T. J. Jarrett, “Negroes Lie On Top Of Weakening Levee And Save Day Near Greenville, Miss.”

This poem, “Negroes Lie On Top Of Weakening Levee And Save Day Near Greenville, Miss.” by T. J. Jarrett, is incredible. Go read it. It’s in DIAGRAM 9.3. I’ll wait.

This is the kind of work I want to publish: so pared. Nothing unnecessary. Engaged with things outside of itself. Fierce. Courageous. Transformative. The ending both terrible and eerie. Not provocative for the sake of provocation. Going after justice and beauty. So skilful, the way the initial capitals echo the newspaper headline and force us to see the bodies (like lines) piled on one another.

2 comments

  1. Molly says:

    You know what I love? How small this world is. Tanya is a friend of mine, from the first time I went to the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, pre-MFA, and I just solicited her for Midway and the next day, she announced that New Issues is publishing her first book. How small and good this world is.

  2. lisa s says:

    yes.
    to make the horrid beautiful.
    to make us notice.
    to be lured and simultaneously sad.
    skillful indeed [and you, my friend, have that skill]
    xx