The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: i love you and i'm not dead by Sade LaNay (fka Murphy)


Toni fries ripe plantains & escovitch fish

walking to school a leaf fell off a branch onto my lips kisskiss nature a dog on Dekalb and Marcy licked my hand do trees have a sense of themselves? walking down Decatur, the trees have name tags: gingko ash pear maple sycamore are the names they know themselves by different? is their language more gestural? what does it feel like to be a tree in a city? does concrete bury your roots? what eroticisms are trees expressing that we don’t recognize? I was enjoying myself saw those flowers that look like purple gramophone horns pigeons eating cheese puffs until a brown man turned away from his conversation to leer at me “nice” I wanted to stop & scream “NOT NICE–NASTY” & pummel his face with my bag until he’s on the uneven concrete & I don’t have time so I frowned & kept walking to school

³¹ Toni Cade Bambara (Aries, 1935-1995) Writer, activist, educator. Her papers are in the archives at Spelman College.

This selection comes from the book, i love you and i’m not dead, available from Argos Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Sade LaNay (fka Murphy) is a poet and artist from Houston, TX. Sade holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Pratt Institute and a BA in Studio Art and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. They are the author of ​Härte ​(Downstate Legacies, 2018) ​self portrait​ (Birds of Lace, 2018) Dream Machine​ (co•im•press, 2014) and the forthcoming ​I love you and I’m not dead​ (Argos Books). Her poems are included in the ​Bettering American Poetry​ and ​Best American Experimental Poetry​ anthologies.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: i love you and i'm not dead by Sade LaNay (fka Murphy)


Lorraine blesses the obsidian & rose quartz eggs

watching my blood fill the sink having the heaviest longest period uterus must be clawing its way out of my body with a grapefruit spoon these cramps tho maybe my body is angry maybe it’s going to smash my pelvis like a plate since I will not have children since I will not have sex trying not to cough, sneeze or laugh too hard && I like feeling like I can touch myself touching my insides being inside my body in a different way being disappointed with pamphlets about periods and the illustrated white girls and their pink bodies sawed down the middle to show you the clean neat insides and I did not feel clean a flat word on a sanitary sheet of paper–the information means nothing to the inside of my body, no one explained to me what it would be like to bleed and bleed; to feel myself bleed; to smell my blood in the room; to see my blood on my hands; what the inside of my vagina is supposed to feel like–questions plague me: what if my vagina is wrong? what if I cannot touch other women because I’m afraid (of doing it wrong, of being wrong, of touching myself, of more than touching myself, of touching more than myself, of touching myself the most, of touching myself wrong, of touching the wrong side of myself, of touching, of wrong)

²⁰ Lorraine Hansberry (Aries, 1930-1965) Playwright, writer, activist. Her papers are archived at the Schomburg Center for Research in
Black Culture.

This selection comes from the book, i love you and i’m not dead, available from Argos Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Sade LaNay (fka Murphy) is a poet and artist from Houston, TX. Sade holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Pratt Institute and a BA in Studio Art and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. They are the author of ​Härte ​(Downstate Legacies, 2018) ​self portrait​ (Birds of Lace, 2018) Dream Machine​ (co•im•press, 2014) and the forthcoming ​I love you and I’m not dead​ (Argos Books). Her poems are included in the ​Bettering American Poetry​ and ​Best American Experimental Poetry​ anthologies.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: i love you and i'm not dead by Sade LaNay (fka Murphy)


June & Arthenia arrive in the Chariot

I wake up in the middle of the night T___T it is so inconvenient to be sad I want to be held and I am afraid of closeness. I think I miss Liz because she held me the most before Sheronda kept us apart. my ancestors are the dead too soon. Liz “forced” Rhonda to have me, she would not pay for the abortion. My journals got me in trouble. I had to write in secret. If Shay found my  journals–you fix your fucking face before I give you something to cry about–the way her hands would fly into me, an embrace that I cannot see coming–make me stomp a mud hole in your ass. ungrateful heifer what the fuck is this shit you’re writing? only thing you should feel is happy there’s food on the table. the way my feelings would bloom & tingle in my body they were real to me & I learned to be quiet. when I cried that made her angry so I learned not to cry, I learned to keep secrets. I would cry later in the back of the school bus with my head down or in a bathroom stall at school or with a book in bed at night. there were always books. I never allowed myself to laugh or smile in front of anybody. spent a decade on suicide watch. she can’t help it the girl can’t help it am I better now. my bones are made from ghosts, dead star minerals, planetary refuse. if death is the last reality we will encounter, it did not matter to me that she performed sex work to pay our rent or buy food. I was afraid of our neighborhood and ashamed of our shotgun house & I did not want to live. I did not understand her choices and I could only think of them as choices. when Fred Moten says “I am using an idiosyncratic definition of consent” in the  audience I feel that but I do not know what it means but I do know what it means. “I am the history of rape… I have been raped… I have been the  meaning of rape” I am writing to send Sade back to Sade: alonely girl who reads everything, who is looking for her self, who wants to believe a powerful love is possible && the world hardens me and softens me, I feel more porous than ever. I feel for her: alonely girl who gave birth to something she could not hold.

¹² June Jordan (Cancer, 1936-2002) Poet, architect, educator. Her papers are in the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

¹³ Arthenia Jackson Bates Millican (Gemini, 1920-2012) Poet, educator, scholar. Her papers are archived at the University of South Carolina South Caroliniana Library.

This selection comes from the book, i love you and i’m not dead, available from Argos Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Sade LaNay (fka Murphy) is a poet and artist from Houston, TX. Sade holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Pratt Institute and a BA in Studio Art and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. They are the author of ​Härte ​(Downstate Legacies, 2018) ​self portrait​ (Birds of Lace, 2018) Dream Machine​ (co•im•press, 2014) and the forthcoming ​I love you and I’m not dead​ (Argos Books). Her poems are included in the ​Bettering American Poetry​ and ​Best American Experimental Poetry​ anthologies.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: i love you and i'm not dead by Sade LaNay (fka Murphy)


Georgia & Carolyn fling florida water with sprigs of parsley

moving from the sacred interior to displacement
surrounded being read, hardly determined as “woman”
spirits tell me secrets & I am a secret gender an open book about it

pick up your regretful face
you are stealing back (something that was stolen
from you to begin with) your body

when you are sleeping &or sleepwalking
home not home but there or to school or to find work
or to explore the place you have been but not really been

thinking about how I go to therapy
and feel bad for the therapist & is it working
I do not give myself enough credit and I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶k̶n̶o̶w̶ ̶h̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶

getting a new tattoo would fix everything
“well, men never do something they don’t expect to be rewarded for”
I want to know which makes me unfair & threatening

⁸ Georgia Douglas Johnson (Virgo, 1877-1966) Poet, playwright, activist. Her papers are in the Manuscript Division of the University
Archives at Howard University.

⁹ Carolyn M. Rodgers (Sagittarius, 1960-2010) Poet, publisher, educator. Her poems are online at the Internet Archive.

This selection comes from the book, i love you and i’m not dead, available from Argos Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Sade LaNay (fka Murphy) is a poet and artist from Houston, TX. Sade holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Pratt Institute and a BA in Studio Art and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. They are the author of ​Härte ​(Downstate Legacies, 2018) ​self portrait​ (Birds of Lace, 2018) Dream Machine​ (co•im•press, 2014) and the forthcoming ​I love you and I’m not dead​ (Argos Books). Her poems are included in the ​Bettering American Poetry​ and ​Best American Experimental Poetry​ anthologies.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb

The Wardrobe's Best Dressed: i love you and i'm not dead by Sade LaNay (fka Murphy)


Chorus of Matriarchs, you open frequently

Anne & Bethany plant a field of sunflowers in the backyard Alice pulls Death Frances & Harriet let the Moon in through the windows Wanda inherits twentyone coins Audre richtet die Wäge der Gerechtigkeit auf Carolyn & Georgia fling florida water with sprigs of parsley Harriet joxrc souplrp howc oup eosx at iowj Phillis casts a circle with sodalite June & Arthenia arrive in The Chariot Pauline & Pauli intercede to The High Priestess Alice & Mary grid the house with quartz points and salt Safiya & Zora toast flaming sambucas Lorraine blesses the obsidian egg Gwendolyn mounts two swords above the bed Pinkie runs a bath of peony and passionflower Lucille füllt neun Tassen May & May ouualuf mlfy irwau joiw oup sasaunf ali Marita shuffles the deck Ntozake & Gwendolyn sage the house Octavia & Octavia drag The Devil out from under the bed Toni fries ripe plantains and escovitch fish Amanda und Sojourner gewinnen ihrer Spielraum zurück Ella & Nina brew ginger and echinacea tea Ida charges ten selenite wands with candlelight Anne & Nella eraeqoulvrc fyr jaaxcyrit Maya pulls The Hermit Toni closes the circle with aragonite

This selection comes from the book, i love you and i’m not dead, available from Argos Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Sarah Clark .

Sade LaNay (fka Murphy) is a poet and artist from Houston, TX. Sade holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Pratt Institute and a BA in Studio Art and Theology from the University of Notre Dame. They are the author of ​Härte ​(Downstate Legacies, 2018) ​self portrait​ (Birds of Lace, 2018) Dream Machine​ (co•im•press, 2014) and the forthcoming ​I love you and I’m not dead​ (Argos Books). Her poems are included in the ​Bettering American Poetry​ and ​Best American Experimental Poetry​ anthologies.
 
Sarah Clark is a disabled non-binary Nanticoke editor, writer, and cultural consultant. They are Editor-in-Chief and Poetry Editor at Anomaly (www.anmly.org), Co-Editor of the Bettering American Poetry series (www.betteringamericanpoetry.com) and The Queer Movement Anthology (Seagull Books, 2021), a reader at The Atlas Review and Doubleback Books, and an Editorial Board member at Sundress Press. She curated Anomaly‘s GLITTERBRAIN folio (http://anmly.org/ap25-glitterbrain/) and a folio on Indigenous & Decolonial Futures & Futurisms (http://anmly.org/ap-27-indigenous-futures/), edited Drunken Boat’s folios on Sound Art, “Desire & Interaction,” and a collection of global indigenous art and literature, “First Peoples, Plural.” They were co-editor of Apogee Journal‘s #NoDAPL #Still Here folio, and co-edited Apogee Journal‘s series “WE OUTLAST EMPIRE,” of work against imperialism, and “Place[meant]“, on place and meaning, and is a former Executive Board member at VIDA. Sarah freelances, and has worked with a number of literary and arts publications and organizations. www.twitter.com/petitobjetb