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A. H. Jerriod Avant

A. H. Jerriod Avant is from Longtown, Mississippi. A graduate of Jackson State University, Avant has earned MFA degrees from Spalding University and New York University. He’s a recipient of residencies and scholarships from Vermont Studio Center, the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference and Naropa’s Summer Writing Program. Avant has received two winter poetry fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and a 2019 emerging artist grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. He’s currently a PhD candidate at the University of Rhode Island, and will curate a special series of Poem-a-Day from August 17–August 28, 2020. 

By This Poet

5

Animal Planet

It could’ve been the stiff crack
of bone or rapid gunfire
exploding bits of red in the air.

Because only for animals is it
natural to marinate for hours
in postmortem under sun.

The lions rip the gazelles
of themselves. They know
how sweet, the blood is.

What Deer Season Means To Me

In the house there were always two
white deep freezers packed pretty
decent with red meat. Deer season,
the hunters and the deer would satisfy
rent in season, by meat if not by cash.
It was May, I was fifteen and we smelled
fifteen or so throughout the warm insides
of the man-handled school bus, when pops
steers quick and clear to dodge the deer
and Shirlean yells, “I didn’t even know it was
deer season.” As if deer only lived so they
could be killed during deer season.
What’s a deer outside of deer season,
except a reason for deer season?

Fuh Da Summa

I’m docked at a lake that
the people don’t attend.

Machete on my hip to
make a devil cough up

blood    dust and light.
Hungry for ruins of

an afternoon of anything
wild and willing to stick

its neck through the roof
of the leftover lake. I’m

docked at a lake that ain’t
got no river    in a field that

ain’t    got no fence    under a
sun that ain’t    never heard

of mercy. I’m docked at the
edge of an unfortunate dinner

next to a wet knot of Cotton-
mouths    too big to see.