cover image Fantasia for the Man in Blue

Fantasia for the Man in Blue

Tommye Blount. Four Way, $16.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-945588-49-5

Opening with a line from Hilton Al’s essay “GWTW,” (shorthand for “Gone with the Wind”) the searing debut from Blount is magnetic and controlled. Through charged words, masterful line breaks, and ekphrasis and persona pieces, these poems blur the line between intimacy and violence. Describing a fight with his brother, the speaker asks, “do we, in our hold, this hug, this pushing,/ not appear as feuding lovers?” Blount’s subject matter ranges from gay pornographic film actors to the art of Henri Matisse and Kehinde Wiley. He celebrates the strength of female impersonators Lattice Royale of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame and Savannah’s Lady Chablis. He updates Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo” to a modern and explicit “Arcane Torso on Grindr,” exploring both queer desire and the potential violence of that desire: “our bodies are records of where we’ve been.” Visiting a historic site early in the morning, Blount observes, “it makes for a lovely setting for white/ weddings, picnics, guided tours./ I’m afraid of this big house/ when it is dark like this;/ when I am dark like this.” Blount memorably and viscerally explores the intersection of power, sexuality, and race. (Mar.)