what sought to kill us has not and will not
summertime fine is amazing. it’s also the hardest thing i have ever had to review, being so detached from my memories and struggles. its the nostlagia of stephen king as written by spike jonze. its the artistry and sense of place of basquiat, the righteous anger of black lives matter. honestly, i couldnt be reading this at a better time.
reading summertime fine is like being welcomed to a table. the family are here. it’s never been this gloriously sunny, nor will it ever be again. the cover is gorgeous. the poetry inside is even better.
the chicken spot is delicious from start to finish, be it in a list of the seasonings they put on wings (spoiler – they keep it simple) or this beautiful piece of nostalgic reminiscence;
i learned how to say my father's name from his mother
she held the r in the pit of her jaw like a neck bone
dairy queen is a simple piece about impermanence, as seen through the eyes of a child who knows ice cream will eventually melt. people will always leave.
on jukin’ wit a white boy is beautifully tender, all sweat and stumble. this and one other piece appear after danez smith and his blood runs through a lot of this collection. the rawness of the recollections, the tenderness of small moments.
if you look at the acknowledgement page you will see a lot of these poems have been published in top quality journals. its easy to see why when you read through summertime fine. the grasp of poetry is exquisite in places. the confidence of the narrative voice is strong. these are all really well written.
(untitled) mufa starts with one of the most heartbreaking lines you will read all year
somewhere there is a river
full of dead things, asking me
when i will be added to their
honestly, this closing poem is so fucking good i could copy paste the whole thing but i genuinely want you to buy this book. what i can do though is leave you with the final line, perfect as it is.
surely i was not put on this earth simply to die
summertime fine is by jason b crawford/@jasonbcrawford and can be bought here