I thought this cruel
until I found it sport
To make a boy from clay
To make it dance in front of me
To tear it apart at the lungs
Finding feast became ritual
A new habit for me to swallow
- from “Beast”
Jason B. Crawford is a gift, every time. The Year of the Unicorn Kidz (Sundress Publications) is no different. There’s an authenticity to them that is rarely found in authors. From the moment you interact with their words, there’s a raw vulnerability that transcends the page – where the reader feels like one of their loved ones; whatever that means at that specific moment. Because these poems are like how “the July humidity clings to / your shirt like an ex-lover”.
And what is it to you // to assume the identity of another thing // You’ve been playing dress up // your entire life // I say you change animal // because the rest of the world won’t believe // what we do is human // So we must be a beast/boy
– from “Beast Boy”
But through all the pain, Crawford shows us where the light still shines, because they, themselves, are such a bright light where one is so desperately needed. These are painful in a glorious way – a healing kind of hurt. This collection offers a safe space for queerness and self and love. They will walk this journey with you because these poems will take all of you; they push you to examine yourself. To reflect on life reflecting art. And that’s poetry. It leaves you raw, but better for it.
Because aren’t we all just Unicorn Kidz?
Courtney Margolin, Co-EiC of The Poetry Question, and co-host of TPQ20, is a veteran educator and TBI survivor, known for her uncanny ability to find the perfect piece of reading to change the lives of those in her presence. Leading the charge on the TPQ20 podcast, she can bring your favorite author to tell their deepest secrets.