Nicole Caruso Garcia

Naming Names

For Annie Finch

Assault, harassment—dare we tell the truth?
No matter that our claims are bona fide.
The names we've held uncrushed between our teeth
we tongue like ampoules filled with cyanide.

Silence is the shield that lets them win.
It won't protect the countries of our skin.
Yet how to free ourselves, how to expose
their names like C4 strapped beneath our clothes?


This assault, was it of a sexual nature?… These things happen. I suggest you throw yourself into your work.
—Dr. ________, Professor of Art History (1993)

It was kind advice.

I sat in the front-row and earned A's.
           a chair in his office and cried.

It was September, and my topic was due soon. The paper wasn't due
                                                               until December.
          too late. I'd asked too much.

It was nakedness—the prostration of asking—that made my eyes well
                                                               up, called for explanation.
                            over which he flung his coarse response.

These things happen? "To whom? Not anyone I know," I wanted to
                                as close as love.

The professor knew much about Michelangelo's Pieta.
                              no pity; this was Modern Art.

I was trying to throw myself into my work; I'd planned ahead.
                  not to throw myself from the marble window ledge of my
                                                               dorm room.

I had been handed the Modern Art syllabus.
                                  Rape Syllabus.

Slide #1: Gustav Klimt's The Kiss.
              A crucifixion.
Slide #2: Salvador Dali's clock-melt, The Persistence of Memory.
              A crucifixion.
Slide #3: A leather Mies van Der Rohe chair.
              A crucifixion.

The professor offered his advice coolly, like water ladled into a
                                                               beggar's cup.
                                                         . It tasted like a drink from
                                                               Duchamp's Fountain.

If the professor wouldn't grant an extension for me, Little Miss Honor-
                                                               Society, then for whom?
                       wasn't calling me a liar, These things happen meant
                                                               You aren't rare or special.

He was, by November, reading my introduction aloud to the class as
                                                                an exemplar.
            making an example out of me.

How close I was to calling home to say, Come get me.
                         . I didn't want to drop out.

He failed me.
I earned an A. He failed me.

He wrote me off.
                    a glowing letter of recommendation.

I threw myself into my work.
I threw myself into my work.


Nicole Caruso Garcia is an educator, poet, and Assistant Poetry Editor of Able Muse. Her newest poems are forthcoming in Measure, The Rotary Dial, and The Orchards. A past winner of the Willow Review Award, her work has appeared in The Raintown Review, Antiphon, 823 on High, The HyperTexts, Frogpond, Sow's Ear, Soundings East, The Ledge, and elsewhere. She earned a B.A. in English and Religious Studies from Fairfield University, and after seven years in the business sector, she left to earn her M.S. in Education from The University of Bridgeport. She lives in Connecticut where she teaches at Trumbull High School.


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The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Jane Kenyon by Susan Spear.

Gail White and Nausheen Eusuf are the recipients of the 2017 Mezzo Cammin Scholarships to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Alice Mizrachi is a New York based interdisciplinary artist working in the mediums of painting, installation, murals and socially engaged art. Her work explores the interconnectedness of individuals and community through the dual lens of compassion and empathy. Through figurative work that reinforces both personal and community-oriented identity, Alice aims to inspire creative expression and a sense of shared humanity through art.

Alice has worked as an arts educator for nearly twenty years for a variety of organizations including BRIC Arts, The Laundromat Project and The Studio Museum in Harlem. As a pioneer in the field of socially engaged art at the local level, Alice has been recognized and selected to develop arts education curriculum for organizations such as HI-ARTS (Harlem, NY), Dr. Richard La Izquierdo School and Miami Light Project. She has also been a panelist discussing community-engaged art for events at Brown University and The Devos Institute of Arts Management.

As a painter, Alice maintains both a studio practice and an extensive body of work as a muralist. Her work have been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, UN Women and the Museum of Contemporary Art in DC. She has been commissioned as a mural artist for projects in Amsterdam, Berlin, Tel Aviv, and across the United States by organizations and museum including: Knox-Albright Museum, Buffalo, NY; Worcester DCU (Worcester, Massachusettes); Wall Therapy (Rochester, NY); La Mama and Fourth Arts Block (NYC); Miami Light Project (Miami, FL); and, Chashama (Harlem, NY), among others.

Alice's mural and installation work has been constructed in galleries and public spaces as part of site-specific arts education and community development projects. Her work often engages local neighborhoods and reflects positive visual responses to social issues. Her process activates a shared space of love, hope, optimism and healing as a means to connect with participants. Frequent topics include identity, unity, migration and the sacred feminine.

Alice and her art have been featured in a variety of publications including the book, 2Create, Outdoor Gallery: New York City, the New York Times, and Huffington Post and The Architectural Digest. She has a BFA from Parsons School of Design and was an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in 2015. Alice was also the co-founder of Younity, an international women's art collective active from 2006-2012. She has received grants from The Puffin Foundation and The Ford Foundation. Her recent projects include a residency in Miami with Fountainhead, a residency with Honeycomb Arts In Buenos Aires and a mural with The Albright Know Museum in Buffalo. Alice currently holds a studio space at The Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx. Her upcoming projects include a workshop/ panel at Brown University and a book release in Summer 2017.

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