Syreeta McFadden is a writer and photographer originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a member of the LouderArts Project and has facilitated the Project’s first group show at the People’s Poetry Gathering in 2003. Syreeta was first introduced to the performance poetry scene through her participation with Nuyorican Poet’s Café, documenting the slam poetry scene at the café from 1999-2001. Her photographic work has been featured in various group shows in New York area galleries, as well as in the Columbia University based Roots and Culture Magazine and Slambook, a magazine featuring slam poetry at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café. She received an award in Photography at the NAACP Afro-Academic Cultural Technological-Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) national competition in 1993. Her work can also be seen on websites of Bassey Ikpi (www.basseyworld.com), Steve Colman (featured in Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway/stevecolmanpoet.com) Nuyorican Poet’s Café. She is also a member of the Fort Greene Photography Organization. She lives in Brooklyn.
Rising, falling, flying then fighting.
Skin feels stripped. Scraped paint flaking off a doorpost
A spark, shocks that snaps, like a bite
from flies that linger around the shore at sundown. sunrise
He remembers suddenly. A rush of white heat runs through him.
Cool, long absence of touch
Kisses suck the air deep inside cavity where breath begins.
Eclipsed sharp touches. Relax. Hand kneads body as dough.
She massages him back to life.
Takes in his breath, its heat, whispers, pleads for death,
Coughs, resisting her pressure
She drinks his breath from the pit of the stomach
This is cold and wet. There is still heat.
Make me feel real
Fills his body with seeds from jewelweeds.
Dreams, she is someone else.
Burrows his body in her cavernous spaces,
There was a secret chord
Hurts like hell
A replica of the woman he loves then lost.
She breaks his body, solid as marble
Carves out his memory of his goddess, her vulva of lapis lazuli
Breasts, the shape of pomegranates.
Uncovers a scarlet letter sewn to his heart.
She is only a mold, a facsimile
Of a warmth and breath tasting like frankincense.
Locked inside his bone and skin
He struggles to recall the joy of feeling.