Doppelgangbanger

Cortney Lamar Charleston. Haymarket, $16 (100p) ISBN 978-1-64259-265-8
The pensive and often playful second book from Charleston (Telepathologies) considers the lasting impact of racism, religion, and masculinity on Black boyhood. These poems are filled with memorable stories and different iterations of the self. Charleston excels at showcasing the fraught representational power of 1990s and early 2000s media, but also in his observations about perception, such as when he writes that “the camera has blurred my edges in the suggestion of motion,” or observes, “I’m beside myself almost always: A side, B side.” Throughout, the threats of racism and police violence are evident, but the Black community is never reduced to being framed as the object of such actions. The collection is full of musicality and rich turns of phrase: “I’m new to his neighborhood. He is equally/ new to mine—the two, divided by a dotted line/ like always, by colors and the casual violence/ that implies.” Charleston incisively brings an entire milieu to life in these urgent, vulnerable, and accessible poems. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 02/10/2021
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
Open Ebook - 978-1-64259-427-0
Hardcover - 100 pages - 978-1-64259-403-4
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