• Final Poem for Amiri Baraka

    Phillip B. Williams

    Summer 2021

    Crow Jane died on Baraka’s watch
    Must be a necromancer among us
    throwing her corpseheart into a flush

    of copse Autumn-bloody nobodies
    no-bodying in trellised gusts
    their small dusks be-holing the view

    A gestalt of crow feathers an erasure
    wherever bird lands births unbirths
    a leaving that is unleaving

    or prison poised above the languid stupor
    of bloodlake of concrete of an outline a lesson
    in banality a shamemask an umbraic expulsion

    in catalpa drawing your daddy face
    on the phonelines decomposing
    a better song beneath the song

    Phillip B. Williams is from Chicago. He is the author of the books Mutiny (Penguin 2021) and Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books 2016). Williams has received a 2017 Whiting Award and the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. He currently teaches at Bennington College and is a member of the founding faculty for the Randolph College low-residency MFA program in creative writing. 

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