Author’s Note: Nicelle Davis on Becoming Judas
– It could be said that Becoming Judas is a book about teeth. Many of the poems incorporate mouth images, and these images are constantly devouring each other.
I’ve always had a thing for teeth—I just didn’t know that I was baring this obsession in my work until friends started sending pictures of my book and their mouths closing around it, teeth close to the cover, the pages squeezed by their incisors. In Becoming Judas, I did what poets have done for centuries; I revealed my private obsession, my love / fear of being bitten, of being forced to bite back. I believe that good friends do bite back against the way life wants to swallow you. I believe at our best we allow life to swallow us. There is a tension in this—a tension to teeth. As a writer, my responsibility is to bite back, claim my soul against the culture of my time, claim my writing time, bite back against anyone who tells me it can’t be done.
My friends asked, What’s with all these teeth? Well, there are a mouthful of reasons for teeth—here are my top 32: