First, in Saturday Rumpus Poetry, Connie Voisine shares three new poems. Body shaming is the subject of “Shameful,” in which the speaker considers modeling herself after someone else, “like a person on TV,” but she only watches English programs “where actors have yellowish/teeth and red eyes.” The physical body, here, is “an artichoke.” Voisine exposes the visceral experience of motherhood with analogy and active, surprising language in “No, Dog” and tackles the mysterious and the mythological in “Self Portrait as Sphinx.”
Then, in the Sunday Essay, Deborah Jackson Taffa tells the story of returning with her children to the Yuma Nation reservation after fifteen years away, and the memories of struggle and exploitation that their visit dredges up. Injustice, inequality, and a broken penitentiary system take center stage in Taffa’s far-ranging meditation on the struggle of indigenous people in the American Southwest. A Native-built casino, The Paradise, serves as an ironic analogy in this tender portrayal of a family whose attempts to honor their heritage are constantly eroded by outside forces.