“You heard a shot?” Policeman said.— from “The Boy Died In My Alley”
Shots I hear and Shots I hear.
I never see the dead.
Today’s read: To Disembark, Gwendolyn Brooks – Third World Press – 1981
To Disembark is another great used bookstore find. I hope that these shops can survive the pandemic. City Lights has had a successful pledge to help keep its doors open and Marcus Books in Oakland is also trying to gather funds to stick around. These are not new problems. The pandemic is only highlighting that physical media shops are in danger of going the way of the typewriter and the fax. It would be devastating to live in a digital world that only gives shine to popcorn media.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good popcorn media in the form of food shows, sci-fi, and pro wrestling. But not in my poetry. I like my poetry to be honest and true to its time. This means a collection like this one from Gwendolyn Brooks. It may not be preserved in the anthologies like “We Real Cool” but it still speaks in that genuine Brooks voice. It also highlights for me that a poem written almost forty years ago can have such strong resonance.