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The Gargantuan Arm

Let us remember liberty was not popular,
six years it took Laboulaye to convince
Bartholdi a gigantic statue was 
what New York harbor needed. Eleven
years later

Tony Cokes, 3#, 2001, 4 mins. 38 secs.

                                     leaves a race behind
                 takes on the music                                      pop
                 its relation                                                    to capital

<i>Sight Lines</i>. By Arthur Sze. Copper Canyon, 2019. 80p. PB, $16.

“Alone with America”

Much has changed in America and American poetry in the nearly forty years since Richard Howard published his expanded edition of 1969’s Alone With America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States Since 1950. The 1980 table of contents itself tells a significant tale of those changes: forty-one poets under consideration, six of them women, not one a person of color.


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On the Piney Woods, Death, Bobby Frank Cherry, and Me


Sometimes I wander around wondering
where my mother is. The family buried
her next to her own mother. Out there,
the hard pines darken early. Anyone
can hide and not be found for years.
Bobby Cherry laid low there. The girls came
in his dreams. You can’t live in those woods
and not be haunted by what you’ve done.

Illustration by Shawn Theodore

Survivor Files

We are survivors: we the descendants of the Africans who endured the wretched march to the west coast of their continent, brutal confinement, and cruel transatlantic passage, to reach alive—somehow alive—the shores of a new world.

Personal Terrors

The first time a police officer runs his hand up the secret space between my legs, I’m sixteen. I’ve just walked out of a dance. I’m not drunk. In fact, with one exception, I won’t even have a glass of wine until my midtwenties. I’m not high. I’ll never smoke a joint or do ecstasy. I’m certainly not armed. Even firecrackers scare me. But I am almost six-three in my boots. I’m over 270 pounds, which was useful during my aborted stint on my high school football team. And, yes, I’m Black. 


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