Art and poetry on page and stage

gift box


Lynne DeSilva-Johnson

excerpts from


aren’t you a (jewel) beheld, aren’t you sacred (candy) (milk - maker) (womb) (healer) (saint) aren’t you memory /// a (chest) where night crosses with heavy sighs isn’t your coffin too heavy to lift /// he knows you are more than, are (animal), (plant), are (insect), are weather patterns emboldened by if shackled to (everything) to (beyond), to the ((void))

awake and shuddering with longing / i look for the dream but / it fades, already gone // a memory palace / under renovation / with wings / clear as day, grand entrances marked but / leading nowhere, / stairs rising only to each other / to more landings from which you might climb / to yet more again, / still searching, to yet more glossy corridors / freshly waxed, abandoned / but still humming as though with the ghosts/ of last night’s guests: / the clink of glasses, the laughter and warmth / of bodies; / an empty armchair, full of / those who came to rest.

come at me, Big Weather!
Tell this city it is Sea, is
Earth under Sky.
Wash away these choke-hold
alphabets; Gold will not
keep you dry when
the floods come
Maps will not tell you
which Name is Home.
I am ready for your waters
tides that rise
between grey buildings and
into thirsty windows
if just enough for pause,
and pause, and pause –
until men lose their bearings
enough to find their way

Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is a nonbinary queer interdisciplinary creator, cultural scholar, and educator. She is the founder and Managing Editor of The Operating System, a radical open source arts organization and small press. A deeply committed futurist, Lynne is always seeking (r)evolutionary possibility, through the building and reshaping of increasingly intelligent systems, institutions, and processes. She publishes and performs widely.