Ariel Mallett: March 2019 Poet of the Month
Photo: Joanna C. Valente

Photo: Joanna C. Valente



Today marks the halfway point of 30 days of



I am protesting the state of this nation

with the visceral presence

of my body


and the utter lack of words

that marks my

everyday existence


as a queer woman


as a survivor of sexual viole



as a person living with PTSD


as a person who engages

in self-harm


as someone

who lives with depression


as someone who lives with SEVERE



for fifteen days I have not spoken words

in public


for ten years I have lived under

a perpetual cloud of SHAME



I will continue to be quiet


but never again will I allow

my internal shame monster

to silence me.

Ariel Mallett is a multimedia artist who's deeply emotional work rouses empathy for the self and the other. The brash vulnerability of her work pushes the viewer to consider the beauty that can be found in suffering, encourages one to find commonality in the painful condition that is the human existence, and inspires connections otherwise inaccessible in our day to day lives. 

Ariel lives in Ann Arbor, MI where she serves coffee at a local cafe and spends her days using art to process her own existence. She is a survivor of sexual assault and childhood abuse, experiences which inspired her to spend 30 days protesting the Kavanaugh Hearings and Trump Administration in silence last year. This poem is inspired by both her survivorship, and the rawness of existing in silence for 30 days in such a violent and emotional state.