Refuse: Poems

Refuse: Poems

by Julian Randall


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Winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Set against the backdrop of the Obama presidency, Julian Randall's Refuse documents a young biracial man's journey through the mythos of Blackness, Latinidad, family, sexuality and a hostile American landscape.  Mapping the relationship between father and son caught in a lineage of grief and inherited Black trauma, Randall conjures reflections from mythical figures such as Icarus, Narcissus and the absent Frank Ocean.  Not merely a story of the wound but the salve, Refuse  is a poetry debut that accepts that every song must end before walking confidently into the next music

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822965602
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 767,861
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Julian Randall is a Living Queer Black poet from Chicago. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, BOAAT, and The Watering Hole and was the 2015 National College Slam (CUPSI) Best Poet. Julian is the curator of Winter Tangerine Review’s Lineage of Mirrors. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as New York Times Magazine, The Georgia Review, and Sixth Finch and in the anthologies Portrait in Blues, Nepantla, and New Poetry from the Midwest. He is a candidate for his MFA in Poetry at Ole Miss.

Table of Contents

Icarus xi

A Thousand Cardinals 3

Biracial Ghazal: Why Everything Ends in Blood 6

This Land Is Where We Buried Everything That Came Before You: African American History and Concepts of Ownership in Early Elementary Education 7

Friday Night Lights #1 8

In A Rare Moment of Nostalgia My Father Reflects on Obama's First Inauguration 8

Taxonomy Regarding My Mother 10

I Think Everybody Has a Year They Never Really Leave 11

Summer After 12

Elegy for the Winter after Taina Was Cancelled 13

Chicago 16

Wasn't the Minotaur Buried Horns First: Vulnerability and Identity in the Mythic Body 17

A Poem about Trees That Is Not Actually a Poem about Trees 18

Nearly 7 Years after the Pact a Boy Whose Nose I Nearly Broke Hits Me Up for Brunch 20

In the Netflix Trailer Obama Says "I Don't Fit in Anywhere" While Anthony Hamilton Pulls a Burning City Out of His Mouth 21

Obama Says "Mutts Like Me" in the Mirror Every Morning While I Get Ready for School 23

The Academy of Acceptable Loss 24

Pregame Prayer with Complete Citations 29

Coverage 30

You Got McDonald's Money? 33

Friday Night Lights #20 34

Friday Night Lights #51 36

The Spook Who Sat by the Once Bombed City: Psychological Explorations of Ancestral Memory Through the Lens of Racial Battle Trauma 37

The Space Between Skins Is Called a "Wound 38

Translation 40

On The Night I Consider Coming Out to My Parents 41

(Self) Inflicted 42

Frank Ocean Sighting #268: Frank Ocean Is Rumored to Speak of Rivers Which Is Likely a Lie (Disc 1) 43

Narcissus 46

The Author Is Often Mistaken for Obama's Long Lost Son 47

Insomniac Soliloquy 49

My Father Watches Ferguson Vol. 1 50

Portrait of My Father as Sisyphus 52

My Father Watches Ferguson Vol. 2 55

Palinopsia 57

Police Dream #607 58

Palinopsia 59

Elegy for the Summer after Django Unchained Came Out on DVD 60

Palinopsia 61

Regrets 62

Ghazalfor the Suicidal Thought 64

Palinopsia 66

The Search for Frank Ocean or a Brief History of Disappearing 67

Variation on a Theme of Generics 70

Leslie Odom Jr. Sings Obama's Anger on NPR 72

Mercy, Mercy, Him 74

Tanka for the 4th of July 75

Zealots of Stockholm or Elegy for the Still Alive 76

Obama Wants to Be Clear about His Legacy 79

Obama Speaks of Rivers but We Have Always Been on Different Shores 80

Negrotopia #3 83

Sad Nigga Manifesto 84

Acknowledgments 87

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