Black Poetry Day 2023 – Jack Knoxville

October 17, 2023

Jack Knoxville is the founder and Executive Director of Trans Empowerment Project. In addition to his activism, Jack is also a prolific writer and poet. In celebration of Black Poetry Day, here is a sampling of some of Jack’s work.


I’m too Angry

I’m too angry about my

Lived experiences

You know, The ones that

Get the privileged

Likes on Instagram

For “standing in solidarity with”

My anger,

no longer hidden by desperation, has made me a marked man

and will never get me heard over my Blackness or my Transness

Only discarded like the empty promises transcribed on protest signs

Strewn across empty streets


The posters that these t-shirt collectors put together

For fun,

On a Friday while

Drinking wine and filling their bellies


While I starved


For food

For funds

For friends

For family

For freedom



These moments

A movement, carried through the interwebs by tweeting birds

Drown out the sound of sorrow

In the void of isolation while the afflicted wrap themselves in the familiarity of loneliness

After being

tokenized, capitalized on

by slogans on swag

Under this guise of solidarity

These words,

Intentional splatters of ink

Meaningless to anything other than the page

Fall, and flop with a thud

In front of me, at my feet

When they work so hard to keep me out of the room, let alone near the table

My life’s a drag to hear about

To have gone through, to have to heal from

Especially when the hurt won’t stop

Is only valuable when told through other people’s voices

A story that affords me space for the price tag,

Of my soul for their swag,

But when the conference is over, and they go home, I’m the one that’s left with the night terrors of reality while they get to sleep.


Where in the hell are all of the solutions?


The weight of the world

rests not on my shoulders

but on my mind

It’s burning a hole in my throat

and tying my stomach in knots

as I think about all that I wish was not.

I need to be stimulated

not oppressed

I need to be educated

not distressed.

I need love

not guns

I need tolerance

not ignorance

I need excitement

not fear

I need food

not toxins

I need oxygen

not pollution

We need dreams

not nightmares

With so many problems

Where in the hell are all of the solutions?