On sleight of hand and believing spectacular people

Illustration by Johnalynn Holland

For anyone open to amusement, the appeal of up-close magic is a reliable joy. Whether elaborate or gestural, sleight of hand is an easy way to garner simple reactionary awe, if not outright amazement, from an audience. Prestidigitation, translated directly to mean dexterous handwork, is an entry-level introduction to magic. The tenants of deception remain the same: present a premise, distract, & reveal a new reality. Even when explained it is never as easy as it looks.

Having the manicured touch allowed me a form of expression I never knew I needed

Photo by Celeste Noche

It has been more than two years since I started wearing a full set of acrylic nails every day. For femmes who have embarked on the long-nail lifestyle, this is not a long time, and any cuticle queen will tell you how you will get used to it. I wasn’t too concerned. I had grown tired of painting my nails poorly and seeing them chip within days. My hands, gifts from my mother, are inarguably one of my most feminine features. I see my mother in my hands, and her hands have always been so beautiful. …

been sitting with this #TransTrumpMemo & trying to contextualize the implications beyond the cynicism of how bad it already is from “both sides” regarded basic human protections for Trans people. many public discourses around trans rights have centered & located access to privacy & or capacity to be fit members of society.

when that circled around the military, imperialism & other base notions of representation, my interest was absent. even the advocacy for trans youth seemed desperately fixed on white & white-coded androgyny.

we have undoubtedly been blessed with an overdue influx of urgent & beautiful Trans talent from media…

Since graduating college in 2014, I’ve navigated several avenues & projects trying to make sense of adult life & purpose. I am blessed to have a family & support system that has support my dreams in every way they are able & been patient with my navigation of the “real world”. While I am proud of what I have accomplished over the last 4 years, I did so navigating alcoholism & inconsistently treated mental illness. …

an erasure of the 2018 State of the Union Address

Interviews from this year!

Was honored to be interviewed by these great people this year, please enjoy these lively conversations.

From Nervous Poodle Poetry with Noor Hindi

My poetic sensibility is to re-dress language, to set a scene, or perform a kind of illusion that ultimately reveals itself. I refuse to ignore the gaze of the reader, but that rarely implies a pandering or compromise.

From Entropy with Devin Kelly

the body i present in my work, is a body (sometimes literally my own, other times a body i need to hold dear, like my own) that i want to…

My favorite pieces I’ve had published this year:

  1. Mannish Tongues, my debut collection dropped in Feb. Pick up your copy HERE.

I’m starting a blog-project called #stanzaRECAP where poets choose a show to create a series of episodic recap poems.


  • 2–3 Episode / Poem Minimum

if you want to recap a show that’s no longer on, just submit 3 or more poems from the series run!

if you are interested in recapping a show that isn’t back yet just let me know when it starts & being whenever.

Email stanzarecap@gmail.com, if you wanna help out!

follow stanzaRECAP on twitter for more info!

ps: i don’t really care what the show is, but submissions from Black Writers / of Color + Queer/Trans Writers only pls.


first & foremost i didn’t plan to see the age 25.

i didn’t have the vision for my life, honestly, past college & in the years since graduating have been indicative of the fumblings.

still, i’m thankful for my mother & all of the people who poured into me, both knowingly & unknowingly, because without them i could not have even hoped for this birthday.

moreover, two dear friends (both black & queer) took their own lives, in as many years & i began to worry if i would also not make the milestone. …

photo by Bree Gant

My favorite pieces I’ve had published this year:

yo, i’m v proud of the work i’ve been able to publish this year. gonna link my 10 faves below, no particular order.

1. The Impossible Outside (Or, A Zumbi’s Autopsy)

The question of “Where is it safe to be Black & alive?” haunts the diaspora. If the answer remains unfound what ways can we make of ourselves, caught here & subjective. The contemporary Black body a post-slavery, post-colonial subject exists in all-consuming duality. [..] The Black body now holds that tension. …

jayy dodd.

“i have been celestial before, i will be celestial again” | writer, editor, artist | contact: jayy@jayydodd.net // she/her

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