Black Matters

Keith S. Wilson

after D.H. Lawrence

shall i tell you, then, that we exist?there came a light, blue and white careening.the police like wailing angelsto bitter me.and so this:dark matter is hypothetical. knowthat it cannot be seenin the gunpowder of a flower,in a worm that raisins on the concrete,in a man that wills himself not to speak.gags, oh gags.for a shadow cannot breathe.it deprives them of nothing. prideis born in the black and then dies in it.i hear our shadow, low trebleof the clasping of our hands.dark matter is invisible.we infer it: how light bends around a black body,and still you do not see black halos, even here,my having told you plainly where they are.        Poetry Daily stands with the Black community. We oppose racism, oppression, and police brutality.We will continue to amplify diverse voices in the poetry world. Black Lives Matter.

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Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem fellow, graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the 2018-19 Kenyon Review Poetry Fellow. He serves as Assistant Poetry Editor at Four Way Review and Digital Media Editor at Obsidian Journal. He has received three scholarships from Bread Loaf as well as scholarships from MacDowell, UCross, Millay Colony, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others. He has won a Best of the Net award, has been anthologized in Best New Poets, and was appointed a Gregory Djanikian Scholar. Keith works as a game designer and instructor in Chicago.

At first blush, Keith S. Wilson's debut book, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love, is achingly romantic—lilting, lyrical, shaped by the tenderness of regret—but these are poems that speak inlayers, bridging the interstitial spaces between personal and societal longing. Whether describing a lover, a scientific concept, or an act of racial violence, these "fieldnotes" are simultaneously fantastic and grounded, celestial and corporeal.The stars look on as the speaker remembers the hips of a lover, just as the stars look on as the speaker is instructed by a policeman to put his hands behind his back. We are in an ordinary studio apartment in Chicago; we are in a Kentucky field. We are in a liminal corridor: between black and not black, pastoral memo-ry and Afrofuturism, the night sky and the cruel light of day, pleasure, and emergency .

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