Fives logo – a stylised number five

with Dave Harris

The last thing that made you smile

So I’m listening to the new 2 Chainz album, and on the song ‘4 AM’ 2 Chainz raps “For my birthday I threw me a surprise party.” Which is hilarious and awesome and absurd and made me smile. But then I started thinking about the practicals of how one might throw their own surprise party. For one, the date of our birthdays is inherently predictable, right. But also, one would imagine the act of planning said party would make it impossible to forget. The only way would be to have such foresight that you plan a birthday party so far in advance that, perhaps, you come home from an endlessly long day at work to find all your loved ones gathered in your living room, and you ask um why are you here? and they say um you invited us 17 years ago… and you’re like oh shit it’s my 40th birthday!! So I suppose what I’m saying is I’ve never had a surprise party, but also I would be terrified and overwhelmed by the amount of love it takes for someone else to know you well enough to plan a party and also genuinely surprise you. So I hope to surprise myself.

A secret

I spend HOURS watching battle rap (like probably too many hours). One of my favorite moments was from a younger rapper named Chess vs. a Christian rapper named Th3 Saga, and Chess is like:

We was in the cold, searching for food like the meat section.
Why is it that the man that fucks up the world gets to keep steppin
while the homeless man who shared everything, in the streets naked?
It’s hell on Earth and we accept it.
Saga, why we gotta die to see heaven?

The last thing you wrote

“Hey I’m currently buying glasses can I FaceTime one of y’all to help me pick a frame??”

Your favourite city

Philly is my home, and thus I have a complicated relationship with it. I miss it, and yet I haven’t returned. The other day, I ate these pita chips that tasted just like these fried noodles my family used to get from the Asian take-out restaurant on 63rd street and I almost cried from nostalgia. I can’t imagine home without these feelings, all the love and hungers. Everyone doing their best.

What you’d place in a time capsule

A picture of my mother and my sister. One of my plays that no one has read. A copy of A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. My first pair of red sneakers (I just bought them like a month ago; it was a big moment). Every Prince and Anita Baker album. Mini M&M’s. A candle. A match.

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. He is a Callaloo Poetry Fellow and playwright in residence at New Haven Arts and Humanities Co-Op High School. His plays have been featured at Theater503, Cherry Lane Theater, Great Plains, UMASS Amherst, The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, and the Yale Repertory Theater. His poetry and essays have been featured at Huffington Post, Up the Staircase Quarterly, BOAAT Press, The Adroit Journal, and Blueshift Journal. His play ‘White History’ was a semi-finalist for The Relentless Award (2016) and a finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference (2017). He graduated from Yale University in 2016 and is a candidate for the MFA in playwriting at UC San Diego.