F. Douglas Brown


F. Douglas Brown is the author of two poetry collections, ICON (Writ Large Press, 2018), and Zero to Three (University of Georgia, 2014), winner of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize selected by US Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith. He also co-authored with poet Geffrey Davis, Begotten (URB Books, 2016), a chapbook of poetry as part of the Floodgate Poetry Series. Brown, an educator for over 20 years, currently teaches English and African American Poetry at Loyola High School of Los Angeles, an all-boys Jesuit school. He is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow, and was selected by Poets & Writers as one of their ten notable Debut Poets of 2014. His poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The PBS News Hour, The Virginia Quarterly (VQR), Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review (CQR), The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Source

How to Tell My Dad that I Kissed a Man

Blame your drag queen roommate—Lamar by day, Mahogany by night—and then

blame his sequined dresses—all slit high, up to his balls


Explain that dusk smells so different in Spain—musky cherry—tight tangerine burst—sage

mixed with lavender


Tell him you were under the influence of bees or bats—the spin and swirl of doves


Tell him you were half asleep—about to leave to the dunes just west of Madrid—better

yet say forest—he knows that crazy shit happens in a forest


Tell him no tongue but his mouth—wax-like and wet


Tell him timing


Tell him ease


Tell him sweat and sweat


Tell him lips


Tell him the juice—yeah saffron juice


Tell him flat-chested


Tell him, “crook”—I mean, “creek”


Tell him tales—lies—tears—water—weakness—churros—chocolate—hot—heat—heave—  








Tell him anything you want—then tell him


You did it again





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a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses