to art as a response to fashion’s engrained misogyny. Virginie Bocaert’s painting Lurex Light caught my eye in an issue of a local art magazine almost a decade ago. the image stayed with me, and a week later i went to Lisa Robertson’s launch of Magenta Soul Whip. at her launch, she gave out lime green poster cards that read, 'My fidelity is my own disaster,' in an embossed silver type. these two visual pieces — Bocaert’s painting and Robertson’s embossed type paratext — are now twinned in my memory and creative imagination. this poem came from that space."

ryan - source - Lurex Light (Virginie Bo

(a fidelity encounter with Lisa Robertson and Virginie Bocaert)

i stand to face oils hardened by breath we are both naked its body stretched
taut by wood older than its present vulnerability mine worn by the shame
of its latest plundering here as i lean, it leans a stroke of brush
hesitates as it approaches my bare breast i close my eyes to
watch it and it me in that moment i climb into the drip
the drip somewhere running refuses to be fixed
underbrush on canvas crucified wood runs in
my skin i lie in fidelity of its disaster with
poets who paint—a uniform comes
quickly over and taps me on
the shoulder: “You may
not reach over the
rope, miss,”
he says

breath
hardened
by body a worn
present stretches
vulnerability here,
plundering as a bare
brush leans a dripped watch,
my breast approach climbs into
close by somewhere the canvas
(crucified, shamed, refusing to hesitate)
wood runs into my skin to face fidelity, a lie
fixed by disaster poets running their paint and
always the uniform comes always the tap a not-
reach, an overstood rope misses me and always what
it is to be oils lately softened or are there other ways to hide

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