𝘊𝘙𝘜𝘌𝘓/𝘊𝘙𝘜𝘌𝘓 is a collection of poems that seeks to radically deconstruct language in order to respond to the unimaginable cruelties of living under the muddied boot of white heteropatriarchy. In the collection, Black musical tradition, queerness and race coalesce to emphasize the archival and documentary as intrinsic to our personal and collective survivals. It was critical for me to craft this collection into a hybrid visual and literary object. The visual is integral in the deconstruction and queer renewal of the, at times, dizzying and mystifying language found on the page. 𝘊𝘙𝘜𝘌𝘓/𝘊𝘙𝘜𝘌𝘓 asks not that you understand it, but feel it-- wholly. Let it sing to you. 


— Dior J. Stephens




two             black                          ravens, one             dog,                          one             man,                          resting amongst                          topaz             weeps for                          companionship.


i am not who i am who was i who i was when i was;

i am the dolphin in a mask in a mask                                                      in plain view




stare into screen            long enough            for frost            to mold.

wait            for truth            to bubble            at your            mouth,

firm            &            taciturn.


                     a candle holding revolutionary hands;           six    clown     cars           with          hornet’s           nests                   up top.


                           beating                    kkwaenggwari,                            janggu;

                   the might of two                                          swells                                                smashing chalk                                                              on       $82k/year






open your windows,                loren.



                                      why                                       aren’t                                       you                                                  home,                                       loren?





what hillside view blasts decency out of frame,,  





dreaming of being heard,





dreaming of being bit down on by loose ties,—




and yet,






lady june blows prideful as the people beat the street,


             horns honk              from dusk              til    dawn,


            firecracker encores             every


                                  a summer of                                                        old                                                              jack                                                                     and jasmine                                                                      in      the                                                                               backyard,





            undreamt,,                                                                                    unheard (of),

UYP 11

not talking much today simply painting with my breathstrokes, summer lounging with creatures with english names. tumble butterfly, zipline ladybug; are we one and the same? branded with names from languages we did not speak by tyrants who looked nothing like us.

not talking much today, simply watching [             ] play with proximity to the unknown. thinking about rainbow road years lost under men who looked nothing like us.

not talking much today, simply calling my own bluff, not running starry-jeweled-teary eyed to the corner store, not giving nobody who does not look like us any coin for my poison.


not talking much today,              just asking the sun to still