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Tender Data

Monica McClure

In TENDER DATA Monica McClure breaks down and breaks into various identities, each of them hashtagged in the discourses of their time and place, whether macha or chiflada, couture or fast fashion, acephale or technocrat: "I want to be so skinny people ask if I'm dying." Down the blood-red lanes of gender-making, class warfare, and vexed relationships goes the unstable subject, hailed yet hailing back. Nobody comes out looking good. The slippery self, surveilled yet ready with her mask, performs a peep show--booth opens wide, yet somehow the dancer isn't there. She's in character. She's "cut off the head to let the humors hose through.

What People Are Saying

Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR​

McClure may be the poster-girl for a new generation of poets: irreverent, well-read, sexy, even dirty, snarky, but ultimately fighting an earnest battle against reductiveness and easy answers to the complex problems of the Internet age: "Every citizen of this world is on trial/ I'm learning to speak legalese/ as I stroll through civil law like/ a gamine through a sample sale."

Inside the Book

Perfect Bound
6" x 9"
Publication Date:
July, 2015

Watch the Trailer


Allison Donahue

Queen Mob's Teahouse

Joyelle McSweeney

Poetry Foundation

From the Book



I don't actually need to feel anything at all

except that I live on an undulating plane

among artists

It's a middle ether of baby's breath and sprigs

of little cuntfaces under violet lights

and I do expect to be applauded

if I say this with aplomb

So can you please

give me a compliment today

starting with you are

You are not much of a caretaker

Blue angel of unctuous balm

I don't know why I try

my charlatan captives at your desk

and talk to you about intellectual things

Blue angel

you're like a worldly older girl

who took me on Spring Break

and locked me in a tower

with a Real World cast member

Why do we still use the language

of Feudalism

on the internet

An icon



I've always lacked volition

I could never choose one over another

I'm self-taught at being liked

so I don't have to choose who to like

There's so much affection in me to give

to the person I pity the most

A woman told me once

that she'd always been intact

Her femininity was a perfect seashell

wearing red cowgirl boots

and dragging a feather boa on the ground

I'm skeptical but not altogether

ruling it out

I can't read the signs fast enough

so I don't drive my own car

When I'm with a man I feel

like a gay man

When I'm with a woman I feel

like a gay man who is into women

And I only feel truly fabulous

in the presence

of someone less girly

This is my romance with gender

I play it with semiotic excess

in long seasons

I silent act and forget sometimes

to come out