Tori McCandless

On Synthetic Glowing Attachments

               Yellow-grass-city-fog-cement-smell straddles synthetic glowing attachments. Is it
               tangy root or fake meat? My sense, subordinated to nearness, knocks-off.
               Meanwhile, the neon glow of environmental collapse puts on its best show all hot
               pink and glitter.

               On the boardwalk they’re selling genres of heat wave: mojitos in a can, eyes puffy
               from crying, bodies strewn across beach towels. Bored, I mount the storm barrier
               then demand take-out. Bundles of blue plastic forks that turn into sea creatures
               arrive with each order. I try to return them to the ocean but someone stops me.

                                           Last night you called me to say that the planetary surround
                             of weather is polyamorous, flooding your DMs then leaving them
                            dry. I listen to this gossip while watching a possum crawl into my
                            neighbor’s garbage bins. Intimacy is hard I say but I’m distracted
                            by another you I can’t stop thinking about. But I’m distracted by
                            the smell of fog.

Tori McCandless is a teacher, writer, and PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. Their poetry is rooted in the interstices of being trans and stems from an engagement with what it means to be a body in an increasingly precarious world, ecologically or otherwise. Part prose and part lyric, their work is invested in understanding how the “I” of every poem exceeds its individuality and is formed through a relationship to others, human and nonhuman. Food, sex, plants, the ocean, and animals populate their work, though the ways in which these things enter the body of their poems seeks to reflect the inconsistency of what it means to inhabit a changing body. They are currently at work on a dissertation about ecological catastrophe, sound, and labor in Modernist poetry. Their writing can be found in ASAP/Journal, Edge Effects, and Lavender Review.

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