Turn It Up! Music in Poetry from Jazz to Hip-Hop, edited by Stephen Cramer, is a vibrant and hip anthology of 400 pages, including poems by everyone from Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, and Rita Dove to Yusef Komunyakaa, Kim Addonizio, Kevin Young, and Danez Smith. The book contains 88 poets in all (the number of keys on a piano), and is split up into three sections: poems about jazz, poems about blues and rock, and poems about hip-hop.
To read Bodega by Su Hwang is to immerse oneself in a world, but to read this debut poetry collection in tandem with Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong is to deepen one’s understanding of what it means to be raised in the United States as a Korean daughter of immigrants. Both offer prismatic sides of living in a racialized nation where “Asian American” is a box to check off on official census documents, and another way to categorize human experience.
My mother was a beautiful bird who fluttered around people in a state of constant agitation. Terrified of being trapped, she was always opening windows, even in the middle of January, and rushing out of doors “to catch a breath of fresh air.” Once outside, she would disappear in an instant, only to return hours later, the wind and leaves and twigs in her hair.
‘What is Paradise?’ Matthew Vollmer’s unified story collection, Gateway to Paradise begs to explore. With symbols and motifs dating back to Eden, Vollmer aptly juxtaposes verdant beauty with the garish, honky-tonk nature of tourism, thus creating a complex emotional terrain that vacillates between absurdly funny and deeply disturbing as his characters encounter desire.
I get lucky in Virginia and slip through the open window of a Winnebago waiting at a Hardee’s drive-through. A large male human in his mid-sixties drives through the night listening to conspiracy radio.
Father’s job is very important, we think.
When I was growing up in Ireland, magpies had an evil reputation. In contrast to our liking for robins, blackbirds, thrushes, and other common birds, magpies were reviled. They were considered rogues, condemned as the criminal element of the avian world.
As I enter the garage to lift weights, I hear a vicious roar. To my surprise, I find a turquoise jaguar sitting on the washer. I drop my water bottle and run back to the kitchen. I retrieve a birthday cake from the fridge, and throw it to the jaguar.
Warhol & Kafka
Usually I obey the barking & thank an invisible God for invisible fences.
A bad batch of Molly, out of context, sounds so innocent.
What I was going to say is code for before you interrupted.
Back and forth, the waves sloshed in a steady rhythm–a calming musical accompaniment to the day.
Dzanc Books. 263 pp. In the first chapters of her memoir, Origins of the Universe and What it all Means, Carole Firstman packs up her father’s old house. According to his specific instructions, she organizes boxes to send to him at his new home in Mexico, and...