person_pin Essay Archives

Banzai

Issue No. 259 ~ December, 2018

Embers still smoldered in hearts of Harlemites two years after the Holy Uprising when torched shops blazed because a lone bullet in Memphis pierced MLK’s right cheek. Only three years before, assassins riddled Malcolm X with 21 gunshot wounds in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. Death threats …

Lillian of the Dark Glasses

Issue No. 254 ~ July, 2018

My mother was evening in Paris; a gold compact with a shattered mirror; the soft face of the moon. She wore faux pearl jewelry in colors that no oyster created. An ex-chorus girl who danced in the living room, singing, “Down among the sheltering palms” …

I Get This Feeling It’s All Connected

Issue No. 251 ~ April, 2018

There’s this part of Elastic Heart where Sia sings “I want it, I want my life so bad, I’m doing everything I can,” and there’s a sense of yearning there. There’s this moment where her voice almost breaks. I don’t know how else to explain …

Pinhole In A Playing Card

Issue No. 250 ~ March, 2018

August 21st was the exact day I realized I was in an alternate universe. Not an exaggerated alternate universe, but a subtle and unnerving one. The most terrifying alternate universes will look like your world, but they will feel off, and you’ll never be able …

Father’s Day

Issue No. 250 ~ March, 2018

The morning before Father’s Day, my brother and I rode our bicycles to McCann’s Gift Shop. The store carried a brass shaving kit with our old man’s initials embossed on the mahogany case. We went fifty-fifty on the gift and engraving — an idea endorsed by …

Pure Water Be Mine

Issue No. 250 ~ March, 2018

How am I supposed to chart you a map or paint you a picture in words of something that I can’t get a clear sight of even while looking at it? Even though I live here and have lived here most of my life, even …

Left Behind

Issue No. 249 ~ February, 2018

I recently watched a documentary on Kitty Genovese called The Witness. Famous for her murder in the 1960s, Kitty became the poster child for witness apathy. Thirty-eight people bore witness as she was stabbed repeatedly. Despite her screams, no one came. No one rescued her. …

The Magic of Revision

Issue No. 247 ~ December, 2017

  A few nights ago, a young woman who has been taking my creative writing classes asked me, Can I write a wrong story? Her question caught me by surprise and even though I promptly answered it in class, it resonated loudly in my mind …

Who Are You?

Issue No. 244 ~ September, 2017

Who are you? What is your name? Who the hell do you think you are? How many times in a life is a person asked these questions, either out of genuine interest, benign conversation, or righteous indignation? What sort of answers do most people give …

Deep Chords

Issue No. 243 ~ August, 2017

As a poet, I recognize poetry’s tremendous importance to a society. Still, I can get caught up in the complexities of modern life: I have classes to teach, papers to read and grade, writing projects demanding equal attention, a family to care for. Therefore, it’s …