Emma Jo Black
Bio: Emma Jo Black is a Paris-born poet and visual artist of Irish, French and American nationalities. They bridge seas through poetry and cultural anthropology, investigating migration paths and experiences of liminality. Jo hosts events at Spoken Word Paris and was recently published in The Galway Advertiser’s Vox Galvia and Lothlorien Poetry Journal vol. 6. They have worked with indigenous leaders in Colombia, left stray feathers in Berlin and stalked the streets of Dublin as a vampire. Their stage performances combine poetry, physical theatre and drag in order to celebrate the queer and the unknowable in each of us.
there is a lump in my grandfather’s brain pushing ever so gently at the front of his skull the lump is turning him into the rhinoceros he was always meant to be my rhinoceros grandpa hunts through the fridge for coffee ice cream at breakfast makes a lunch of a single cinnamon roll at dinner, burns a double-batch of chocolate-chip cookies that he devours to the very last crumb in my grandfather’s basement, there is a soviet army fur hat a Lenin poster, facing a Karl Marx poster hanging over a bookshelf with many red bindings in 1974, a US government official was sent to check his basement for the bomb shelter list his basement was not put on the bomb shelter list even then, the lump was already growing imperceptibly wider as a wall broke open imperceptibly taller as two buildings burned down the lump in my grandfather’s brain has decided it never got to know me that well my face has become blurred in its rhinoceros vision what is a chubby blonde child, after all, but a second, less threatening lump? my grandpa finds the lump’s words convincing the lump is made of the same genetic fabric as my grandpa a piece of my grandpa, pushing at himself my grandpa finding a path through his own skull my grandpa never stayed put between the walls he found around him my grandpa switches sides, makes a pact with the outside “if I dig myself out, if I push myself through, will you be waiting for me right across the line?”