Poems in July

Poems in July
Poems in July

Whereas last month’s collection of poems were all found on poets.org, my poems in July are pieces taken from the many different chapbooks and poetry anthologies on my stacked bookshelf. This month, I’m focusing heavily on how we remember people and retrace memories that have deeply impacted us. In my own life, I think I often recall past experiences and relationships a little too much to the point where it’s difficult to move forward. Instead of freeing myself from the heavy cords of reminiscence, I like to wrap the rope around me and drag it everywhere I go. These poems in July remind me that language and rhetoric are tools that I can use to my own advantage. Penning these memories onto parchment and making them real and permanent is a beautiful way of loosening the twine in my mind and clearing the space I need to create more fondness and poetry. The first of my poems in July comes from Sabrina Benaim’s Depression and Other Magic Tricks. “Avowal” is the third installment in a trio of love perspectives. I’m in awe of how Sabrina weaves each point of view into one final piece that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful. Of the love perspective poems I’ve read in the past, this one is one of my favorites. “Where Have You Gone…?” by Mari Evans is from New Negro Poets: USA a 1966 anthology I purchased from the book fair at McKinley. Mari uses detailed descriptions of a scene to portray the feelings of loss and devastation. I love how even though the piece is fairly brief, its story is vast. “Duplex” is found in Jericho Brown’s The Tradition and it’s one of my most loved pieces in the chapbook. Each stanza builds upon the next until the cycle ends with the original statement. Jericho is a true genius in this piece. “The Still Voice of Harlem” by Conrad Kent Rivers is possibly my favorite poem of all time (following A Small Needful Fact by Ross Gay, of course) and it’s also from the New Negro Poets: USA collection. I want to live in Harlem when I move to New York in the near future and I love how stunning the short piece’s invitation into the historic section of Manhattan is. Each time I read this poem, I lose my breath. The last installation in my poems in July is the New Negro Poets: USA’s “Words” by Helen Morgan Brooks. Helen repeats the line “I have forgotten you” and molded it into different forms that she sprinkled throughout the piece. Each disregard for the person shaped within the poem is intentional and painful and I love the hurt I feel after each reading.

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