Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
All My Friends Are Sad & Bright
after Richard Siken
by Cameron Awkward-Rich
I think door & there is. Open & here’s a room
where everything you’ve lost is washed ashore.
We’ve seen the news. We know the story.
How even our bodies hurt us sometimes
so much. Room of broken mirrors. Room of salt.
Room of marigolds & it’s your party, baby.
Here’s a crown, here’s a gown & no man
just around the corner, all your eyes on you.
I think gunflower & here’s a field. Here’s a room
where every bullet planted blooms. Boy with flower.
Boy with metal rose. What’s done is done. What fire
fords you. I was a child once. Anything could be
my kingdom, all I had to do was say—
Here’s a room of water & gold & nothing else.
A room in which a man takes back his blood.
Goodbye blood. Goodbye stars. Goodbye dead light
troubling the dance your body does all by itself.
I was by myself once, beside myself, breath
fogging up a window & what’s on the other side?
Only everything you wanted & here’s a room
of everything you wanted. Think peppermint & myrrh.
Think loved & you don’t even have to die.
Copyright © 2019 by Cameron Awkward-Rich. Originally published in Dispatch (Persea Books, 2019).
About the Author
Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of two collections of poetry—Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016) and Dispatch (Persea Books, 2019)—as well as The Terrible We: Thinking with Trans Maladjustment, forthcoming from Duke University Press. His writing has appeared, in various forms, in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Signs, and elsewhere, and has been supported by fellowships from Cave Canem, the Lannan Foundation, and the ACLS. Presently, he lives in Greenfield Massachusetts and is an assistant professor in Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
- Day 1: Self Portrait as a Body, a Sea by Donika Kelly
- Day 2: Birthday Suits by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
- Day 3: Obsessions by Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué
- Day 4: The Baby Inside My Baby by Nomi Stone
- Day 5: To Be Saved by CM Burroughs
- Day 6: At the New York City AIDS Memorial by Stefania Gomez
- Day 7: Love in the Time of PrEP by Jaques Rancourt
- Day 8: The Morning After by Ellen Bass
- Day 9: Argument of Situations by Shangyang Fang
- Day 10: Ode to Sneakers by Tory Adkisson
- Day 11: Boombox Ode: Enjoy the Silence
- Day 12: Soon by Makshya Tolbert
- Day 13: Photograph by Jenny George
- Day 14: Salt Lake City by Christian Gullette
- Day 15: Humpty Dumpty by Spencer Reece
- Day 16: The Antihero by Megan Fernandes
- Day 17: On Growing Bored with Synonyms for the Apocalypse, I Rename It Carl… by C. Russell Price
- Day 18: All My Friends are Sad & Bright by Cameron Awkward-Rich
- Day 19: 2000 miles and this is the love letter I send you over text by Noa/h Fields
- Day 20: Book VI from The Queerness of Eve by Emilia Phillips
- Day 21: Oracle by Ari Banias
- Day 22: gxrl gospel iv: beast of a southern wild by Aurielle Marie
- Day 23: Let There Be Pride by Richard Blanco
- Day 24: Jacob Riis Memorial Beach by Stephen Ira
- Day 25: from Dependence, the Joistrix / How you are made by Emily Martin
- Day 26: The Need for Repitition by Jim Whiteside
- Day 27: Arm’d and Fearless by Julian Gewirtz
- Day 28: Polyamory by Madeleine Cravens
- Day 29: GPOY as Rainbowfrog.gif by Aerik Francis
- Day 30: Gay Epithalamium by Benjamin Garcia
Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this second year of our series is the first movement, Schéhérazade, from Masques, Op. 34, by Karol Szymanowski, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.