Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tzynya L. Pinchback's How to Make Pink Confetti

Tzynya Pinchback’s chapbook collection, How to Make Pink Confetti, published by Dancing Girl Press in 2012, is a visceral and glistening collection of poems that are sensual and hard-hitting for our senses. Tzynya Pinchback happened to explain how to pronounce her name on Facebook the other day and her first name is pronounced “Tuh-zin-yuh.” Below I am happy to share a few samples:

The Stick Figure’s Lullaby

Here, in the Thursday House
I know my worth:
A dime bag is a fair trade for a little girl.
Broken smiles are a kind of pretty, Mister Curtis says.

I know my worth:
A daughter is her mother’s best currency.
(Broken smiles are a kind of pretty) Mister Curtis says
Junkies will pick you clean – to bone.

A daughter is her mother’s best currency.
See my dancing skeleton, scribbled in chalk?
Junkies will pick you clean. TO BONE!
I shimmy under the weight of this flesh.

My dancing skeleton, scribbled in chalk
Frames a hand-me-down map of the world.
I shimmy under the weight; this flesh
Sings a ramshackle serenade.

Four corners of a hand-me-down map of the world:
A dime bag is fair trade. A little girl
Sings a ramshackle serenade.
Here. In the Thursday House.

I think of this as a sinister poem, a girl given away by her mother to a character named Mr. Curtis and the girl withers away to skin and bone under his watch. It makes me wonder what kind of home she is in and what kind of broken smile is intimated here.


Start with a fear of bats. brown moths. and anything capable of flutter or flight. and chitterlings. and prank phone calls. and men’s sheer striped socks like those mated to the cuff of well-dressed fellows. and premature ejaculation. and being alone. and the book of revelation. and thoughts grinding behind the eyes of children who do not smile. and marriage. and technology. and applause. and twisters that push sinewy maple tree limbs through attic windows where girls sleep dreaming of sunflowers and ponies. and sickle moons. and fat. and networking. and sunburn. and joy! and the coil of alzheimer’s snaking its way through dead daddy’s brain. and confederate flags. and God. and white sugars. and black sighs. and ultrasound image of fetal debris in jewel box sandwiched between 18-gauge hanger wire and red satin lining. and armpit hair. and blue crab mustard. and cartoon characters that cackle and peck though anvils fall onto them. and family curse. and lizards in the popcorn ceiling camouflage. and cocaine. and cherubs. and elevators. and georgia belching me from its genteel belly like yellow bile and freedom. and the sabbath. and spit on the lopsided hat holding together my head. and pop rocks. and the book repository. and sloughed-off skin. chicken wings. and fame. and pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. TELEVISION. and menopause. and goddammit! and good poetry. and my bare feet sliding on cicada carcass. and the indelible power of pussy. and the ventriloquist’s dummy. and the dark. and metal wind chimes suspended from the eaves. and death. and anything constructed by the united states army corps of engineers. the tariff on tampons and petrol. and africanized killer bees. and good hair. and bunions. and okra-harboring red soup. and chicken wings. and not being like those niggers over there/and not being like those niggers over there. Femiwomanism (insert wave #___). and middle class angst. and scorpions falling from air vents. and Sapphic pining for norma jean baker. and the dank crawlspace behind bra strap where every occurrence of being sold gathers moss. and lip stain. and faith. and your mother (that bitch). and split ends. and lead paint underneath the navy blue wall paper in the kitchen. and being irrelevant. and daily sodium intake. and fucking to music with misogynistic lyrics over a tight beat. and you. and suffocation. and titties that ride low. and the promise of free credit reports. and global positioning tracking. and love. and the penning of these words caked under my fingernail like skin from lover’s scowl.

I love the free-form flow of thoughts here and so many different images all thrown together and yet it all works. The poet telling about herself in waves and I wonder about the memories she is revealing to us, the reference to Alzheimer’s, cicada carcasses, scorpions, wallpaper, it is all brief snippets that are tantalizing and leaves us full of questions. The ending line is my favorite, a comparison that is clever and daring just like the rest of the piece above.

And suddenly

I imagined you floating
twelve weeks: limbs, skin, a rapid pulse, swimming
in tiny sac clear like cellophane,
not falling or being torn from me, but raging desire
to run, breathe, touch bread (wine, someday),
sun to lips. And suddenly we were bone
splintered in two, edge pushed through flesh –
a wound. And I imagined you a fairy
in tiny sac clear like cellophane
a swathe of copper and iron confetti,
wings glittering, folded beneath your feet,
standing on the branch of a boab tree
jutting from the lean of my umbilicus.

A dreamscape poem about poet and her child, I love that Ms. Pinchback speaks of the splintering of herself and her baby and the idea of this child being so incredible as to have glittering wings. It is a romantic and heart-splintering poem.

If you enjoyed this sample as much as I enjoy this collection, you may purchase a copy of Tzynya L. Pinchback’s How to Make Pink Confetti for $7.00 from Dancing Girl Press’ shop:

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again soon…