“Chris Rock Finally Responds to Will Smith’s Slap: A Kindof Memoir” by Sarah Snider

Sarah Snider


What happened last awards season
Last season when the “it” colors were
Zendaya was amazing, is amazing,
I am in love with her
My father was unwell
As usual unwell, is always unwell
Maybe more than unwell but we
Were ignoring it
No, we were not ignoring it, he was
Did you know that you can get addicted to
You can
Everyone gasped
When that man’s hand
With a man’s anger
Hit that man’s face
With a man’s shock
He gasped too, getting up to pour another glass of cheap Chardonnay
Gasped the way a bullfrog gasps
Deeply and from some cavernous place within
The buzzing about what to do
Who should do it what do you say
Oh shit! On live TV no less
The spectacle of seeing him on the stretcher
So helpless looking in the daylight
An emergency of red and blue lights
Haloing his confusion, his embarrassment
The cameramen have no idea where to point
Cut to commercial
God, what the fuck was that, why do I feel
Like I got hit?
My brain is screwing up the past with right now
Right now is not when he got hit
That was the past, now it is all
We’re talking about because we secretly hope
It happens again, even though now
There are rules and procedures
They had to remove his toe
It had gotten so bad they took it and
I am thinking about it now and I think
That I hate that they took his toe
Will they take my toe when the time comes?
That was last year and this is this year
And it’s almost awards season again
No, it is awards season again
Zendaya is still amazing, I am still
In love with her
And my dad is still dead.

from Poets Respond
March 12, 2023


Sarah Snider: “I read this headline and thought to myself, has he not responded enough? Have I not heard enough? Did I want to hear more? At the time my dad was very ill, and over the next few months became so ill that he passed from it. I thought of the comparison of importance, and blended the shocking absurdity and violence of one with the shocking pain of the other. With the Oscars rapidly approaching, I felt compelled to share.” (web)

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