in the void – mud howard

i set the woods on fire and conjure up an image of
you in a rain jacket, hating your job
i remember nothing
i BCC’d no one
what did you say
the moon is in Gemini or Aries or some shit
the band of light changes color every hour
we never swam together in the baggy blue arms of the ocean
or were honest with each other,
but i write stories about you that sell

what was it you said
semi-feral kids roam the streets but no one is scared
of kissing or twisted arms or their lovers leaving in the middle of the night
in the void, the smell of thunder is sour
my father won’t uncross his legs
the lilacs never die in April
and no one has pronouns
women with big hands
touch each other’s ponytails
my belly is ripe with intergenerational miscommunications

i have a garden full of yucca
my beard crawls down my neck
my mood ring blazes
i’ve never been beat up
and i mean it
you pour the September of my eyes into a shot glass
and slam it back in one ecstatic humid movement
i hear your voice loud
as a burning surgery in the heart of me
say it again

mean it




mud howard (they/them) is a gender non-conforming poet, performer and activist from the states. mud creates work that explores the intimacy and isolation between queer and trans bodies. mud is a co-editor of pnk prl, an online queer erasure zine, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. they were the first annual youth writing fellow for Transfaith in the summer of 2017. their poem “clearing” was selected by Eduardo C. Corral for Sundress Publication’s the Best of the Net 2017. mud is a graduate of the low-res MFA Poetry Program at the IPRC in Portland, OR and they were an first year artist-in-residence at the Residency in the Garden. they are currently wading through an MA in Creative Writing. you can find their work in THEM, The Lifted Brow, Black Napkin Press, and Cleaver Magazine. they spend a lot of time scheming both how to survive and not perpetuate toxic masculinity. they love to lip sync, show up to the dance party early and paint their mustache turquoise.


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