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A New Poem by Camonghne Felix


Felix is the author of Build Yourself a Boat and also a communications strategist for Elizabeth Warren's 2020 campaign.

My favorite thing about Camonghne Felix is that not only is she a brilliant poet, wordsmith, thought-leader, and prominent voice in the queer, Black literary community, but she also happens to be a communications strategist for Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign. Excuse me, can you pick a lane?

Following her long-awaited and staggering release of Build Yourself a Boat, Felix has proven herself over and over again to be a queen of entertaining and delightful cultural musings. We should all be grateful to have Felix's brain as a part of our generations conversations online and in books, as she incorporates pop references into the same conversation as deeply political commentary, with meditations on the injustices of the world we live in. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from her book, and promptly go to fetch your own copy. --Fran Tirado


My brain is trying so hard to outrun this.
It is doing more work than the lie.
I could go to jail for anything. I look like that
kind of girl. I only speak one language. I am
of prestige but can't really prove it. Not if
my hands are tied. Not if my smartphone is
seized. Not if you can't google me. Without
an archive of human bragging rights, I'm
fucking nobody, an empty bag, two-toned
luggage. I'm not trying to be sanctimonious,
I just found out that I'm afraid to die, like,
there goes years of posturing about, beating it
like I own it, taking it to the bathroom with
the tampons--like, look at me, I am so agent
and with all this agency I can just deploy
death at any time. The truth is
that I'm already on the clock, I'm just a few
notches down on the "black-girl-with-bad
mouth" list, the street lights go out and I'm
just at the mercy of my own bravery and
their punts of powerlessness, their "who
the hell do you think you are's?"

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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