RISE

A. Van Jordan, Author . Tia Chucha $11.95 (94p) ISBN 978-1-882688-26-5

"Let's call this, the way a sound is born," suggests Jordan's speaker, with an acute desire to articulate beauty tempered by taut emotional restraint. Racial slurs, rage and fistfights receive a cold monotone; the voice softens slightly into empathy, melancholy and sometimes humor in response to music (Sidney Bechet, John Coltrane, Robert Johnson), the disenfranchised, "[t]he philosopher, Richard Pryor" or divine intervention: the radio played "four Eddie Harris tunes in a row." In "Beggar's Song," Jordan imagines the longings of a man afraid of love: "If I could dream now,/ A dark woman would obsess/ Over my hands." (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
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