WHO IS EARTHTONE LESBIAN?
“[I’m] a self-described non-binary bisexual
with lesbian tendencies”
WHAT DOES YOUR NAME MEAN TO YOU AS A
“I have no time or patience left for identity impositions and expectations”
“As a self-described non-binary bisexual with lesbian tendencies, the name Earthtone Lesbian gives my lesbian traits a home in my day-to-day life and in my poetry. I switch my [poetic] speaker to a woman in poems where the content drives towards experiences I’ve had as a she/her—pronouns I no longer use.
I use the word “wxmxn” as an identity term because I’ve earned it and have chosen it, whereas girl, lady, and even ma’am have been imposed upon me. Honestly, I have no time or patience left for identity impositions and expectations.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
“See if there’s Chemistry Between those Scars”
– “Show them your Tattoos”
OF FEATHERS AND FIRE:
Fragments of a Fractured Mind
WAS PUBLISHED WHEN YOU WERE TWENTY-ONE.
HOW HAS YOUR WRITING EVOLVED SINCE ITS PUBLICATION?
“My voice has grown stronger, sharper, and quicker. Of Feathers and Fire documents my beginnings. One of my favourite musicians, Fink, sings: “from small beginnings come big endings.” If you’re interested in my small beginning you can order the collection from Penumbra Press.”
Let’s talk about the Nude:
(the POWER OF IT).
“ONE’S BODY IS NOT INHERENTLY SEXUAL”
“The reason I’m so comfortable taking self-portrait nudes, or having someone trusted taking photos of me naked, is because I’ve had beautiful, bonding moments while being the subject for my mother as she experimented with artistic outdoor nudes. In fact, my mother took the photos you see here that pair with my poem “Coercion Isn’t Consent.”
“ONLY YOU KNOW THE STORM THAT HAS SWEPT YOUR SEA”
– “COERSION ISN’T CONSENT”
“I’ve HAD BEAUTIFUL, BONDING MOMENTS While BEING THE SUBJECT FOR MY MOTHER”
This experience jump-started my love of artistic nudes and was the gateway towards becoming more comfortable with my body and images of it.
My experience translates into an important message:
To reclaim the nude is to say that one’s body is not inherently sexual. Taking nudes is the type of reclamation where you walk back into paradise and take off Eve’s leaves because knowledge is power, but so is her body.”
WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR HEALING
INTERSECT WITH YOUR PASSION FOR POETRY?
“Ever since I let them bite these hands you never held quite righT Always a little wrong”
– “WOLF WHISTLE”
“I hold my wounds on my body with the insertion of ink (tattoos); I let them go through the expulsion of ink (poetry). Expulsion—writing—does not heal me and I don’t pretend that it does. With my poetry, I create a space for others to feel seen, understood, and less alone when sitting face-to-face with their traumas.
I have a passion for healing because I want to bring folks release and relief. I also have a personal passion for healing because I intend to leave my trauma behind. I will not hand off my pain onto others the way it was handed to me. This is where the intersection lies. I have been abused. But I am a survivor. I am a warrior. I will not become my traumas. I will not take up the mantle of my abusers. I will break the cycle.”
WORDS/SYMBOLS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC…
A Quick Tongue;
“My name came through biblical birthings
In the field of Blades”
– “DeAD-NAMED DOMAIN”
DOES PHOTOGRAPHY LIBERATE YOU
IN A WAY THAT POETRY CANNOT?
“Definitely! It’s so much easier to pick up a camera and experiment, even on something simple or quick. It’s the type of creativity where I feel grounded. Poetry, on the other hand, especially the first draft, feels like a mandatory act or a mild possession: as if the words are falling through me and my job is simply to find the direction and motion of their flow.
Leonard Cohen said that one isn’t truly a poet unless someone else gives you the title. I find that to be true in some ways. Poetry has always felt like a spiritual title to me. Something given. Photography on the other hand feels like a self-claimed birthright.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR EARTHTONE LESBIAN?
“Four of my poems will be featured in a chapbook from Frog Hollow Press titled Blue March Violet. It’s an anthology of queer New Brunswick poets and artists curated and edited by the beloved and well-known poet R.M. Vaughan. Blue Marsh Violet will be available this year with English and French translations as part of the Press’ New Brunswick Chapbook Series.
I am also working on a manuscript called Random Knives and an installation called Faithful.”