A suburban park, church, a good job, a cocktail party for the literati: to many, these sound like safe places, but for a young black man these insular spaces don’t keep out the news — and the actual threat — of gun violence and police brutality, or the biases that keeps body, property, and hope in the crosshairs. Continuing conversations begun by Citizen and Between the World and Me, Silencer sings out the dangers of unspoken taboos present on quiet Midwestern cul-de-sacs and in stifling professional settings, the dangers in closing the window on “a rainbow coalition of cops doing calisthenics around/a six-foot, three-hundred-fifty-pound man, choked back into the earth for what/looked a lot, to me, like sport.” Here, the language and cadences of hip-hop and academia meet prayer — these poems are crucibles, from which emerge profound allegories and subtle elegies, sharp humor and incisive critiques.
Book Cover and Author headshot images provided by the author’s representative.
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