d a n e z    s m i t h

 

 

Director's Note: a note on the tongue to my 9 year old self


Director's Note: why the rape scene will not be included


Director's Note: a note on the body for my 20 year old self









































Director's Note: a note on the tongue to my 9 year old self

 

lick everything: the sunless black

            back of your knee

                        the hot copper ribboning the walls

            that strawberry smear

of ice cream sugaring your arms

            with spotted pink veins

                        lick your scraped elbow

            roll the cherry pearls & slurp

learn to thirst

            for yourself, for the spice

                        of your own dew damp salt

            lick your body's new learned blessing

your slow river of eggshell

            savor the sweet drip of your you know

                        lick your sticky & cramped hand

                                    this is how hunger begins

            how the mouth learns its destiny

next









































Director's Note: why the rape scene will not be included

 

we must

                        leave

            some

                        thing

to the imagination

            why not

leave

            his hands

                        out of the picture

so lets

            instead

insert

            a hour

long black                    out

            if it has to happen

I wish

            it would

like that.

next









































Director's Note: a note on the body for my 20 year old self

 

nope. you can't go get it back. it was exiled away, you troubled
the line between violence & kink & now your body belongs
to a darker country.

nope. fuck that. your body is still your body. your arms still wings,
your mouth still a gun. you tragic monster, misfiring bird.
you have all you need to be a hero. don't save the world,
but do save yourself. when prayer doesn't work: dance, fly, fire.

this is hardest scene, when you think the whole sad thing might end,
but you live. oh, do you live.

next

DANEZ SMITH is a Cave Canem Fellow, Pushcart Nominee, Survivor & Black Queer from St. Paul, MN. Danez works as a national associate for Youth Speaks Brave New Voices, the nations largest poetry organization dedicated to engaging youth to use poetry and their voices as a source for social change. Danez is the winner of the 2014 Reading Series Contest sponsored by The Paris-American & was featured in The Academy of American Poets' Emerging Poets Series by Patricia Smith. Danez is the author of hands on ya knees, a chapbook (Penmanship Books, 2013). His full-length collection, [insert] Boy, will be published Fall 2014 by YesYes Books. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, Ploughshares, Indiana Review, Devil's Lake, Kinfolks & elsewhere. Danez placed 6th in the world at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam & is the 2013 Rustbelt Midwest Regional Slam Champion. He writes & lives in Oakland, CA.


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