Snail Trail Press

Dana Venerable

...and my emotions dance their way into the

            gutter, let them clog with leafy rain...

“I used to laugh to myself about how, as a woman, your story is often attached to the narrative of a man...No matter what you’re doing or how great your work is, sometimes it’s as though you have to be attached to a man to be validated. I’d felt like that at times. And then I started to read about Mary Magdalene and how amazing she was; how she was likely to have been Jesus’s best friend, his confidante. She was a herbalist and a healer, but, you know, her story is written out of the bible and she was ‘a prostitute’. I found a lot of power in the story of Mary Magdalene; a lot of dignity, a lot of grace, a lot of inspiration.”

—FKA twigs

Can *my* emotions be recycled?

Can they be returned to whoever sent them my way

               made me feel all this

Does Karma have a praxis?

Does Karma have a private meme-page-finsta?


{trying not to get cents involved,

           but it’s clear sense is missin’ ___u}


The Awakening type of mood / mehmeh // I concur


take this one


Most of ___ur “likes” on social media are from

      fake people

People are being paid to “like” ___ur shit

Bots ! are being paid to “like” ___ur shit

Wasted bots are being paid to waste time

On wasted ___u

                             Digital landfill


Memes saved in My 9 desktop folders labeled

“when I’m coming down with ‘pression and/or c-ptsd


*scrambles to audio-read ‘the body keeps the score’*

*scrambles to skim-read ‘psycho-cybernetics’*

*scrambles eggs, eats toast w/ butter right on the counter*


“Like” for a “like” only otherwise ___u refuse

                   to “like”        shit

That is what ___u actually think

         And choose to      live


Don’t be fooled by digital masks

Some people never hang them

   on the wall


Can emotions be wasted?

“Likes” are mosdef a form of emotion waste

There is very little to this finger choreo

“Liking” and longing and lust and love and loss

All in one half of a millisecond aided by gravity


I love L Words in curlier contexts


My eyes are deteriorating slowly as I write this

And during all these thousands of paused minutes

in                                                         between

“carrots only” is my grocery list

The cardinal at my backyard pleads with me

Look anew and listen to what matters

Flashes of red

Not mind over matter, mind is matter

Yesterday I watched a woodpecker in my backyard up close

I received a reward simply by noticing


      &    walking near it, exists

Its/it’s beautiful choreography of winged non-flight

It remained pecking, soft violence in circles

Renewing the ephemeral

My picture of it too blurry to share

There is pleasure in deletion and secrecy

The outline of a moment recorded ad infinitum

Through mine and body


We can hold these truths simultaneously

There is beauty and the world is falling apart

And it’s hard to look at old pictures

Because I miss who I used to be

I feel expired now, more doomed than these artifacts

Spoiled and undone and unfolded and


still plenty of hair spirals in bundles

I’m not surprised it curls better in collectives

My hair often gets away from me when it can

I pollute wooden floorboards with my teary

      debris, tiny tumbleweeds

I sometimes pollute my mind with thinking why

about why those why who’ve left why me behind why why

“I’ve always wanted to feel a warm Mulat”

He whispers in my ear while hugging me

      and I


Anger is the energy of accumulated emotions

An oil that coat covers everything, moistens

It also functions like rain, maybe even thunderstorms of hail

I’ve been told many a time it isn’t “a good look”


If I’m dying, can u hang me upside down and preserve

         me intact

                 Like a rose?


Siri, play “mixed girl blues emo music”

No, play “black grl emo blues”

Blue is mixed &/w black

Play it


I am because u are is some bullshit

I am because trees were

roughly 25% shared genes

We are not hugging trees, we are hugging family

A type that doesn’t let their hand linger

       on ___ur lower back or under-boob for too long*

                   *[see Ari G. @ Aretha Franklin’s funeral]

They have our backs



What happens when “Bittersweet Symphony” becomes

background noise in a cafe, barely absorbed?


I’m guessing that pessimism doesn’t want to be trendy, but

ends up this way

            it’s worshipped as a determinant of lunch table



What is the new diet for shitting on people?


I knew every time u had been with someone else when

u told me to “slow down” while kissing


If ___u stack enough issues of Vogue magazine, ___u

can make a small table to hold your dream girl doll house


If my hair is like “a bed of chrysanthemums,” why didn’t u why

pick why me


I love u i love u i love u love u love i u love u love i love I


Meanwhile there’s me, spinning in my tap shoes

Turning the word “scared” into “sacred”


Can emotion be a door?

An entrance to an exit that’s another u?

A cul de sac where people buy too many groceries and

           throw them away

A dead end road where I turned my bike around and

        kept going back

All ground is a dancing bike lane

I put my foot out because my breaks are broken


THIS— — — — — — -IS— — — — - — -A— — — - — — -GUTTER

                                                                 made me feel all this

                                    Fake people

                                                                 digital landfill

                                    Ache people

                                                                 wall-like IRL shit


Flashes of red between wrinkled debris, tiny tumbleweeds

shoved                   I am because trees are, lung-speaking


And I, me intact, shoved like a rose

Ends up this way






Dana Venerable is a writer, an occasional tap dancer, co-editor of P-QUEUE, and an English PhD candidate at SUNY University at Buffalo. Her dissertation explores black performance, dance, notation, social choreography, and sound through their intersections and poetics. Dana is invested in how marginalized communities resist against the archive/ record, while (re)inserting themselves within it. She has written for P-QUEUE, The Journal of American Drama and Theatre, VIDA Review, and Zoomoozophone Review.