I read this book from front to back while I sat at my son’s football practice the other day. I didn’t realize that I read Wounded in the House of a Friend before until I made it to this one poem called “Eyewitness: Case No. 3456.” That piece is about a woman getting raped in her home and about midway through I was like wait a second–I bet I know what comes after this. And I was right: “Poem for Some Women” followed right behind. Right when you think “Eyewitness” couldn’t get more violent and graphic, “Some Women” comes along and introduces you to a mother so desperate for drugs she gives her young daughter to the dealer for a week. I actually wrote one of my first published essays about that how much that poem effected me–“Unreading a Poem.”
This time around tho, what stood out to me (before reaching that point of the book, which is near the end right before the haikus) was her piece for James Baldwin after he died. She describes his eyes and his voice and in presence in a way that is very sacred. What she says about Malcolm X was good too–how “his voice shook the ground” (52). My favorite poem I think was “Bullet Holes of Resistance.” It’s about her trip to Nicaragua, where she read a poem in the hot sun but people came and had their poetry experience anyway. In another piece on her trip out there, she writes about the bullet holes around town and the lack of mercy physically, metaphysically. To do poetry (as a verb) there and then becomes theater, performance art.
Best line: you can’t keep his dick in your purse -Sonia Sanchez p 9
P.S. I have a copy of this book for sale at Ten Dollar Books.