Friday, August 25, 2006

from Blue Front


not as in pin, the kind that keeps the wheels
turning, and not the strip of land that marks
the border between two fields. unrelated
to link, as in chain, or by extension whatever
connects one part to another, and therefore
not a measure of chain, which in any
case is less than the span of a hand hold-
ing the reins, the rope, the hoe, or taking
something like justice into itself, as when
a captain turned judge and gave it his name.
that was before it lost its balance and crossed
the border, the massed body of undoers
claiming connection, relation, an intimate
right to the prized parts, to the body undone.

--Martha Collins

This is a really fascinating book, part lyric sequence, part historical non-fiction novel, about a mob lynching witnessed by her father in Cairo, Illinois, 1909. The subject matter is riveting, and a bit disturbing (more than a bit disturbing . . . I mean this is/was our own country, our racist bigoted past, from not that long ago). Highly recommended.

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