24: on giving up bread or on listening by LaQuann Dawson

his 13 year old body
told him to stop eating
sweets and fried food

his 14 year old body
told him to run so
he runs and    runs     and         runs        and             r u n s

internet boys
told him he shouldn't pudge
when he sits down

his head
told his stomach
to shut the fuck up

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23: on identifying the sun by LaQuann Dawson

how dare you                    
tell me i ain’t the sun                                        when
you ain’t ever been     so warm            

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22: he ain't quiet by LaQuann Dawson

the Gay that glitter my footsteps

be loud
be heavy
be jaunty
be immortal
be everything you never wanted Him to

better get used to Him
before my Gay be flamboyanced
before the Gay under my step cause earthquakes
opening fissures that seep glitter and purple syrup deep

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21: he really pulled it off by LaQuann Dawson

do you hear that loud ringing
in your ear?

the sound of the locusts applauding your new leader        
swarm to devour everything growing
make way for new world order        the new american dream
all hail your 45th president              Mr.     donald     trump

do you hear the white noise
marching down the streets of 5th Avenue
chanting “USA USA USA” with picket signs that look like torches
with grins that look like the 1800s    a celebration of renewed greatness

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20: red by LaQuann Dawson

I died in September
cried myself to sleep and drown in a river of
is this what hell looks like? 

sad       quiet      haunting



it took me two months to swallow the river
(product of my sorrow)

I went home Thanksgiving a new man
and daddy asks
“why do you dress like a vampire?”

he’s on to me

the next twenty days I fantasized revenge
I read    
I practiced
I wrote:

“How to Swallow a Man After He’s Broken Your Heart”

I died in the process

I went home Christmas a dead man       full        
and daddy asks

“whose funeral you going to?”


I buried my body at the bottom of my stomach
I killed the butterflies
I swallowed a photograph of the self I were
I planted flowers in my liver
and poured 40s atop my casket till my stomach                     

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19: Representation by LaQuann Dawson

Something I talk about daily and have been aching to write about is representation. What it is, what it means, where it is, where it is not. I'd like my experience to be taken for my personal reaction towards it and then the reason behind my reaction to be considered. 

I walked into work a few days ago and grabbed the newest issue of WWD, a fashion magazine my job is subscribed to, and noticed yet another cover, in the stack of 20 magazines, where no one looks like me. And to keep it transparent, I mean Black. I go through the stack of magazines to be sure I am mistaken and there is at least one Black person on the cover. To no avail. I flip through the magazine anyway and the entire inside is White as (h)well, with the exception of a photo of the Obama's with a "goodbye" caption. Oh, and Kanye West's show coverage on the same spread. So I should be happy, right? Sure, this magazine has had Black and Hispanic people on their covers before, I just have never seen them in person so this is not actually about the magazine itself. More so my frustration comes from wondering why I am so passionately thirsty to find myself in this magazine and in the world. It seems as though when I do find the representation I need I am excited and never fail to speak on it. I think had this been normal, seeing myself that is, I might become a little numb to it by now. Alas, I am not. I did not grow up seeing Black men all over magazines, at fashion week, in my favorite TV shows, in movies, in politics, on book shelves, in textbooks, at school, in ad campaigns, on billboards, or anywhere else but in my house and across the street.


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18: "welcome to hell," he said. "you'll love it," he said. by LaQuann Dawson

The academic "summer" has fizzled to it's end and classes have begun. I sit in bed this afternoon and reflect back on my summer. My summer...the frizzy hair, the laughter, the lost wallet, the dusty boots, the disappointment, my humble queen, the all nighters, the open mics, the credit card swipes, the late rent, the struggle and the outcome. I start a new chapter of my life in a city to call my own. So for now I say in as bittersweet and accent to my home state that holds my heart and nothing else...

Au revoir Ohio, my love, until next time.

New York's initiation grated my patience / bruised my skin / emptied my pockets and had me question my intent / New York's initiation swallowed my soul / gnawed it to death and spit it out into a waterless ocean / baptized me and brought me back / a reincarnation of the self I used to be / A work of art / a walking poem /         immortal. Lava under each step / I am heavy / I am tall / brown / hungry / relentless / breathless / A God / A King / Unapologetic in nature and far removed from it / I am an impala lily removed from Africa, ready to grow between the cracks of broken sidewalk in the jungle with no trees.


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17: The Protest by LaQuann Dawson

As I rise this morning, ass and feet both equally sore, I sit and wonder what a protest actually does. Can we truly achieve effective political change by walking through streets holding signs and wasting our breath with heartfelt chants? Is that even the goal of a protest? Or is there some greater purpose other than making noise?

Union Square to Time Square March in NYC - July 9, 2016.

Last night in New York City I walked in the first protest I'd ever been apart of with so many people, with cops involved and that lasted so long. I am trying to take away a few things from this experience, as we all should. Aside a sore ass from walking 85 blocks, what do I have as result? There is a clear divide among people fighting for the same cause, those for protesting and those who believe they accomplish little to nothing. I think I can sympathize a bit with both parties seeing protesters who want to do something, anything to express their hurt, rage and desire for change (excuse the rhyme). Protesting gets the attention of the all mighty media and in turn brings some focus to the issues being faced. We can wake the city, stop traffic and chant "Black Lives Matter" for hours and hours, go home and watch all the damage we caused. More aggressive cops, some protestors  who got a little to caught up in the moment and acted out, protesters peacefully speaking their piece and still being handled and arrested. So other than making noise and getting attention, what are we doing?

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