John S. Blake


John S. Blake is a Black gender fluid poet and essayist, born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The author of Beautifully Flawed (Urban Publishing, 2012), they are a graduate fellow at The Watering Hole. Blake currently resides in Los Angeles and facilitates writing workshops via Zoom. Source

No Room to Form

Ain’t no form       out here   

I’m your blade cleaving        leaving 

No throat uncut        stayin’ stacked on air     People sayin’        

you can’t make me happy           

police        this corner     Politicians     police everybody 

wants us dead—gentrify this hood like they 

got us bodied     but we movin’ our stars like chess pieces my love    

don’t give them one kill-toned drop     our love don’t split or spill f

or nobody         what new approach to killing they got we can’t yeet from      

promise      we gonna be        just fine        I’ll never stop this work. 

You               streetlights on clear nights       be my song     Your heart            

my beat-drop, joy dripping       between your fingers       palm-up        

holding down tomorrow         us wishin’ a motherf—look       


blood moving      heart to hands           

freein’ space     for    opps    wanting  to pull up.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships

Police Brutality


Literary Devices:


the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession


a break between words within a metrical foot


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.


a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic


a new word, serious or humorous, coined by a writer.


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”