From The Poet to / a Young Faggot, Some Haikus / Or “Who You Really Is.”

i.          How quick do you burn?
                          Be kindling, or flame, or ash,
            when sweat is ember.

            Come sulfur, brimstone:
                          burn the alleyways and back-
            seats and hall closets.

            If hell is real, shall
                          we grab each other – our hands,
            or hearts or throats or

            allow the soft, pleasure
                           as prayer and confession,
            or stay on your knees.


ii.         You speak like candy,
                                                    like, hard and sweet and tasty,
                                                                                                            learn how to not rot.

             Learn how sugar forms
                                                        of crystallization, be-
                                                                                                ware your own edge.


iii.         What they tell you bout
              bathhouses, and disco are
              true, and all the death.

             Adonis was a
             god — how flesh teaches itself
             contortion or statue.


iv.        Dandy, pansy, or / light on his feet, or fairy, / sissy, call you queen
            or queer or faggot / or fag or freak or bundle  / of sticks, again and fragile.


v.                                              Your body is taught as
                  betrayal, as virus and               sin, as taboo, as silence,
                              criminal, again.             still, the bones and blood


ars poetica

every poem is a death & each stanza: an economy

built on an ocean floor covered in bones,

like my mouth.                        every poem is

that same mouth filled with loose teeth & salt-water.

every poem is ship & sea & sail, a cargo passage

            or, the vessel obliged with displacing

the poet’s form.  every poem costs some mass, some

measure – requires a body to expose itself. a grammar

called recompense.    every poem is a rhetorical

interrogation of how many questions can you fit in your

mouth or, if the jaw learns to unhinge: how will it hang—

heavy & full—be ripe fig on low branch? each poem

is the pit, the seed, the fresh & the molding. delineate

the harvest before the drought.




every poem is masturbation. the gesture of naming

in so many words, crafting metered stroke, in lyric & verse & still,

every poem,   even in its most spectacular excitement,

                         must know how to finish itself                         off.

jayy dodd is a writer, editor and homeboy from Los Angeles, now based in New England. Xis work has appeared / will appear in Lambda Literary, Prelude, Assaracus, Day One, Winter Tangerine, and Guernica among others. Xe’s the author of [sugar in the tank] on Pizza Pi Press.