Donney Rose





I was born small &
grew into not as small
a shrub surrounded by sequoias
my father is nearing 70
and is standing granite
I am a year from 40
and standing as
a deck of cards in
a windstorm
a weathered mess of
fused vertebrae
abnormal glucose
soiled spinal fluid

when they commend me
on being strong
really                        it’s my
body being too
to wilt & maybe 
that’s its strength
but probably not.

fresh code

...and because I’m Black
& have lately held on to
a few coins post-paycheck
my petite closet has began
to swell, bursting at the seams
with new & newer garments
cuz aint nothin Blacker than
steppin out fresh into a world
that will watch your rotting remains
spoil beneath an oppressive sun
or complain about how 
the acidity of your exposed blood
is searing through parts of the sidewalk
because Sara’s stiletto keeps getting
stuck in the muck of your gooey gone
and your only response is 
to not just appear casket sharp 
after you are unable to hear 
the compliments or the wailing
you gotta be able to stunt on em 
with every breathable minute
rock all your accoutrements all at once
pop tags before your toe has one
wrapped around it & flex 
& flex & be camera ready
when your homegoing program needs
an image that will last.



after Taylor Scott


it is another spring and
the poet thing to do
would be to write about
the bloom in early May
so here’s my attempt
to write verse about
without foreshadowing
myself as the
buried beneath
the bouquet.




Donney Rose is a poet, teaching artist,  essayist, podcast host and community activist from Baton Rouge. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. He is a 2018-2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and a member of Baton Rouge Business Report's 2017 Forty Under 40 Class. His work as a performance poet/writer has been featured in a variety of publications, including Atlanta Black Star, Blavity, Button Poetry, All Def Digital, Slam Find, [225] Magazine, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Mocking Heart Review, University of New Orleans’ Bayou Magazine and  Nicholls State University's Gris-Gris literary journal.  His work as a community activist has been highlighted on BBC,  Democracy Now, in New York Times and The Advocate newspaper. Donney also contributed two scholarly articles to the St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture, 1st Edition (St. James Press, February 2018). His poem, “Etymology of At The End of the Day”, was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize for poetry.