INJURY // 2008
In grad school, I had the good fortune to take an “experiments in writing” class with Dodie Bellamy. One exercise we got to to try included writing a series of 12 poems about a thing without ever directly naming the thing the poems were about. InJury was born. It existed primarily as 12 individual graphic design pieces and were mounted both at CalArts and at UC Santa Barbara’s Afro Geek Conference (thanks, Duriel Harris!). I always wanted a way to distribute these but it would be too expensive to do (in color and at the right size) and still have them accessibly priced. Thus, they were perfect for my free PDF chapbook series! Also included is “Miranda Rizights”—a poem I wrote in 2005. This chapbook was available on my site for about eight months (FEB to OCT) and was downloaded over 1100 times.

Another DIY joint, I envisioned this as a companion to Anthem (Collapsing). I think I made about 60 of these, and have only my own copy left. I really wanted to put some of my more typographically experimental work out in the world, and this chapbook became a vehicle for that. I cannibalized a few of these poems for Fear, Some. I also used a poem from my Dove Sessions project*— “Br’er Parrot Learns His Own Song” and the dismantled Watermeloncholy, Baby project (“Thermojukleargeechigun,” “Mumbo Gumbo” and “Atomic Buckdance” were slated for that one). Full table of contents below:

“Br’er Parrot Learns His Own Song”
“‘that bit you’”
“Bougienigga Moan from North of Integration”
“On the Morning of our Fifth Anniversary”
“[see line 19]”
“Thermojukelear Geechi Gun”
Buckdancing for Beginners
—“Mumbo Gumbo”/“Like A Mosquito’s Tongue”
—“scene from The Poisonous Coon”
—“View from an Uptown Window: MPLS
“It has come to this…”
“Atomic Buckdance”
“Jimiattabucket(oh, Blood!)”

*A series of 17 dramatic monologues, one each for every human figure in Romare Bearden’s photomontage, The Dove (1964).“Shadowboxer on the Lookout,” which appears in Fear, Some, is also from that series of poems.


My first chapbook was a DIY affair; I made it to sell at shows in Minneapolis. I think I made about 100 of these, all told. Many of these poems begin an exploration of a lyrical style highly influenced by Bob Kaufman’s Cranial Guitar and several poems from Carl Hancock Rux’s Pagan Operetta. As the book’s title suggests, the poems were explicitly political in theme and content.

I have a few copies of this one left. For those of you who have Fear, Some: yes, the title poem(s) of this chap are earlier versions of Anthem (collapsing) in the full-length book. Also included in this chapbook are the s(t)aint suite: a cycle of poems about Mumia Abu Jamal; “The Elephants Honky Tonk at the End of the World”: a poem about the Republican National Convention in Philly, 2000; and “The Super Nigger Monster Jam”: one of the last of the “jam*” poems and an MPLS barn burner. Full table of contents below:

“Mexico City, 1968”
the s(t)aint suite
—“1. voice”
—“2. sides”
—“3. reasonable doubt?”
—“4. du(e/a)l”
—“5. the voiceless: william cook speaks”
—“6. re-tale (why this is happening)”
—“7. love (american style)”
“The Elephants Honky Tonk at the End of the World”
Anthem (collapsing)
—“the song of sam”
—“threnody for haliæetus leucocephalus”
—“the ballot booth slowgrind”
—“the theme from star wars (remix)”
—“melting pot (original dance mix)”
“look: up in the sky”
“The Super Nigger Monster Jam”

*The “jam” poems were poems akin to rants, but more structured. Somewhat.