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Fantasia for the man in blue (2020)

by Tommye Blount

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The titular man in blue is a police officer. And most of the poems in this book revolve around being a black man in America, a gay man in America, or both. Several of the poems reflect on real people and real events--each are explained in the notes. These vary from Mathew Shephard's murder to David Bowie performing on TV in 1974.

My two favorite poems here are outliers in his themes:
Icarus Does the Dishes, about a 20-something man who has brought his severely ill father home to care for him, and who realizes he is in over his head. Possibly autobiographical?
Portrait of My Father, per the notes all of the text with a few alterations was lifted from (Blount's father's?) autopsy report.

I do enjoy Blount's writing--it is easy enough to understand, but that does not mean it is simple. It si thoughtful and well planned, and he definitely likes wordplay. I did not love this collection, but I don't think I am his intended/expected audience. I would love to see him write a collection with family as a main theme. ( )
  Dreesie | Jan 19, 2021 |
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