[Table of Contents]



Sylvia Jones


half shuttered, half bright
soft powered, I—
astrally projecting, subpoenaed
midair, feet up walking pink
clouds on the water's edge, angling
upstream, these shiny limbs folding
into human tears, logic jettisons, abrupt like
a red-crowned crane, on stilts
half shuttered, half bright
soft powered, I—
alien eyed underneath
nights awning, subjective
as dead armadillos, below
goliath sized power grids
soft powered, I —
half have not, half bright
reenact my blackness
in manufactured shade, keen
on splendor, live
in the shadow of a much larger tree
undimmed perennially wholly
uncool chase—
ransom captive evergreens, sullen
mouth shaped things





The germ of this poem came from two places :

1) a quote by David Shields from his book, Reality Hunger : A Manifesto (Knopf‎, ‎Vintage, 2010): "'I'm interested in the ways in which stories of suffering might be used to mask other, less marketable stories of suffering."

2) The 2019 film adaptation of Richard Wright's novel Native Son (Harper & Brothers, 1940)