Citizen: An American Lyric

“because white men can’t 

police their imagination

black men are dying”

I reread Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric recently. Published in 2014, this poetic, artistic snapshot of Black life in the US is stunning in its impact and intellectual heft. The book is decidedly not written for white men like me, and can, maybe should make white people uncomfortable. The combination of Rankine’s play with subject positions and the language’s poetic density makes me connect with the (narrative) voices. 

Citizen was The Stacks Podcast book of the month (part of the reason I reread it). I really recommend listening to the episode. Darnell Moore’s excellent critique of what is left invisible (queer, trans Black lives) and the strengths of indeterminacy really expanded my understanding of the book.

ALL THE DEAD BOYS LOOK LIKE ME

A poem by Latinx poet Loma, which they wrote in the aftermath of Orlando, expressing grief, outrage, frustration and love in the queer poc community. The piece connects the personal and the political, and puts the Orlando attack in context of the other forms of violence (recent and historic) that target the community.

ALL THE DEAD BOYS LOOK LIKE ME