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Kingdom of Dirt

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Soon the ambassadors from the Netherworld
Will begin

Their jet-like descent. Death,
Disguised inside me, already,

As sleaze.
Grime and her magnificent seed. Brother Rainer

Clutching his Bible, hallucinating helicopters.
Brother Rainer, child-like and wrecked.

Infamy, and the cosmology of chronic
Raveling and unraveling. Or,

Displaced insanity. Dirty Cindy, little
Glitter of her father’s

Spit: invisible, androgynous, a fragment of
His, found at the bottom of his dream chest.

Draped in my black cape of smut glue and
Subterranean, they mistake me for

A man in drag in my nasty
Boots. Why just look: a manifestation

Of stars. Or, appoint me hustler of
Brutal Rainer and his kinky noir

Scheme: me, at thirteen, on the beach
In a candy-striped bikini.

In time or out of time,

Groom of the Underworld, please
Come with me

To the discotheque at the end
Of the world. Piss-

Elegant at the halfway
House for the trashed and gone galore.

Meet me in the love-
Burned orchard

Where the beautiful doomed
Meet at last.

Cynthia Cruz, “Kingdom of Dirt” from The Glimmering Room. Copyright © 2012 by Cynthia Cruz. Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books.
Source: The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012)
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Kingdom of Dirt

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  • American poet Cynthia Cruz is the author of Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014), The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012), and Ruin (Alice James, 2006).She has published poems in numerous literary journals and magazines including the New Yorker, Kenyon Review, the Paris Review, and the Boston Review, and in anthologies including Isn't it Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger Poets (2004), and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries (2004). She is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and a Hodder fellowship from Princeton University.
    Cruz teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She has previously taught at the Juilliard School, Fordham University, the Rutgers-Newark MFA Program and Eugene Lang College. Born in Germany, Cruz grew up in northern California, where she earned her BA at Mills College, her MFA in Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College, and her MFA in Art Writing & Criticism at the School of Visual...

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