Ryanaustin Dennis: Poets Corner

Welcome to MoAD Poet’s Corner, a space where our network of poets speak to their place in the African Diaspora as it exists today. The poets featured in this series are connected to MoAD through our MoAD Lit programs, which includes Poets-in-Residence, Third Thursday Open Mic, and Authors in Conversation. Here is a space where you can nourish your soul, feel inspired, and relish in the words that narrate the African Diaspora. In the words of the late, Toni Morrison at her Nobel Prize address, “We die. That may be the meaning of life.  But we do language.  That may be the measure of our lives.”


A chair is holding, me

How will I mold my death?
Carving out of infinitude
the boldest limit.

A vision waits in my eyes
I know what it means to be a chair.

I inherit its relation to the body
to be

sat on

Am I all those things,
over and under it?


To think a wonderous irony,
that when Obama dies this country will be
obligated to mourn.

Tilts its wind whipped mast
for a man made of nothing.

Hay wheel and match-sticked together
in his little nigger heaven, with
tarry tart angels too chubby to sit

I know what it means to wait,
sliding over the bones of a thing.

Murmuring, in a room, with one sharp
streak of shadow licking up my leg

“Goddess bless this shadow
Goddess thrust you resting head against me
Goddess, goddess, goddess.”

Ryanaustin Dennis is an Oakland based curator/artist/writer. Their practice is concerned with how twentieth and twenty-first-century experimental performance, film, and writing histories are shaped by the metaphysics of blackness. They have done curatorial work for E.M. Wolfman Bookstore, Kadist, Eastside Arts Alliance, Betti Ono, Soundwave Biennial, and is a Southern Exposure Curatorial Council Fellow. Their work has been published in The Believer, SFMOMA Open Space, and ZYZZYVA.

Follow Ryanaustin Dennis on Instagram or Twitter.

Categories:  MoAD Lit