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Fun, Gun, Real Play, & Control

This video is hypnotic.  Not just because it involves citizen Parsons and an intersection in the city I’m very familiar with, but because it’s a sort of mock-epic ballet of control–control of a public space and people in space, control of the self. But maybe not mock– I suppose there will be consequences. One can see Officer Baylor struggling to retain some sort of dignity as he continues to perform authority on the stage of the street, in front of the crowd.  His face reads restrained panic at the same time; he knows he has inaugurated a sequence of events which will have negative professional consequences.  Still, the roads must be kept safe, citizens on the sidewalks, given the necessary information about what conduct is orderly and what is not.

Oh DC! U St.  This sums you up–

I love you anyway…

Favorite quote: “You guys just ruin everyone’s fun–that’s what a police state is.”

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About the Author

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Joe Hall is the author of five books of poetry, including Someone's Utopia (2018) and Fugue & Strike (forthcoming). His poems, reviews, and scholarship have appeared in Poetry Daily, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Postcolonial Studies, Peach Mag,, PEN America Blog, Poetry Northwest, Ethel Zine, Gulf Coast, Best Buds! Collective, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He has taught poetry workshops for teachers, teens, and workers through Just Buffalo and the WNYCOSH Worker Center.


  1. rwrite

    This video makes me sick to my stomach.

    Oh, BTW, you and Citizen Parsons both make appearances in

    The Equivalents of St. Mary’s of the Famous,

    • joescirehall

      Yes, its almost as if this reality was directed by Spike Lee.

      Also, you blog post makes me incredibly happy, esp picture of Alec/Jim.

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