Fantastic review of Nate Marshall’s “Blood Percussion.” I remember reading these same poems in the aftermath of the Darren Wilson verdict, when everything seemed to be unfair and horrible. And these poems reminded me, things have been unfair and horrible for a long time.

The Poetry Question


Sprinkle my ashes

across the north side of Chicago

& the surrounding suburbs.


the south side has seen

too many black boys

become the end

of a flame.

  • “In the Event of My Demise” 

After reading the introduction to Nate Marshall’s Blood Percussion, I was deeply moved, but a little worried that the pieces would be so grounded in the world of Chicago, that I wouldn’t be able to fit inside the words. Then, I remembered, that’s a really dumb way to think about reading poetry – or reading anything really. The whole purpose of reading – at least for me – is to become the speaker, and feel whatever they feel in whatever context I’m able to relate.

when Michelle Obama was

asked about her fear of racists

killing her husband now that he was running for president

she said he’s a black man

on the…

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