Dee Allen


Naysayers need to be ignored. Tuned out.

Self-appointed judges 
Hidden behind social media profiles
Are cyberwaste for a reason.

We live in a country
That prides itself
On freedom and

Freedom is
Letting the woman
You are inside
Take a walk outside—among us.

There's nothing wrong 
With having your beauty lean
Toward a dark, otherworldly aesthetic:

Teased black crown of hair,
Facial foundation
Like snowy Northern winter,
Long black lashes above brown eyes

Flutter like moth's wings
When blinking, 
Vampiric fangs
Show in your blackened plump lip smile,

Black leather collar with leash ring
On neck, rosaries & crucifix, companion pieces,
Shiny black claws tip your fingers,
Lacy black dress,

Flowing sleeves,
Black leather conch belt with chains,
Torn fishnets,
Demonia® platform boots—

Your keys to contentment are worn.

“Dressing up normal”
Would seem like donning
A Halloween costume.

The most liberated 
People live out
Their best lives.

Visiting cemeteries in the day,
Prowling shopping malls with friends,
Attending live concerts or doing photoshoots,

You're demonstrating liberty
The U.S. Constitution only mentions and
The slavish Normal would envy and

Freedom is
Letting the woman
You are inside
Take a walk outside—for keeps.

[ For Mamie Hades, YouTube®/TikTok®/Instagram® sensation. ]


I'd spent my entire
Young adult life
In active search of

Made me leave the Heavy Metal scene.
Made me leave the Punk Scene.
High school clique-level immaturity
Made me leave the Circle-A scene.
Lack of a lover and peers of similar tastes
Made me shed
Black Gothic threads
In favour of colours.

In my pursuit through the crowds,
I found myself in pieces, went

From Metalhead
To Punk
To Goth
And Anarchist combo.

Those years, those stages were fun,
But they ended
With dissatisfaction
Or the taste of spew.

The Mainstream don't want me
And the Underground doesn't either.

I don't see a contingent of folks with
Open arms, happily chanting
One of us, one of us, one of us
To me

Any time soon.

Through the looks, crowds, years, stages,
I found myself in pieces, went

From Metalhead
To Punk
To Goth
And Anarchist combo.

Now, I'm nothing
But a subculture of one.

[ For Barbara Mercer, Darren J. Beaney and Nick Paleologos. ]


1979: Sunday nights at 7pm Eastern Time
Gave the males of my family a good
Excuse to flock to the living room,
In front of the wooden floor model TV

After another baked chicken dinner,
And catch an episode of our
Favourite Science Fiction show:
Battlestar Galactica.

Colonial Warriors
Versus Cylon Raiders.
Star fighter battles in space
Had us Allen/Holiday/Watkins males amped up and cheering.

Occasionally, Starbuck, the Galactica's
Cigar-chomping, womanising ace star fighter pilot,
Would spit one word when he was aggravated:
Frack! Funny-sounding word. Almost like—well—

I incorporated
That peculiar word
Into my boyhood life,
Such as it was—

At home,
Aunt Freda would make
Sticky ham-hocks and chalky lima-beans for dinner & I thought—

In the classroom,
I would take a math test
And fail with flying colours—

In the school hallway,
A bully would spot me,
Chase me, doomed me to a motiveless beatdown—

Little did I know
As I became older,
The word Frack
Would come to describe

A process. Using an unholy
Witches' brew—water, sand & chemicals—
To force out from shale rock & 

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California U.S.A. Active on creative writing & Spoken Word since the early 1990s. Author of 7 books–Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater, Skeletal Black [ all from POOR Press ], Elohi Unitsi [ Conviction 2 Change Publishing ] and his 2 newest, Rusty Gallows: Passages Against Hate [ Vagabond Books ] and Plans [ Nomadic Press ]–and 53 anthology appearances under his figurative belt so far.

Flights, Issue Five, June 2022