running around & away

S*an D. Henry-Smith

when I consider the great many things that disappoint me I start w/ myself& end in the stars & refresh in the nauseating glow of gaseous capacities. it'swhat you'd want, deep spring swimming all blooms are latent potential realizedrunning around & awayyour hand at its heaviest is still a gentle wind ushering a sharp delivery sharpintellect sharp sensitivity to the order & disarray. you make me weep w/ theweather w/ the weathered w/ the mothered w/ the memory. a study of theparticular, a study of the width of obsession, of play & the particular, a confidencein kind in colliery in culinary in respite in repose like blue eucalyptus like caspiarunning around & awaybright & bold rhythm & boombat a touch of laughter too. bop & boo'd up.I write around what I can't say & get explicit in that, you just get explicit &I'm jealous in that way makes me so happy we're here in the greendome at thesame time. so we giggle thru the gush thru the bitter greens thru the churningof thick milks the ooze & awes of the gelatinous the ritual of amaro easingthe summer stomach in our finest cloths & Mary Janes in communion w/ ourcontemporaries counterparts counterpoints & the likerunning around & awayit's never too late or too dark in our kitchen cinnamons & sansho in abundancethe labour is all the herbs we can't describe in ease. a tasting menu of domestics,where the only payment is presence. the project of "What if This Time I DoNothing but Watch" the project of "What if I Do Nothing" & after workafter hours we embrace the nonnarrative the un-linear the rectangular & allthat's all tangled in we fortify our plans to flee to our lovers & loved by any& all means running around & away

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Photo of S*an Henry-Smith
Photo:
Liz Johnson Artur

Sean? Sian? Swan? S*an D. Henry-Smith is an artist and writer working primarily in poetry, photography, and performance, engaging Black experimentalisms and collaborative practices. They have received awards and fellowships from the Fulbright Program, The Poetry Project, Poets House, Antenna/Paper Machine, and have read, performed, and exhibited at Basilica Soundscape, Issue Project Room, Brooklyn Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem and elsewhere. S*an’s words and photographs have appeared in Aperture PhotoBook Review, Apogee Journal, FACT, FLASH ART, CanadianArt, The New York Times, them, Triple Canopy, and across several book projects. They are the author of two chapbooks, Body Text and Flotsam Suite: A Strange & Precarious Life, or How We Chronicled the Little Disasters & I Won’t Leave the Dance Floor Til It’s Out of My System; as mouthfeel, they coauthored Consider the Tongue alongside Imani Elizabeth Jackson, which explores histories of aquatic labor and Black food through cooking, poetry, and ephemeral practices. Wild Peach is S*an’s first full-length collection.

"Exploiting the sonic resources of language, particularly in its use of the long vowel, Wild Peach resonates as spell, spilling into enchantment and trance. We witness the natural world as though through an aperture—a fecund world of seed and plant, dirt and flowers, worms and milkweed, and the many other small acts and creatures of nature. With the sonic and the visual as its axis, Wild Peach sows a bittersweet garden seeded with anecdotal memory counterpointed by lambent, photographic images by Henry-Smith themself."
—M. NourbeSe Philip

"S*an Henry-Smith massages elemental frequencies like one would massage herbs for a spiritual bath. While Wild Peach invokes for me Ntozake Shange and Rirkrit Tiravanija in this dazzling installation of recipes, spells and images, embodied here is the whimsical torch song, the keratin supernova and aerial sermons that may in fact inoculate us in this age of woke blindness. The statement what is truly hours is a gentle fury and urgent glory S*an salvages within these pages."
—LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

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