Friday, January 08, 2016

Moe Lionel, On Prayer

“Remember how magic works,” Moe Lionel pleads as much to himself as to the reader, navigating death, race, memory, sexuality and violence.  What else can we do in the face of terrible loss, the inevitability and omnipresence of death? The prayer of this poem is memory of the possibility of hope.

An excerpt:

does your body feel it?
bug bitten and burned
you're not made to be outside the mind
you're made to breathe through this container
you're made to breathe though blessed be,
            be still
you're made to breathe though
            you're not so awful
you're made to breathe past survival
you're made to breathe beautiful

MOE LIONEL is a Minneapolis-based poet, fiction writer and performer whose work focuses on the intersections between genealogies, disease, trauma, (queer) families, and the body. He has received grants from Intermedia Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board for his short story collection What Was In Fact. He yearns for and in moments, finds hope for a world where it is a little bit easier to breathe. Reach him at On Prayer is for Gabrielle and Kyle.

Douglas Kearney, The Techniques of Acting

As Douglas Kearney makes clear, “objects make shoddy models.” With lyrical verve, he dissects the objectified black stereotypes of television and film, the drug dealer, athlete, servant, and more, to expose the “spoo,”of the inner parts.

An excerpt:

shut-eyed children believe themselves invisible.

do likewise with eyes open for biz.

      yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes
yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes   yes
     yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  yes

note: a scripted response of no is a split-second aria.
on awards night wear white thank and thank
         and thank.

DOUGLAS KEARNEY is the author of Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014), The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), and Fear, Some (Red Hen Press, 2006). He has received residencies and fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, The Boston Review, The Iowa Review, Ninth Letter, Washington Square, and Callaloo. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley and teaches at CalArts.