NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE SSI/FOOD STAMP BENEFITS APPLICATION

Literary Hub Poem of the Week

June 24, 2015  By Amber Atiya
1


Amber Atiya’s new poem is one of the boldest formal possessions in contemporary poetry I know of. For those who have relied upon, or have had family members that relied upon on government assistance, we know too well the Kafka-like bureaucracy that somehow must manage, categorize, and interrogate human suffering through endless paperwork. The grimness of such “forms” is waylaid, exploded, circumscribed and yet transformed thanks to Atiya’s imagination and the speaker of her lyric/anti-lyric who hungers, literally, we sense, but also existentially for a world beyond the rampant poverty and structural racism that disproportionally afflicts people of color in America. Continuing in the radical innovative tradition of contemporary black poetics, it’s hard to think of a recent poem so despairing, brave yet diabolically ingenuous. 

—Adam Fitzgerald, Poetry


 

 

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NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF TEMPORARY AND DISABILITY ASSISTANCE

SSI/FOOD STAMP BENEFITS APPLICATION


Name i’m hungary hungry
SS#
what this iz?
Address
southside a union square park
Phone#
no

Are you/have you ever been a drug abuser? sometimez to stop the hunger
Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
yea but i only stole cuz i wuz
hungry

* Felony crimes are serious crimes that include burglary and
murder. Felons lose many of their civil rights: the right to run
for office, join the military, and vote can be taken away. Prospective
employers have the right to inquire about any felony convictions.
Many insurance companies will not insure convicted felons making
it difficult for felons to find work.

Are you working? no
What is your hourly wage/yearly income?
no

Do you speak English as a second language? i’m hungry
If yes please list first language:
xoxo

Please punctuate the following sentence:
According to The Huffington Post Ray Canterbury
a politician from West Virginia believes children
should work for their school lunch
(Your ability to punctuate this sentence will greatly
impact your eligibility for SSI/Food Stamps)


Are you Muslim?
i’m hungry
Are you an illegal alien immigrant?
i ain’t from across no outta space borderz

Please solve the following equation:
3f”( x ) + 5xf ( x ) = 11
(Your ability to solve this equation will greatly
impact your eligibility for SSI/Food Stamps)

Have you ever been diagnosed with a physical
disability/psychological disorder?
yea
check all that apply:

AIDS/HIV √
Bipolar Disorder √

Cancer √

(please list type) i still got my left titty & it
iz hungry
Chronic Heart Failure
from hunger?
Diabetes √

Dissociative Identity Disorder √

(please list the names of your
multiple identities)
florence, mary & diana
Epilepsy √

PTSD
iz this post trama slave disorder?
Schizophrenia √

Are you hungry? i’m hungry

Do you need food stamp benefits right away?
i’m very hungry

 

 

x hungry___________________________________________________
               signature

 

FOOD STAMP BENEFITS (FS) PENALTY WARNING
Anyone who is fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement
for a felony, or who is violating a condition of probation or parole, is
not eligible to receive Food Stamp Benefits. If you get more Food Stamp
Benefits than you should have (overpayment), you must pay them back.
If your case is active, we will take back the amount of the overpayment
from future Food Stamp Benefits that you get. If your case is closed, you
may pay back the overpayment through any unused Food Stamp Benefits
remaining in your account, or you may pay cash.




Amber Atiya
Amber Atiya
Born and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Amber Atiya is the author of the chapbook the fierce bums of doo-wop (Argos Books, 2014). Her work has appeared in Atlas Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Boston Review, Muzzle Magazine, Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and elsewhere. She is a member of a women’s writing group that will be celebrating 13 years this spring.









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