Ching-In Chen is author of The Heart’s Traffic and co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. A Kundiman, Lambda and Callaloo Fellow, they are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities, and was a participant in Sharon Bridgforth’s Theatrical Jazz Institute. They have been awarded fellowships and residencies from Can Serrat, Soul Mountain Retreat, Ragdale Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Millay Colony, and the Norman Mailer Center. They are cream city review‘s editor-in-chief, senior editor of The Conversant, and serve on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. www.chinginchen.com
after John Outterbridge’s “Traditional Hangup, Containment Series”
Ash-colored buttons, shine to skull in gulley, base of country lose memory to metal. Travel in your ways, a signpoint erase what’s screwed in. A flag make cemeteries, a field white-blood death.
Under clouds, a chamber of grandfather pipes wait for expired steam. Slatted boxes for breathing bodies no longer arrive. Another stock — ghosts of frantic hands sort mail, guns at sides, prepare for war.