The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Naty and My Chaotic Stench by Shey Rivera Rios

I. Ali

A tangled, hairy mess lays on the bed, arms spread out and legs
up on the wall. Long dark hair spilling from the bed to the floor.
The Hanged Man. “What a world, what a world…,” the wicked
witch shrieks out of the television as she melts. I stare at the white
paint bubbles on my ceiling. The biggest one takes the shape of
South America, dripping out of the dirty, white ceiling. I fantasize about being a wild Amazon woman with hair reaching down to my thighs and wild orchids tangled in unruly curls that smell
of waterfalls and mud, rain and mangos, and blossoming Birds of Paradise. Worrying only about the rain.

Smoke from the burning sage gathers into thick blankets above
the bed, soundproofing my room so the thunder and the lightning only resonate in my head. I stay quiet and visualize the storm soaking everything up, washing off the colors and wrapping the
world in a monochrome blanket. I lick my lips. Peppermint incense makes me hungry…

Music: “Las sirenas” by Los Espíritus, Puerto Rico, 2016.

This selection comes from the book, Naty and My Chaotic Stench, available from Anomalous Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Nilsa Ada Rivera.

Shey Rivera Ríos (pronouns: they/them) is a multi- genre artist and arts manager. They are active in the mediums of performance, installation, digital media, and poetry/narrative. The creations span several genres and a myriad of topics, from home to capitalism to queerness to magic. Rivera is also a performance curator and producer of interventions that activate people creatively. Participation in national organizations include: member and alumni of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artist Communities, fellow of the Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) 2017-2018, and Brown University Public Humanities Community Fellow 2017-2019. Rivera has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, and graduate studies in Contemporary Media and Culture from the University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan, Puerto Rico.



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