Dancing on Main Street

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A major figure in the Black Arts Movement and a founding member of the Umbra workshop, Lorenzo Thomas is one of the most heralded authors of his generation. Dancing on Main Street, Thomas?s long-awaited collection spanning many decades of his career, blends traditional lyricism with a surrealist?s touch and a realist?s eye. Together, these poems form a cinematic look at the obsessions, -pleasures, trials, and tribulations of life on Main Street.

Lorenzo Thomas, who was born in ...

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Overview

A major figure in the Black Arts Movement and a founding member of the Umbra workshop, Lorenzo Thomas is one of the most heralded authors of his generation. Dancing on Main Street, Thomas’s long-awaited collection spanning many decades of his career, blends traditional lyricism with a surrealist’s touch and a realist’s eye. Together, these poems form a cinematic look at the obsessions, -pleasures, trials, and tribulations of life on Main Street.

Lorenzo Thomas, who was born in Panama and grew up in New York City, is a poet, critic and professor of English at the University of Houston. His books of poetry include Chances Are Few, The Bathers and Sound Science. He is the recipient of two Poets Foundation awards and the Lucille Medwick Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Listen. This is modern times all over the world."This caustically modern, enticingly various and ironically titled collection is a very welcome major release from a poet and critic who too often has flown under the publishing radar. Once an East Coast poet affiliated with the Black Arts Movement, Thomas is now a professor at the University of Houston-Downtown. His debut Chances Are Few has just been reissued; this new book mixes "voices blending into stridency" with the icily affirmative attitudes of maturity, which he takes as one of his subjects: "The world has changed/ Manners your elders strapped you into/ Somehow have come unraveled in your hands." Other poems concern the war in Vietnam, the history of the blues, the sights of East Texas, the structure of an extended family, public events (like the Amadou Diallo shooting) and, in one realistic series, marriage, love and sex. Casual, conversational lines combine the wide-open feel of the later New York School with Albert Ayler-like confident, architectural disharmonies in which "[t]he form of artifice destroys itself." Luckily, Thomas has kept records. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566891561
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Pages: 130
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Lorenzo Thomas is an internationally acclaimed poet, critic, and professor of English at the University of Houston. Born in Panama, Thomas became a founding member of the Umbra workshop and an important part of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s. His books of poetry include Chances are Few, The Bathers, and Sound Science. He is the recipient of two Poets Foundation awards and the Lucille Medwick Prize.

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Table of Contents

The kite and the hawk 11
South St. Blues 12
Please, don't let me be misunderstood 14
When if the big bands come back 15
Guerrilla girls 16
Displacement 18
Sentiment 21
Suburban Saturdays 25
Morning raga 27
The Audie Murphy game 29
Destruction of the seated man 33
Last call 35
Excitation 39
Skunk insulation 44
Grudge match 46
Lifelong learning 47
Otis 49
Spirits you all 52
Journey of 1,000 li 58
Tirade 60
Poem in lieu of the marriage of Andrew Zolem 63
The sadness of space exploration 65
Quiet riot 66
Dumb luck 67
The new south 69
Lights out 71
No, don't get up 72
The failure of alchemy 73
Working-class hero 74
The gambler 75
Knight to queen's pawn 76
An old hand 77
Pornography=exploitation of men 78
Now you can worry 81
L'argent 83
Thinking in words 87
Like a tree 90
Sightseeing in East Texas 93
Psalm 95
Back in the day 100
Whale song 103
Songs without shadows 104
The marks are waiting 108
Dirge for Amadou Diallo 112
An afternoon with Dr. Blumenbach 115
Dangerous doubts 119
Lustre 120
Cameo in sudden light 121
Country song 124
Multicultural 125
Low rider 126
An even-tempered girl holds her breath 127
She lived to be 100 128
A kind of accounting 129
Cute girl with a toy monkey 131
Flash point 133
God sends love disguised as ordinary people 134
Magnetic charms 136
Equinox 138
Back-ordered tears 144
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