Any artist of any medium has experienced some form of lame “block”, whether it be writer’s block, painter’s block, choreographer’s block, etc., everybody has experienced a really. annoying. block.

For me, writing this blog post came with some excruciating writer’s block. I had never written a blog post before in my life, so naturally, I had absolutely no idea what to write about.

But through a conversation via Snapchat, my cute friend Elijah suggested the following: “Read ‘Dinosaurs In The Hood.’

With a title like that, my mind immediately imagined some weird fan fiction cross over between Jurassic Park and Boyz N The Hood. Thankfully, it wasn’t that.

Instead it was a much cooler, deeper, engaging poem by Danez Smith about an idea for a movie; a Black hood fighting off dinosaurs.

The opener?

“There should be a scene where a little black boy is playing with a toy dinosaur on the bus, then looks out the window & sees the T. Rex, because there has to be a T. Rex.”

The poem describes scenarios of dinosaurs versus the Black community: “I want a scene where a cop car gets pooped on by a pterodactyl, a scene where the corner store turns into a battle ground.”

But the movie cannot be a commentary or satire piece about the people. Just a film about some Black grandmas “taking out raptors with guns they hid in walls & under mattresses” and “Viola Davis saves the city in the last scene with a black fist afro pick through the last dinosaur’s long, cold-blood neck.” But this can’t be a Black movie.

DANEZ

“This can’t be a black movie. This movie can’t be dismissed because of its cast or its audience. This movie can’t be a metaphor for black people & extinction. This movie can’t be about race. This movie can’t be about black pain or cause black people pain. This movie can’t be about a long history of having a long history with hurt. This movie can’t be about race.”

THIS ENTIRE POEM IS A HUGE VISUAL ABOUT KILLING DINOSAURS IN A NON-RACIALLY PROVOKING WAY.

The ending?

 “& no one kills the black boy. & no one kills the black boy. & no one kills the black boy. Besides, the only reason I want to make this is for that first scene anyway: the little black boy on the bus with a toy dinosaur, his eyes wide & endless his dreams possible, pulsing, & right there.”
Brilliant.

This poem is fantastic. It’s imaginative. It needs to be turned into a real movie. Steven Spielberg, I’m lookin’ at you buddy.

Although reading poetry isn’t my first line of defense against writer’s block, I’m probably going to start doing it. I can suggest a plethora of ways to help with writer’s block: writing down a bunch of random words that come to mind, listening to music, drawing what you’re trying to say, so on and so forth… But today, the thing that helped me the most was, “Dinosaurs In The Hood” by Danez Smith.

 

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