Winner of the 2017 CA Poetry Prize judged by Eileen Myles

The New White House, Finding Myself Among the Ruins

After Barry Ebner’s Monotype 03012416, 1033316, and 0833316

Not color blind but a black &
white conundrum of physics.

All the same, some say

Shoot. Invisible. I’ll hide
in this room of manifestation
bending light.

To find me in this starkness
think of the geometry
of flashes and bullets.

The film never emerges,
this becomes the purpose
of paint.

Black and white,
are special effects.

When they pronounce me
a dead star, I will float
on one of these walls.

The tale of rendered object
as broken & saturated edifice.

It is possible to be hysterically
& historically blind.

Failed attempts to shield oneself
blossom into deceptions.

Once I was homeless, now
have found a place where I might appear.



Oakland based writer, MK Chavez is the author of several chapbooks, including Mothermorphosis. Dear Animal, her first full collection was released in October 2016 by Nomadic Press. Chavez is co-founder/curator of the reading series Lyrics & Dirges, curator of Uptown Friday Readings in Oakland, and co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival. In 2016 she received an Alameda County Arts Leadership Award.