Poems by Schneider Rancy

Re-Signification of Gold Grillz as War Helms

from the bedside table
the gilded, golden
armor : ward against

“ you ain’t got no shine
Frank Ocean-listenin ass
you soft ”

subversion’s too difficult a task &
every temple has a façade

facial decorative ,
————mask adorning
the fangs
————brag the ornament ,
menace the mouth : let them see
————you have teeth

// break

before they mistake you
for brittle ( unresistant
victim )

break even
your own fingers
re-forge the mold
clamor anew
that hulking corpse

this is your
subjectivity(damned social theorists)

come , let them see it —
————that you        command

off-stage : gangsta , inconsolably


In the light between being and becoming


Walk beneath a rind
————————of moon
remnants of a god’s eye
————————roving wild,
imposing constructions
—————————–oscillating ideologies//

Tell me :

Where is the Real?


In that light
Black skin gleams

Starlit warrior
the hand holding
the pistol in your mouth
is yours

but it need not
be —
tragicomedy ( there is no humor
in it ) : your story need not be

do not
peel off the skin ( though
they will try
they glance off —
sound : rain pinging
on a tin roof
by the sea
This body of music
is home

Throw down your enemy
You are not
the enemy
You are human

In moonlight
you are silver
a fish    darting
There is no shimmering skin
so precious    as yours

has made another business
of selling you
your labor
your prison cell

Who are you?
Whose are you?
Whose chains
do you bear?



Delimit identity

Decolonize consciousness

What is fluid

is never rigid

save the body’s humors

in death (


is not your death )

Starlit warrior

The back

bunches, ripples

shackles break

and fall away

The ancients smile down

& all the spirits laugh

Your voice is

a fist

smashing the moon’s face

Schneider K. Rancy is a Haitian-American graduate of Columbia University, where he studied English and Comparative Literature and Biology. His poetry has been published in Columbia New Poetry, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Ars Medica, and Apogee. His novel BEYOND THE BATHS OF STARS was selected as a semi-finalist for Black Lawrence Press’s 2017 The Big Moose Prize and a finalist for the University of New Orleans’ 2017 Publishing Laboratory Contest. He is a medical student in New York City.