Finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry
Dani Putney’s debut poetry collection, Salamat sa Intersectionality, is a lyrical triptych that traces the evolution of the speaker’s identity as a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, & neurodivergent individual. Each “panel” of the speaker’s life represents a distinct period of growth: a youthful beginning, which features important interactions with the speaker’s parents; a sexually charged middle period that demonstrates the speaker’s explorations of queer sexuality; & a contemplative third section wherein the speaker reckons with their various “selves.” Imagery of the American West percolates through the collection to ground the speaker in their intersectional identity.
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Salamat sa Intersectionality as [Universe]
BOOK AS [GENDER]: ALL. Every drip of gender-water in the leaky faucets of humanity. Every thriving gender-weed in the cracks of asphalt along I-40. It infects people as a gender-parasite, allowing them to view themselves as they truly are: genderful selves. It releases spores into every metro system across America, awakening gender-weirdness in each passenger.
BOOK AS [MAN]: ERROR.
BOOK AS [WOMAN]: ERROR.
BOOK AS [PERSON]. A flamboyant cowboy à la Orville Peck, fringed mask & all—glitter, floral buds, & rays of sunshine contained in every orifice of their being. They don BDSM-style chaps & spurs because fashion doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t simultaneously fun. They kiss all the pretty boys crisscrossing the country, love all the truckers weary from capitalism.
BOOK AS [LOVER]. Soft but rough, giving but yearning. They trace the curve of their partner’s waist with their tongue & ask “How do you feel?” after every minute of pleasure. They hold their partner post-climax & drip honey into their ear.
BOOK AS [INSECT]. A potato bug, the most beautiful-ugly tuber consumer in America’s gardens. It dashes across tomatoes & eggplants in the bacchanalian spirit of its nightly feast. It bites any human who tries to pick it up, not in self-defense but in spite.
BOOK AS [MONSTER]. A rougarou with purple fur, royalty of the swamp. It sucks on the blood of normies, those individuals foolish enough to believe in binaries. It transforms each victim into a rougarou of their own—more nonhuman creatures to roam the wilderness.
BOOK AS [COLOR]: KALEIDOSCOPIC. People get lost in all the pretty edges. Faithful observers withdraw from the viewfinder blinded by the intersecting rainbows. The most loyal followers become rainbows themselves.
BOOK AS [SIGN]: DERRIDEAN. It confuses readers, telling them to dissolve their brains into mush because intellectualism is no longer needed. It spouts words like “deconstruct” & “primordial ooze” but doesn’t elaborate. It collapses under its tenuous foundation & returns to the soil as detritus.
BOOK AS [BODY]: ERROR.
BOOK AS [BODIES]: ALL. They writhe in a circle of desire. They touch each other freely & lovingly. They function both individually & as a whole, a network of independence-&-togetherness.
BOOK AS [HOPE]. It rests on the tongue like a spoonful of sugar. The sodium chloride compound is laced with Aries fire & burns every taste bud.
BOOK AS [ME]. Let it be.