ODE TO NAS, ODE TO THE COUSIN THE COUSIN OF DEATH | Trace DePass

ode to nas, ode to the cousin the cousin of death

anesthesia & euthanasia, two

cousins in the night of killing, hand you

two wrenches like lilies for all the pain

first  – one buds like a point with no axis

from which the second blooms       Fibonacci

spirals of petals which might cut any

other flower  to the half-life. here, with-

in this act: the exact same corkscrewing

it takes to give a hand to a wrench, now,

euthanasia, like a cassette, rewinds

you to piles of nail, new york’s, no home.

anesthesia is that baby still young

enough to be a want, at home, sporting

a children’s toolbox, laughing,  anything

 

[could be outside  doors  even death. look: here.]

 

 

Trace Howard DePass is the author of Self-portrait as the space between us (PANK Books, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Prize. He served as the editor of Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing of 2017 & as the 2016 Teen Poet Laureate for the Borough of Queens. His work has been featured on screen and radio—BET Next Level, Billboard, Blavity, Poetry Foundation, Ours Poetica, and NPR’s The Takeaway—and in print— SAND Journal, Entropy Magazine, Platypus Press, Split This Rock, The Poetry Project, & Bettering American Poetry (Volume 3). DePass is a Poetry Incubator, Teaching Artist Project, & Poets House Fellow.

IG: @tracedepass
Twitter: @southsidepoems

NOT BROKEN BUT FRAYED | Trace DePass

Mikal tells me i need forgiveness & here’s the door
back to all love we walk away from how

the dirt teleprompters the rain
fall back to its skies to better our soil here’s

everybody i ever loved
& here’s           me holding onto me

watch: no one at my helms    no one
somersaulting giddy against my pelt

i’m every black body i ever was
tell them something of me could not be loved

& was loved, that’s where i landed
whenever i aimed for honest

i’m on my way, i’m on my way, i’m on my way,
the darkness i helped i folded in my pocket for this

joyed to be gone with her     that new mother
i’ll be torn from   might have been my own blood

mother. all along. bless my ancestral name driving
back to scoop the fam, chosen demigods   we once

too called baby, the only proof we have that love
happens   here too young to have happened.

i’m dexterous this time enough to love again
& here’s better lovers than me   i bare a thing

& will bare something anything else   there will be
mythos    ahistorical hysteria pigmenting patterns

from which i back flip, thick as a black bone: bone’s
blackness: self to be rattling the omnitemporal   self

 

Trace Howard DePass is the author of Self-portrait as the space between us (PANK Books, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Prize. He served as the editor of Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing of 2017 & as the 2016 Teen Poet Laureate for the Borough of Queens. His work has been featured on screen and radio—BET Next Level, Billboard, Blavity, Poetry Foundation, Ours Poetica, and NPR’s The Takeaway—and in print— SAND Journal, Entropy Magazine, Platypus Press, Split This Rock, The Poetry Project, & Bettering American Poetry (Volume 3). DePass is a Poetry Incubator, Teaching Artist Project, & Poets House Fellow.

IG: @tracedepass
Twitter: @southsidepoems

Virtual Tip Jar Reading w/ Dev Blair & Friends April 15!

2 for 2 on Virtual Tip Jar Readings! This time we will be having Dev Blair featuring Irie and Michael A. Rosegrant!

SHORT LINE REVIEW PRESENTS: VIRTUAL TIP JAR READINGS
A virtual reading with artists and authors of all kinds from the comfort of your own home. Rather than pay a standard admission fee, these readings are free, but we highly encourage donations to our features.
FEATURE: DEV BLAIR w/ Irie and Michael A. Rosegrant
APRIL 15 7PM EST
Reading via ZOOM:
Meeting ID: 627 956 722
VENMO: @HoshiNoDev
PAYPAL: PayPal.me/HoshiNoDev
CASHAPP: $HoshiNoDev
ABOUT OUR FEATURE:
Blending genres and art forms like the blend of Southeastern US cultures that made them, Boston-area poet, playwright, and performer Dev Blair (they/she) aims to take up space with their rhymes-and challenge the culture while doing so. Nashville born, Atlanta raised, Orlando grown, and Boston educated with ancestors in Louisiana, Dev Blair is a queer/trans Creole witch and wordsmith, writing songs as spells and poems as prayers. All of their work (from writing to performance) is in service of her primary artistic goal: to change the culture. Her poetry has been published in the Hoochie Reader (issues 2 and 3) and on Q wear.com. If you want to keep up with Dev’s work, visit http://www.devblair.com and sign up for The Dev Blur, their monthly curated newsletter.
Irie (she/her/hers) is a Chicago-bred, Boston based poet and performance artist who writes and works likes she’s mad. Sometimes she is. Sometimes that’s a joy, too. She is passionate about making sure these tools return to whom they belong—the youth, the loud, the breakers of chains. Follow her on ig: ireon.jpg or twitter: etubrutee. Be well!
Michael A. Rosegrant (they/them) is a poet descendent of Philippine islands and “American” farmlands. They sing for their ancestors—blood and otherwise—who could not. Their spoken word has been published in The Wave, and shared for orgs/communities including Arts Connect International, BCYF Grove Hall Senior Center, American Repertory Theatre, UMass Boston, and Boston University. Community over everything. Mad love. @michael_arose on IG/Twitter
VENMO: @HoshiNoDev
PAYPAL: PayPal.me/HoshiNoDev
CASHAPP: $HoshiNoDev
See you all there!

Beautiful – Lennix

My body is speaking to me

The tongues of my skin

Speak languages that do not reach my mouth.

Whisper sweet nothings, to which I can not reply, the words caught in

Linguistic purgatory

Trying to translate beautiful

a noun, a possessive word

beautiful,

The word is stuck in the spit of man as he yells at me

“Hey beautiful”

The word dies, becomes synonym with his–with plaything

Becomes notes in the orchestra of catcalls that illuminate every city street I have ever walked in.

And yet the tongues of skin, like sirens calling to Odysseus

Urge me to hear them, to learn their dialect, to find the flowers in words

Men turned have into knives

And yet I remind them,

That language is a weapon

Reared against anything feminine, to invalidate it, to hide it, to pretty it up for consumption

And yet, my skin speaks– vehemently of these reclamations

Of taking words weaponized and weaving wildflowers

Of the glory in survival and how to survive we must teach ourselves to speak–

Because the world, the man, thrives on our on fear

To speak,

And so as I lick my wounds,

My skin, she sings my a lullaby

My mouth finds the hidden curves of her words and mimics them

Moves them around the roof my mouth, down into my diaphragm, and lets them rest in

Between my ribcage, where they safe but soft, but strong, but mine

Beautiful.

About Lennix: Queer. Trans. I believe that art is the only way to recreate myself authentically.
I am a student at Simmons University and I love pastels.

IG: lorionphotography

(photo provided by Lennix)