Lane’s powerful poems are as sharp as their single column format. There is no hiding here. Lane does no behind form or metaphor (though there is no lack of either), and the reader cannot hide from poems that often sound (and I’d love to hear them read out loud) that they are a direct address. No, not address, well, “call.” Maybe that’s the call of the title.

The first poem that really made me sit up and take notice was “Indigenous Black Boy” because it seems, so accurately, to describe many of my students. (Full disclosure: Lane was kind enough to visit my classroom, long after this book was published.) Speaking of the person from the title of her poem, she writes, he

yells out

for comfort

fights to

achieve

intimacy

This captures the intense contradictions of my students. She’s just right.

“Calling Out,” which is dedicated to everyone from Trayvon and Tamir, had another stanza that stopped me cold with its truth –

you

who have

never

seen

him

before//

mistaking

his joy

for treachery//

interpreting

his masculinity

as monster

Again, precise, cutting, and true.

“Not Here/ Not Now” discusses “the sludge / of misogyny.” What a perfect word. I will never call it anything else. “Privilege” absolutely made me feel exposed. “Body Parts,” with these lines – “white people/ turning / our remains / into ancient / artifacts” – should be brought before every museum I know. The poem, in surprising prose form, “Just Beacuse It Happened Doesn’t Mean It Has To Be” is worth the price of admission all by itself.

You need this –

Buy Calling Out After Slaughter

 

 

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