A voice can be singular, yet also belong to all the bodies and experiences it connotes. Language is where we construct the common dream of the human experience, yet fails at ultimately allowing one to fully experience the body of another. My artistic aim is to explore these seemingly contradictory aspects of the physical and metaphysical with wonder.

Reverie Koniecki

 

Shopping

after the signs  demand
she justify her innocence
no…………………hoodies
no…………………backpacks
only 2……………at a time
allowed inside

she zips her purse shut
before she enters keeps her
……………………..hands close to
her……………….. body she

sees a dress she wants she
keeps it on the hanger she
holds it arm’s length away
from her………..body all
the way to the dressing
room the clerk tallies her
item

she carefully slips on
this dress that is not hers
onto this………..body that is

not hers the mirror reminds
her that her hip to waist ratio
…………is  unexpected she
hands the clerk the wrong
size grabs a large
……………………..and smiles

 

sisyphus is a porter
on the illinois central

lines below mason dixon’s
belt they picked the brown
husks clean before they left
without a shoebox or word
homeward bound to sourgum

……………………..northward bound fingers gripping
……………………..grease stained paper bags
……………………..testaments and lapped children
……………………..in mid upright slumber they left
……………………. without a cotton pickin’ word

 

holidays

monuments to what you don’t have
christmas night my mother would drive
in search of mansion windows we’d
imagine ourselves seated at mahogany
slabs under crystallized chandeliers
service merchandise printed dreams
in color catalogs its toy section is one
full third of a man barbie’s pink cadillac
is rolling on a river somewhere but her
bendable body is still stuck between the
pages waiting for me to blue magic her hair

 

jimmy’s blues

dear jimmy
yo blues ain’t like mine
obama’s smile has too much shine
n’ i wonder if his niggas picked
as much cotton and sugar as mine
my mother refuses
to name me my father
limps on each swollen joint
let us bow our heads and pray
for the equation to convert
the distance of 10 shackled…………. feet
how long can your…………legs jump
our……………. people have been
jumping brooms for centuries
all over adam’s red rib dirt
kanye prophesied jesus years
ago don’tchaknow slavery
is a choice? the day after
the fall everything was sabbath
like the night your man
was locked up and you
still waited for his………..ass
to come home

 

the news turned off

time is a clothesline
you are an edible fruit
you want to be
consumed / to be digested
without so much as
a string tracing you
back to your past

when maura murray disappeared
she left only a
bottle of wine / an
empty car keys in
ignition for the next
driver or adventure / how
thoughtful is your response

did you justify?
use strategies /  go back
check your work this
cast shadow will move
setting eyes / halfway nod
consciousness is blurred / the
television stations used to

burst with static each
midnight when the newscasters
went to sleep / sleep
is the cousin of
yesterday’s problems / you are
the bride of today

 

off the margins contributors are asked to respond to three questions that will be asked of all featured writers to further articulate a collective response to the question: How do we step off the margins of convention and enter the wild terrain of our writing?

In what way(s) do you identify yourself as a woman writer?

I feel a sense of betrayal at the lack of diversity of women’s stories in western canon and how many are either cautionary or princess tales. No one warned me about the hunger of motherhood that drives many women to sacrifice their identities, bodies, careers, and even safety in the name of constructing a perfectly knit nuclear family. Or how we have to rebuild ourselves when that illusion inevitably crumbles.  As a writer and woman of color, I feel though those empty spaces inviting me to fill them with voices of bodies that have encountered the same societal rejection as mine.

Whose voices have you carried with you for creative strength in order to arrive at this point in your writing career?
 
I find myself more and more in conversation with my grandmother, who couldn’t read or write, was full of stories that I wouldn’t listen to until long after she was dead, and my mother, who might have been a writer had she not been weighted with the burden of social mobility.  I hang onto their stories for strength and a reminder of the privilege that I have in not only being literate, but living in a society where it is possible for me to actualize my voice.

What do you want our readers to know about your process of becoming a writer that might be helpful in further articulating their own individual process and growth?
It took me a long time before I dared call myself a writer. I had been writing in solitude for years, I suppose waiting for some publishing fairy godmother to come and grant me a cubicle with a plaque engraved with the title, “writer.” It wasn’t until I went through personal hardship that I realized that my life was never going to neaten itself to make room for writing and that I didn’t have to wait for someone else to name me. Once I gained the courage to call myself a writer, a literary world I never knew existed opened, and I discovered the importance of community in my development as an artist.

Artist Statement

As an artist, I think it is important to embrace the paradoxical nature of truth. A voice can be singular, yet also belong to all the bodies and experiences it connotes. Language is where we construct the common dream of the human experience, yet fails at ultimately allowing one to fully experience the body of another. My artistic aim is to explore these seemingly contradictory aspects of the physical and metaphysical with wonder.

Biography Statement

Reverie Koniecki is an African American poet and educator living in Dallas, Texas. Reverie is currently working towards her MFA in Poetry at New England College. She is the co-founder of Meet Me With Curiosity, a poetry salon in Klyde Warren Park. Reverie is the former Educational Arm Assistant for Asymptote.  Her poems and prose have appeared in Entropy, Thimble Magazine, Spiderweb Salon, White Rock Zine Machine, and forthcoming anthology: Bosch and Bruegel Poems.

 
Links to sites where I am featured.

Thimble Literary Magazine

Meet Me With Curiosity

Stone Soup