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Mahogany (Wesleyan Poetry)

Mahogany (Wesleyan Poetry)

Current price: $16.95
Publication Date: September 5th, 2023
Wesleyan University Press
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mahogany is about the passing of time and unimaginable loss, strength, humor, and love

mahogany takes its name from the dark wood prized for its durability, workability, and elegant look, and from the Diana Ross movie, whose theme song asks if what lies ahead is what you really want. This book is the third in a trilogy, and like the first two books it is steeped in pop music. Each poem here takes its title from a line of a Diana Ross and The Supremes song, as well as songs from Diana Ross' solo career. Short lines flow down the page like postmodern psalms, connecting dailyness to timelessness, merging the historical and the beloved through reverence for family, music, and the life we actually live. mahogany is a lament for the passing of time and unimaginable loss, and at the same time it models the daily search for joy, and the deep shine that can arise from the darkest times.

sample poem]

i'm like a woman who once knew splendor*

sometimes i feel like the pink panther
all naked and pink
lost in the morass of
do the best you can today
and nigga heal thy self
our end of winter
spirits break
like old tibetan snow
i remember
you was conflicted
and i found myself alone
here on my ancient hurt
the disquieting hum
of living history
dear god, please
put my head above my heart
we can only be together
if the stories are told
plain face
same instrument
just a couple of coke bottles
full of gasoline
like god and rain
is a waste of time
my mother used to clean houses
as a child
some days i can barely
get out of bed
in my mind
she's like diana ross
scrubbing the white lady's stairs
in lady sings the blues
except prettier
and with green eyes
i've just been living
off of cough drops
and water and anger
just sitting in the whole foods
parking lot eating pineapple
i am literally
the definition of "hot mess"
pain changes everything
somebody come
and pick up
my limp body
off the ground
i am dying
a slow ohio death
we miss you starman
it's our first sunrise of the burn

* "dark side of the world"erica lewis

About the Author

erica lewis (San Francisco, CA) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her books include the precipice of jupiter (2009, with artist Mark Stephen Finein), camera obscura (2010, with artist Mark Stephen Finein), murmur in the inventory (2013); and the first two books of the box set trilogy: daryl hall is my boyfriend (2015) and mary wants to be a superwoman (2017).