cover image & more black

& more black

t’ai freedom ford. Augury, $18 (104p) ISBN 978-0-9995012-1-4

“Is this body possible? or do i/ merely exist as melancholy gesture—” asks Ford (how to get over) in her second collection, a double-sided book of rapid-fire lyrics that consider black art in America. “when whitewash tries/ to render your black spectacular irrelevant/ your heartbeat whisper: i be i be i be,” she writes. Elsewhere: “fuck flux: this universe tryna render you/ redundant... gravitate/ black and rotate that axis till this universe/ (((collapses))).” Throughout, black visual artists (many of them New York–based) provide inspiration and sounding boards for Ford’s own generative impulse, filling the book with visual references and a kaleidoscope of experiences that shed light on Ford’s own contribution. Many of these poems approximate sonnets in 13 and 14 lines, as in a series that stretches across multiple pages to relay a personal narrative amid a larger cultural history. While on occasion, the poems seem to offer formulaic experiences and stereotypes without fully exploring their deeper implications, Ford’s sharp humor and unflinching gaze make this an engaging and wide-ranging work. (July)