Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Collection Pitch Dark Anarchy
by Randall Horton





Two poems from Pitch Dark Anarchy

Dear Reader (1)

before the cataclysmic end of the world
    whittles down to zero, before

grounding out idiot noise pushes
    in all motion skin color, before that

which cannot be defined: our terribleness
    calibrated on a triple beam scale .or.

call it residue running to the border.
    subjective but it is about subjects

(underneath always underneath) &
    language. after the betrayal. .or. a thing
of intrigue: an illusion
    caught in a soundraft. the recoil
before that final echo dimming the sun
    display(ed) for the (dis)placed

more clearly to see at the end of the world.

What Lil Soul Train Did Not Know Is in a Book

all matter boomerangs back—: color
    keeps intruding—: perhaps

it’s the misgeographic rerouting
    of center—: that place you run away from

up over the sun dancing—:

material tangible—:
    & object to be & is—: mental

developing change or motor-booty-
    shake to the half note:

of what we are: spiritual movement:
    at once & everywhere—: hands

reworking constructions of the verb
    to be: from one state to another—:

yellow light before the :r:e:d:
    a:l:e:r:t—: wait wasn’t optional

is what i told lil’ soul train bent
    between the lines broham couldn’t read—:

he might’ve been practicing to sing
    all up in there like against: telos

wasn’t no guns just a whistling
    tune—: a night cloud: a moon visible.


Praise for Pitch Dark Anarchy
(Northwestern University Press 2013)

Randall Horton takes up the experiment we are, as content as well as form, theory as well as practice, as searching, as research, as tilling and digging, as aeration and irrigation, on the ground and under until there is no ground except for what you hear, an ever ascendant bottom animating every line. Pitch Dark Anarchy; dark animateriality; new-strung, hard-thrown air. We who think we have it have to look for it everywhere because it’s everywhere, right under our noses, all up under our skin, right now in our hands. We, who? You. It’s your thing, if you feel enough to claim it. I mean you. I mean you.

Fred Moten, author of Hughson’s Tavern

Short Interview With Randall Horton


How did you come to write “Notes From a Prodigal Son #5”?

Can you tell us something about your process of writing that helped these poems and your new collection Pitch Dark Anarchy come to life?

I would only say that I pay attention to lyrical cadence and the sounding of things. But for me, each poetic process is different. I may favor aesthetic choices but try to remain blank each time I approach a poem. The only thing you need to know is that my poems are part of a larger series of epistles.

Who are your favorite poets or poets new to you whom you'd recommend to others?

I claim Gwendolyn Brooks as a literary mother but love Stephen Jonas, Ed Roberson and Nikky Finney, among so many others. I would say be on the look out for Lamar L. Wilson, Rickey Laurentiis, Phillip Williams, Niki Herd, Ching In Chen, Derrick Harriell and Delana Dameron. All wonderful poets.

What are you working on now?

At this moment, I am finishing a memoir titled Father, Forgive Me.

Randall Horton is an assistant professor of English at the University of New Haven in Connecticut and the author of Pitch Dark Anarchy, a collection of poems just published by Northwestern University Press. Horton is also author of two other collections: The Definition of Place (2006) and The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street (2009). He is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonz├ílez Poetry Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship. His creative and critical work has appeared in the print journals Callaloo, Sou’wester, Caduceus, and New Haven Review and in the online journal The Offending Adam. Randall is a fellow of Cave Canem and a member of the Affrilachian Poets, two organizations that support African American poetry; and a member of the Symphony: The House That Etheridge Built, a reading collective named for the poet Etheridge Knight. An excerpt from Horton’s memoir, Roxbury, is newly released as a chapbook. His poem “Notes From a Prodigal Son #5” appeared in the anthology After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery from Life-Shattering Events .

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