by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha


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In their fourth collection of poetry, Lambda Literary Award-winning poet and writer Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha continues her excavation of working-class queer brown femme survivorhood and desire. Tonguebreaker is about surviving the unsurvivable: living through hate crimes, the suicides of queer kin, and the rise of fascism while falling in love and walking through your beloved’s Queens neighborhood. Building on her groundbreaking work in Bodymap , Tonguebreaker is an unmitigated force of disabled queer-of-color nature, narrating disabled femme-of-color moments on the pulloff of the 80 in West Oakland, the street, and the bed. Tonguebreaker dreams unafraid femme futures where we live—a ritual for our collective continued survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781551527574
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press, Limited
Publication date: 04/09/2019
Pages: 148
Sales rank: 753,801
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled nonbinary femme writer and cultural worker of Burger/Tamil, Sri Lankan, and Irish/Roma ascent. She is the author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home, Bodymap, Love Cake, and Consensual Genocide , and is co-editor (with Ching-In Chen and Jai Dulani) of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities. A lead artist with the disability justice performance collective Sins Invalid, she teaches, performs and lectures across North America. Raised in Worcester, MA, she divides her time between T’karonto and South Seattle, rooted in rust belt resilience, diasporic aerial roots and dirty water.

Table of Contents

Thanks and acknowledgments 11

Preface: the epistemology of breaking/how you make a book 13

1 Femme futures

Femme futures 19

Crip fairy godmother 23

Riches: Oakland 2010-2013 29

Femme houses 33

I know crips live here 36

Bad road 38

Bed days 41

Crip magic spells 42

All the femmes come back 45

Adaptive device 48

2 Sacrum

Tonguebreaker: Taueret 53

Shark's mouth 55

Parliaments on the stoop 56

This one broke my tongue 57

Suicide contract 59

Tonguebreaker 61

3 Bedlife

Microaggression magic 65

Note to Myself Six Months Ago, Or, Queer Brown Love Is a Magic Rainbow Fuck Unicorn Worth Waiting For 66

Boxcutter beloved 67

Prayer ghazal for Orlando 68

Abundance 70

4 Rust will cut you

Walking pneumonia: a working class sick femme prayer 75

Executive Order 13769, January 27, 2017 77

The stories you tell to save your life 78

Lightskinned for beginners 80

Small spaces 83

Birth day 85

5 Ritual prayers: performance texts from mangos with chili

Introduction: qtpoc disabled ritual prayers 89

Daughter of kali and oshun 93

The amethyst room 98

A requiem for Gloria 104

Crossing the river Jordan: a lovesong for Marlon Riggs 111

6 Cripstory

Cripstory 121

Sri Lankan disabled futures 2017 124

The burning house 127

Crip Infinity 128

3 Crazy queens 131

Litany 139

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