Alexandra Mattraw is an Oakland poet and educator whose Celtic maternal great grandparents made their first home in Oakland and its vicinity in the early 1900s. small siren, her first full length collection of poems, emerges from The Cultural Society in 2018. She is also the author of three other chapbooks, including in the way of harbors (Dancing Girl Press, 2013) and Projection (Achiote Press, 2010). Her poems and reviews have been featured in places including 1913 Journal of Forms, American Letters & Commentary, The Conversant, Denver Quarterly, Eleven Eleven, Fourteen Hills, The Poetry Project, The Volta, and VOLT. A Bay Area Correspondent School member and co-founder of ASUR (Artists for Sustained & United Resistance), Alexandra curates an art-centric writing and performance series called Lone Glen: http://loneglen.wordpress.com/.
She says healing begins at the wrists. Yours beat too fast. Small bells tinker and flood the periphery to glowing. Drink muddy roots sold in plastic. Live underwater. Funnel bitters to promise uprooting. Plunge the only way, through pressure dampening acrid around a visible vein. She counts on certainty. A pulse outside of passing cars. To recover what name is hidden inside my own, each meridian dots a line to cross my body’s insults. Any body that betrays the heart of my matter. Redness thickens to bruises, clotting sweat’s record of pins. Loop her ocean mimicry. Swim what’s tidal, a narration of age that punctures me back to narrowing bone. Reliable as an hour, this gulf sweeps breath across absence. Where darkness brims to green, a heat lamp is also the sun, a dahlia ripples signals through my ankle and out to the living.