Imperial Liquor

Imperial Liquor

by Amaud Johnson

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Imperial Liquor is a chronicle of melancholy, a reaction to the monotony of racism. These poems concern loneliness, fear, fatigue, rage, and love; they hold fatherhood held against the vulnerability of the black male body, aging, and urban decay. Part remembrance, part swan song for the Compton, California of the 1980s, Johnson examines the limitations of romance to heal broken relationships or rebuild a broken city. Slow Jams, red-lit rooms, cheap liquor, like seduction and betrayal—what’s more American? This book tracks echoes, rides the residue of music “after the love is gone.”
the most dangerous men
in my neighborhood
only listened to love songs
to reach those notes
a musicologist told me
a man essentially cuts
his own throat. some nights
even now, i’ll hear a falsetto
and think i should run

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822987291
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 03/16/2020
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 78
File size: 939 KB

About the Author

A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, Amaud Jamaul Johnson is a winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Dorset Prize, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and Cave Canem. Born and raised in Compton, California, he is professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Table of Contents

Contents Smokey LA Police Chief Daryl Gates Dead at 83 What Spells Trouble Crips & Bloods Delfonic Somebody told me we got LA Tar Baby Prince George’s County Line of Reason Picturing My Father Running Anywhere (& For What?) The Authority How often I’ve turned to Latasha Harlins, who would have been 43 this July Jailbird Blues No More Birminghams Midnight Special The Snooty Fox As in . . . Afro-Pessimism? Dog Star Rising Place Your Bets Grief On Becoming River Rat, Fat-Tongued and/or Finding Your Once Pretty Body at the Park, Full of Holes Eye Witness Other Women’s Children Don’t Forget You(r) Lunch Poem in which I Attempt to Explain to my Sons What Was Ocean The Whipping The Wall The Curiosities Like a Natural Man Worry the Rosemary “Young Hearts, Run Free” (’76) When Miss Lucy Sings Black Dragons This Bitter Earth Nothing But a Man Featuring Lonette Mckee as Sister Fred Williamson Stars as “The Hammer” Gator Purify Black Dragons Pacman Another Epitaph for Nino The Human Tornado Raising Hell Waiting Priest and the Revolution DeBarge Mystery Woman Speaks 30 Years Later Doo-Wop Black Diaspora Strawberry Other Acts of Terror The Midsection If not as in a Wilderness, then Women Named Barbara Between Work Estrella @ Noon Affirmative Action Babies Acknowledgments

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