Category Archives: Published Work

Visible Man: On Double Consciousness and Bike Riding in Berlin

From my latest for Ebony:

It’s my last week in Berlin. I pedal down Martin Luther Strasse. In 1530, the street’s namesake wrote “They are trying to make me into a fixed star. I am an irregular planet.” In Ancient Greek, the word “planet” means “to wander.”

Sometimes I catch people staring as I bike past them. Wide-eyed, mouths slightly open as if to question the color of my hair. Red like Mars, like the rings of Jupiter… In the split-second of my passing, I wander into and through their idea of what a black man is supposed to look like.

Go here to read the rest.

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“I run past what I thought was the end / of myself.”

“Five years and a funeral later, I dream I’m driving across that same bridge with my mother in the passenger seat.”

by Christoffer Relander

So happy to have “Nocturne” in the latest issue of Union Station magazine. Here’s an excerpt:

Five years and a funeral later, I dream I’m driving across that same bridge with my mother in the passenger seat. A bright, cloudless afternoon, music is playing on the radio and the windows are rolled down. My mother keeps waving her suddenly wild hair out of her face. We are laughing or, at least, I hear laughter.

The bridge is different in daylight; under this bright sky, the bridge does not end. Driving at 40 miles an hour, we have been crossing this bridge all day, but mother does not notice. She keeps waving strands of hair out of her eyes and switching radio stations. Music is playing but I can’t hear the music. The bridge keeps going and, with one hand still on the wheel, I reach over and touch her hand.

I put my hand back on the wheel, but the part of her hand that I touched turns an iridescent blue, tinged with green. Soon, a peacock stain marks where I touched my mother and we stare at each other.

This is how I know she is dead.

She tries to apologize, but I look back at the road ahead and press down on the gas. The bridge just won’t stop.

Go here to read the rest.

“Be your own kind of wild.” – Samuel F. Reynolds

by Bruce Munro

My year of travel has begun. I’ve already been to Memphis and New Orleans. Rocking out in San Francisco at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I’m not writing. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

  • Emilia Phillip’s wrote an amazing review of WHEN THE ONLY LIGHT IS FIRE.
  • Blackbird has features two new poems of mine alongside an amazing line-up of poets.
  • My latest piece for Ebony.com, “Traveling Man” is up and running.
  • And – if you haven’t already – follow my tumblr to keep up with the words and images from my travels.

“Need another double-black / kiss. I’ve got more hunger than my body can hold.”

by Sarah Garzoni

So happy to have my poem “Last Call” in the Drink-themed issue of Muzzle Magazine alongside my word-brother Rickey Laurentiis. Pour yourself a drink and then click here to read.

I, for one, prefer Johnnie Walker Double Black on the rocks.

All The Pretty Ones: On the Poetics of Beauty and Privilege

My latest piece for Lambda Literary is up and running. Here’s an excerpt:

To pretend that a conversation about beauty isn’t, in fact, a conversation about privilege is an act of privilege. When an emerging writer pens an essay praising Anne Sexton for her beauty without quoting any of her poems, I sigh. I go read an essay by Audre Lorde. I try to work on a poem, but can’t concentrate. I think about how few gay men were in attendance at the Adrienne Rich memorial reading at Columbia last month and I wonder if, perhaps, she wasn’t beautiful enough for them to show up.

And go here to read the rest.

Regarding The Infinite Ache

At some point, each of us – if we haven’t already – will learn how grief can turn holidays against us. The very occasions we once looked forward to become barbed and treacherous. It feels like a betrayal. By now, I’ve made it through the first cycle of my mother’s birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

My first piece for Ebony.com, “Infinite Ache: The First Mother’s Day Without Her” went up earlier this week and I have been blown away by the response. All I wanted to do was write an essay that would give readers a real sense of who my mother was as well as the reality of the first year of grief. In the last couple of days, so many of you have gotten in touch and said that the essay provided some comfort as they themselves prepare to face Mother’s Day without a parent. My heart is with you.

Love y’all.