r. erica doyle



photo: nívea castro

rita at women writers in bloom.jpg



BellaDonna Press, 2013

PROXY is an unrequited love story in prose poems, where the landscape of the beloved body becomes the windows of New York City, the deserts of North Africa, and the mangroves of the Caribbean. PROXY is a conversation with the calculus, plotting and space against the infinite  capacities of desire.


"With swagger and appetite, the poems in R. Erica Doyle’s proxy reveal the costs of masking one’s vulnerability.  Like Arthur Rimbaud, Lucille Clifton, and Richard Siken, these poems suggest the struggle to be released from one’s own depths is life’s greatest adventure. Proxy asks us to perform scenarios of love and loss as if we had no other choice. Because it is difficult to resist Doyle’s crisp and cannylanguage, the sum effect of this exercise is wonder."

—Wendy S. Walters

"R. Erica Doyle puts the focus back in fucking, the horse back into romance, the rendering back in sorrow, the heart back into the mind. Bold, desperate, intelligent, on and off the borderline of poetry, sex and the break of passion."

—Sarah Schulman


"How can you sit lie stand lean wade not fidget cross/un/cross your legs tight tight tight while releasing the pressure that is R. Erica Doyle’s proxy? To sting while being stung. To drink when famished. Eat Devour quickness. These words “[l]eave enough filth to make a difference.” Un/plant the seed. Strain to blossom break. I am exhausted. Returning for more. Unsatiated. This proxy “displace[s] the lust”. Yes, “wounds [are] getting deeper.”

—Metta Sáma, author of Nocturne Trio and South of Here

erica reading on floor.jpg


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photo: widevision photography

rita at the brooklyn book fair.jpg


from 'proxy'

i. penitent

The entries are usually in black. This entry is painted in blue. Paint head.

Everyone trying on a new voice for size. In separate accounts, a corridor.

Dust and rank, humid echo. Your footsteps carry here. You weave among stone columns, erected to an open sky. Walls nonetheless. Across the plaza, Thoth. Ausar. Auset. Horus. Thoth’s plume extends from a point perpendicular to his navel. If you dared, you’d touch it. You cannot read his face. My cartouche is open, you tell him. His dull eyes regard eternity with a desert hound’s acuity. My heart is a pendant, you tell him. Beneath your feet, lost alabaster gleams.

You are wandering the corridors of Never and If Only. The doors are painted on the walls, a pantheon of trompe l’oeil. You draw you hand along cool plaster. Light emanates form the stones on the floor. Nut passes the sun through her anus. Nothing opens here.

faggot: a definition

You faggot, says Naquan to Isaiah and I know he means you idiot, you beast, you stupid, barely human acting-like-you-don’t-know-any-better because that’s what faggots are to 14 year-old boys–at least in public, to each other, in front of girls and teachers, where everyone can see.

We’re reading a book about a masquerade and the masks of our own cheeks are something we may or may not get to.

It’s the student teacher’s moment and so I don’t say anything.I’m wearing the mask that blinks SUPERVISE across my forehead that has, somehow, flipped to HOMOSEXUAL and I can’t turn off the red and blaring neon of my silence.

bodas de sangre

a hound in sweat, I stalk a trail purposefully left, the rolled cotton sausage of your tampon on the floorat my convincing. If this continues a month or more, we’ll both be sticky in it: when the smell and chemical of us wracks our bodies with the same tide internal. I do not have to be as close as this (enough to peerinto the pink and moan of you, scalloped sails unfurling); it could be an office, cell or palace; anywhere the scent of lunar memory’s corporeal time shivers. Even through its most deprived, the pattern link delivers a syncopated offering, the promise of your blood and ova swimming true with mine, the bath and wine men mimic in gods’ houses. Unbidden, this body strips clean for next season, prints the pillows with carmine fingers, marks time with brine and rust, sinks through the rippling mouth desire trusts.

Tante Merle did use to promenade through Brooklyn, striding down Nostrand Avenue Atlantic Avenue, out of Bedford Stuyvesant, through Crown Heights, Park Slope, give a nod to Fort Greene Clinton Hill, until finally she turn around when she reach the river. Then she coming back around -- Atlantic Avenue Nostrand Avenue, and finally reach Macon Street, where she did live.

All of we did use to ask she, "Tante Merle! You come to United State since nineteen fifty six, own five apartment building, manage six. Why you did never buy yourself a car?"

And Tante Merle just puff she big breast so, like fighting cock, swing she hips round, hand on hip, arms akimbo, looking at you in the eye.

"Well, my dear," she say. "I ain't have a car like I ain't have a man. If is ain't me own wheels I turning I not interested!"

And she walk off again.


photo: nívea castro

rita in front of books (nivea).jpg