Sandra Ruiz

Unbodying Grunts

She can’t remember all of you, just the hushed pricks turned water wrinkles
for blue light homecomings, and yet, she’d drown again to brush you
at the bottom. Close-ups in weighted histories and sermon sighs, she’ll be a host
for the ground’s le prime; not merely an unreliable body in D minor—those left-
hand finger keystrokes welcoming solemnity’s sounding—but the symphony
gone muted-aloof,                                         tuned.


I’ll read my insides with rotating vision and kinetic precision,
translate the pain away like an embrace to death to rebirth in interlude,
a gentle line thrust in suffering suspired, named.

Exteriors are such shameless interior terrors
flesh flakes like farewells to visceral façades

Stings to bites to breaks to the incurable durable
knocking bones into recession, remission, dead ends,
can I live down the pillaging prongs?

To answer like a cut through basalt,
ashes-to-skin-broken-to-bled, impressing
the cold with millions of signs that refuse to fade.




In front of a cream colored background, the poet, with chin-length dark hair wears a funky multi-colored button-down shirt.

Sandra Ruiz is a trained performance studies scholar working across area and ethnic studies, with keen attention given to minoritarian aesthetics, contemporary literature, critical theory, and philosophy. Additionally, Ruiz is a curator, producer, and poet. Currently, Ruiz is the Sue Divan Associate Professor of Performance Studies in the Department of Theatre and a Conrad Humanities Scholar in the Department of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ruiz is the author of Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anticolonial Performance (NYU Press, 2019), co-author with Hypatia Vourloumis of Formless Formation: Vignettes for the End of the World (Autonomedia Press, 2021), and a co-series book editor with Shane Vogel & Uri McMillan of Minoritarian Aesthetics (NYU Press). Ruiz is the creator of La Estación Gallery, and now the Mellon funded project the Minor Aesthetics Lab.