Vox Apsens / Anastasis
LISTEN UP I HEARD THE DEAD CAN TALK & looks likethey have a lot to say / ehhhhhhhh / a sound between a(h) and e(h) /nesyamun² the true of voice / ancient priest & chanter of egyptthanks be to 3-D for a way to print / these BC phonics these pharaonicvocal tracts into tracks so fresh / can't touch this sphinx that sitsat my larynx / biggest cool cat of all coming at you from the OGmantra / by which you speak the name of the dead& they live again / but does pronunciation count / which syllables get counted / can you mispronounce a death / am I cursed to be anon / a wind-gone insignia at my wake / whateverhappens tell them not to underestimate the energy of the dead or forget the affluence of being alive trying I am trying with words to be a kind mirror spinning my tale to the decibels of my own joy / to exhume each & every mummified voice I free them all into the future to chant their golden vicissitudes & dance in/ audible shapes& what's in a name but a calibration always incomplete what's a name but a vow a root
Vox Apsens / Anastasis” from Vox Humana © 2022 by Adebe DeRango-Adem.
Used with permission of Book*hug Press.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily.
Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer and former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka. She is the author of three previous full-length poetry books to date: Ex Nihilo, a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize; Terra Incognita, nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award; and The Unmooring. A poem from The Unmooring was featured in the 2019 Poem-In-Your-Pocket anthology, co-created by the League of Canadian Poets and the Academy of American Poets. Adebe served as the 2019-20 Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence with Twelve Literary Arts (Cleveland, Ohio) and was selected by Sonia Sanchez as the winner of the 2021 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest. She lives in Toronto.
“Vox Humana by Adebe DeRango-Adem crackles with lexical and corporeal electricity. This is poetry that scans like lightning across a slate-blue sky, slashing the page with its power. Through its measurements of Blackness, miscegenation, migration, identity, the body, and the body politic, Vox Humana is the voice you have been waiting to hear. An incendiary cri de coeur for our times.” —Wayde Compton, author of The Outer Harbour
“Vox Humana compels the reader to engage with the fragment and with the sounded breath of words seeping through cracks in the text; in so doing it requires that the reader trust the movement of breath, word, and fragment and demands a new way of reading. Vox Humana does what poetry intends—it creates new ways of seeing all that has always been (not) there.” —M. NourbeSe Philip, author of Zong! and Bla_K