“The Search for Frank Ocean or A Brief History of Disappearing” by Julian Randall

Julian Randall


Fucking pig get shot, 300 men will search for me
—Frank Ocean

A drought does not name itself
in anything but the splintering
of skin into a series of wanting
rivers and the cities that gave
all that water a name as if it
were kin         as if July were not
slow piano and crimson
all over the street         and I guess
you could call this a war
in the way only who can be seen
is alive and maybe not even that

August prepares its heavy gown
for our shoulders and I have
nothing to sing         but the heat
on the screen         two trends

Happy June 222nd
Happy anniversary Frank
Maybe Frank was never even there
This album definitely not done
Frank need to come home
This gay ass nigga gonna break our hearts again
All I want is a song
This nigga a lie
He fix his mouth                 and nothing spills out
Frank might be dead y’all
Frank might be dead y’all
Another nigga gone missing
Happy June 225th
I swear he never coming back
I swear I saw him
I swear it’s been Summer for 3 years

A name is something you surrender
in parts         if you are lucky
I am not
much more beyond that
which traces the borders of me
into a bed in mid-July
I am not
much more than my secrets

Boy say Bi____________
and his tongue splits

Boy say Bi____________
and his mouth is public property

Boy say Bi____________
and belongs nowhere

Boy say Bi____________
and now none of his gods
return his calls

A body gets silent
and it is either haunted
or will be

A body gets silent
and everyone can sing it dead

A body gets silent
and we name it after the silence
to forget it was ever a boy

Silence inundates my throat
there is more than one way
to have a boy in your mouth

The body is a glass home
I am somewhere        I used to live
fragile and nearly translucent
opaque only where smoke tongues
me into the illusion of shelter
I shatter/into more/me

Poets Respond
August 7, 2016


Julian Randall: “In the aftermath of several police shootings recently I have found that the rhetoric surrounding discussions of the murder and by extension the disappearance of Black people to be clouded by discussions as to whether ‘Blue Lives Matter.’ Coupled with that for all of July has been speculation about whether prominent Bisexual singer Frank Ocean will release his much anticipated second album. As a result I have been thinking a lot about the visibility of Queerness and Blackness in our grand national conversation as both major political parties seek to curry favor by proving themselves worthy to oversee the continued disappearance and genocide of Black folk. In Frank Ocean’s virtual absence there has been rampant speculation that Frank may be dead in an almost Schrödinger’s cat like level of speculation. I wonder what happens to a Black Bisexual body like my own if no one can see it. It is these themes that are on my mind as another July passes covered in smoke and broken promises.” (website)

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