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Truth – parts 1 & 2
Autobiography of Real: an interview with Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown is a love poet like Sappho was a love poet, like King Solomon; Jericho Brown is a political poet like Sappho, or whoever wrote Song of Songs. In his two books of poems, Please (2008) and The New Testament (2014), Brown reminds us that successful poetry must have a stake in both the personal and the public, the contemporary and the historical; that successful poetry is itself a kind of coherence of opposites.
You think, “Sugar.”
Ringside, you found the name. You had won your tenth consecutive bout; the crowd celebrated, whooped, hollered as you sat in your corner, thinking about the match—that sick left hook, the throbbing pain in your side. Then, you heard her voice. “Hey, you’re sweet as sugar,” she whispered in one ear. Blinded by a stream of camera flashes and a swollen eye, you never saw her face.
THE FIRST TIME I SAW A ROBOT
They had Teddy’s robot all ready for the funeral,
he sat off to the left
while the rabbi gave the eulogy.
His eyes glowed, unfocused and stony,
as his mother spoke of the plate of pasta
he’d stuck in the fridge and never come back for.
Teddy is the only person I’ve ever seen die
and I didn’t even know him.
His death did not happen to me,
I was only witness to the transformation
of his body as it fell past my classroom window
and became a bird.
THE INQUIRY/FIGHT/LOVE GOES ON IN OTHER WORDS: AN INTERVIEW WITH MAGGIE NELSON
During this interview we tried to place Maggie Nelson in a broad contemporary context. We asked if she saw herself as participating in a formal movement along with writers like Claudia Rankine and Ben Lerner, whose writing can be placed somewhere along the axes of critical social analysis and lyric observation. She said she doesn’t really think about that stuff when she writes, though. Such questions must belong to us readers.