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Protest, Poems

I haven’t been reading much since the election. Other kinds of action have filled that space. The exceptions have been The Yerbamala Collective’s scalding pamphlets (which I want to slip into the back and front of every textbook). And, yesterday, a handful of poems from Sibling Rivalry Press’ If You Can Hear This: Poems in Protest of an American Inauguration (digital copy here). Some of the poems that kept me up:

from RE Katz’ quickly metamorphosing “A Controlled Fall”: “Do porn or get out alive/do porn to get out alive/do a lively porn to come out/come out alive/come out now/come out national/national come out of poor day.”

from Michael G. Federspiel’s “Here”: “Family is two wolves standing side-by-side / Each with one paw mangled–but touching.”

from Jocelyn Marshall’s “For Them”: “Do not____ this doesn’t include me when / You do not get to _____ you don’t / count, and she / does.”

This is also to say that the election has changed my relationship to poetry. I had a whole stack of books I’ve been meaning to read, and I’ve put that stack aside because those books don’t feel relevant right now. So let me know what you’re reading that meets the urgency of this moment. I’m hungry.

Also, hey why don’t you support the Buffalo #25?

Hoping to get back to semi-regular posting. We’ll see.

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About the Author

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Joe Hall is a writer, educator, and deprofessionalized academic. Black Ocean Press published his most recent book, Someone's Utopia, in 2018. His second book, The Container Store Vols. I & II (SpringGun Press 2012) was written with Chad Hardy. He has published journal articles working the intersections of poetics, empire, and the commons.

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