Arcane Torso on Grindr

Tommye Blount

We cannot know his legendary head,now hidden by a peach. Yet his torso,all ink and Equinox, is backlit from insidethe phone: hard math; a circuitry of lowfires—sexy algorithm. Otherwisethe flexed bicep could not dazzle me so, nor couldhis cum-gutter's v, his barely-shaved thighs,nor his bottle rocket all set to flare.Not on this phone, he doesn't have any facepics to trade, nothing above the shoulders.But his chest—bury my face in that fur!Would not he, were it not for the cropped selfie,arouse like a porn star. He says your placeor mine. I must lie about my life.

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A Cave Canem alumnus, Tommye Blount is the author of Fantasia for the Man in Blue (Four Way Books, 2020), a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award, and What Are We Not For (Bull City Press, 2016). A graduate from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, he has been the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from Kresge Arts in Detroit and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Born and raised in Detroit, Blount now lives in the nearby suburb of Novi, Michigan.

“We have waited a long time for a full collection of the evocative provocations of Tommye Blount to be released. Poem by poem Blount’s first book has become one of the most anticipated books of poetry of his generation. Fantasia for the Man in Blue does not disappoint. It is a kaleidoscopic self portrait, where the self is viewed from every vantage, inside out, then in again. Fearless in its observations. So fearless it makes us wince. So baring we can’t help but see ourselves in this mirror. . . .”
—Vievee Francis

“With Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Tommye Blount captures the tension between what horrifies us as a nation and of what we crave to soothe the pain. An achievement of saying what needs to be heard at a time when there’s so much chatter among us, Blount manages to cut through the din by directing us to the beauty that remains. Dear Tommye, thankfully, ‘you are the disobedient one, / littering the spangled blue night / with your dark tear,’ which is a comfort. These poems, a cocktail not only of urban gothic but also of a sublime fantasia, will change how we listen to the world around us and teach us the uses of its enchantment.”
—A. Van Jordan

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