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Linda Ravenswood

Poet & Artist

Linda Ravenswood has her​ BFA, MA(Perf. Studies), MA(Psy)​​, PhD, Abd

​Founder, ​The S1X to M1DN1GHT Performance Collective, 

​​Founding member, ​Melrose Poetry Bureau, 

Presenter​, The Women's Centre for Creative Work, 

​Nominee for Poet Laureate of Los Angeles 2017 

​Lead Teaching Artist,    
The 24th Street Theatre, and B.R.I.D.G.E. programme,  
serving 180 schools annually in Greater Los Angeles County; 
LAUSD, Culver City SD, ​ Compton USD,​  Lynwood USD​

When I was a child...

When I was a child I fervently worshiped the tiger inside my mouth;

parted lips, geographic tongue, all Indus Valley, until my mother thrashed me in the

green grass and smashed me in the cradle, screaming ‘wake up brown bitch, it’s

spring’ so I scrubbed my knuckles red as brown could be red, which is pretty red

and saw that I was passing, so I walked to the bus stop in Century City, relieved,

but little by little my hips and breasts throbbed golden brown, and everyone up and

down the block said ‘gimme some’, even the older women pushed me down

breathless, their breath on my lashes, looking to me sweet as they could, only I was 14

and little did I know the female gaze and her right desire, I was in my loops of barbie

and the jacaranda, so I kept my knees closed, even though the ocean was jetting

through. And there my mother saw me swollen, doing cartwheels on her Mayflowers

in the front garden, so she clobbered, ‘get a better bra for those pendulous breasts’ as

I was too round for her spring. She put up a bounty and said ‘drop the brown you’re

packing on, and all this will be yours’, and she glued the recipe inside my eyelids, but I

woke up round as ever, and she was gone. Have you seen the tiger inside my mouth,

you would worship too. Finally I inked up my eyebrows and became a Mendieta, and

the tiger lives on.

(c)2017 Linda Ravenswood

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