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Provocations 1

By mónica teresa ortiz

Spoleto, Italy

I wake up sleepless inside a room overlooking giants//mist peeling over olive trees//clouds of pleasure and light move to the rooster’s ring//at 5 am where I am//my body shocks unsettled story//I imagine Sylvia Wynter sitting down to write while I learn to walk//ground opens into fields of mushrooms//house stacked with strangers//let us consult criticism and ask how to avoid reproducing a spectacle//the wifi is shy here at Villa Pianciani//but I have read news on the election of Meloni//fascism rising//that’s what is reported//but fascism never went out of style//even Godard told us imperialism killed cinema//while Wynter wrote that “America was the continent of ‘little history’ in which darkness had its being1”//and here//here I am//drinking espresso on a terrace in Spoleto//this is not a poem about inherited damages//it is an aubade on the infinite line//of all our tiny griefs



1 from Sylvia Wynter’s We must Learn to sit down together and talk about a little Culture: Reflections on West Indian Writing and Criticism, part 2




Listen as mónica teresa ortiz readsProvocations 1.”

Added: Wednesday, November 16, 2022  /  Poem used with permission.
mónica teresa ortiz
Photo by Muindi Fanuel Muindi.

mónica teresa ortiz is a poet and interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Texas. Their work has appeared in Scalawag, Hyperallergic, Annulet, Coffee House Press's Coffee House Writers Project, Fence, and Hayden's Ferry Review. They are a 2021-2022 University of Texas at Austin Planet Texas 2050 artist-in-residence, a 2022 Visiting Researcher with the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research (CAD+SR) Unwriting Nature II workshop in Spoleto, Italy, and author of the chapbook autobiography of a semi-romantic anarchist and the poetry collection muted blood. Follow them on Twitter: @elgallosalvaje.

Image Description: mónica teresa ortiz sits on a wooden bench outside in front of a green hedge and grass. They hold a porcelain coffee cup and are dressed in blue slacks, a short-sleeved brown button-up shirt, and brown leather boots. They look away from the camera. mónica has wavy dark hair.

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