“And when he came for me, straight from the folds
of my own treacherous history, I turned to face him
with an open mouth, consumed that which had been
poison down to what’s beneath the bone, licked the air
clean of his hands gripping for my voice until all that was left
was a blank spot in my memory and my own scent.”
-from Wherein the Author Gains Courage
Sometimes I forget the power that comes with being a human. In the constant presence of Gods, birds, nature, & fiction, I feel like my simple collection of bones and blood sometimes just isn’t that much to sing about. Enter Tatyana Brown, whose poetry of self-empowerment, love, gender, survival, and healing makes me realize the grand gospel there is in just being. Tatyana uses her verse to curse out the wrong and unnecessary of the world, to sing the praises of that which is strong even with meek muscles and dull teeth. Tatyana reminds us that we are all powerful and responsible for using our power correctly and for proclaiming our own majesty. Tatyana gives us permission to be the blooming seeds of change and force that we are. I am thankful for that voice in her work. And it makes sense looking at everything else that Tatyana does. As a community organizer, she is consistently creating spaces in the Bay Area and nationally for people to share, grow, receive critique and be critical of our art, our world, ourselves, our communities. As co-curator of the Lit Slam in San Francisco, Audience members get to act as live editors for a live-performance submission process for the journal Tandem. This act of calling us to be present, aware, and critical is exactly the same thing that Tatyana’s work on the page does, calling us to own our place in each other’s stories, calling us to realize the community within the self, and the power that gives us. I am forever thankful for the work Tatyana Brown is doing in our world, so folks, get into this poet/organizer for your own sake, for your spirit’s good.