"The always-never-whatever poem," "My brother's name bears the Grudge," and "Venus Erogenous"

The always-never-whatever poem


The solution always-never works:

this is entertainment

whatever the idea

would have you believe

if the irony

if honor

if blood

if the word option

The gene so stubborn

would have you


to valuing

this loop



If not for pronouns

and punctuation

albeit grammar


and idiom

should you repeat again

stutter, choke

out of tune

edit or translate


If it’s always

in an always-never-whatever circle

how can one still respect

words like finally

and exactly

always and never, flexible periods

or silent commas at best


You don’t have to chose

between blood and word

just look at language



My brother’s name bears the Grudge
For my younger brother Achilles

                             ‘Is freedom a gift we only give to the ones that say I love you’—Jack White

Whenever I hold the dagger
something restricts
dad named you after Achilles
dad named me after a villain:
Darryl the scanner

Your blindness
my vanity
our dissonance
are rooted coils
of a distorted mirror
where the reflection
is 6 years
and 4 months apart
this reason why
we stink a little differently
at the loins
At the hotel poolside table
the hatred I felt
and let go
because I remembered
that you have saved me
when I needed saving
from my own bleeding
from my own lunacy
when no one else



Venus Erogenous



if Boticelli

Michael Angelo

if Michael Angelo


If a nail was a seashell

what sound

would the scratch

Through these hallways

how flesh

bumps against


Oyster, enter mouth

sushi enter mouth

Why does the metaphor

want water and sex?


An old black and white

photograph I had taken

of my neighbor

her arms spread wide

like an offering


and now at 2:00pm

she and I

in the laundry room

tip toeing

around the gender factor

10 years later

the photograph remains


Her dress

black, coral

and orange

like the frosted-glass treys

my mother used to make

what’s the sex saying now

the water in the washers?


She is older than my mother

this woman

but we still look

at each other like fish

and naked statues

too quick for defining

this thing quickly flushed



Darryl / Dadou / Baron Wawa

Darryl / Dadou / Baron Wawa is a Port-au-Prince born Haitian-American who studied Photography and Creative Writing. He enjoys chocolate and good books. That said, maybe a movie is a good book. He loves to work with images and words and their pairing.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - 22:09