Jayson P. Smith

Of The Question Of Self And How It Never Quite Gets Answered


I’ve always been a sucker for bondage.

(The pleasure in the next room, editorial at best. Falls dictate
a temperature—one moment, then another. Mercury’s in retrograde.
What hasn’t been said, goes. Erections in lieu of actual thought.
Here, the beasts know their names
& respond in kind.)

If one were to adjust the discourse, we could call it a conflict of interest—

we’re lucky to have some damn sense. Conflict doesn’t make marauders
of married men (but you can’t deny a narrative appeal).

Sometimes there is just interest. Some interests function for a sole purpose.

Some functions lose occasion, before need.

Before need, the image is the same: he unzips without confessing
anything. Whatever he’s eaten is what you are fed.

Jayson P. Smith is a freelance writer, editor, & curator. Their poems & interviews appear / are forthcoming in journals such as Gulf Coast, Nepantla, fields magazine, The Rumpus, & The Offing. Jayson has received support from The Conversation, Millay Colony for the Arts, Callaloo, & Cave Canem. J lives & works in Brooklyn as a Workshop Coordinator for Cave Canem, Creative Director for The Other Black Girl Collective, & founder of NOMAD, a Crown-Heights based reading series.

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