Spring 2023 • Vol. XLV No. 2 Poetry |

The Black Outside

The enclosure is so brutal.  — Saidiya Hartman The jazz, it puts you on a swing in your project neighborhood. Where you learned the antithesis of ownership. Where you learned to live with the loudness of your neighbor’s living. It brings an ecology of sincerity. The thought of the Black outside. & you believe, you believe the hollowed-out trunks, the tree house of our speech, the way we say things. Had to quit carrying on with folks who don’t have a history of being hidden or community plumbing issues. Done with jazzless folks, who ask why you still have feelings. Your being, wayward with us now :  —  in the Black outside. The jazz, it puts you on a swing in the gentry’s neighborhood, which used to be your neighborhood. Where you pinned your personality on a shared clothesline. Where you placed your speaker in the courtyard window to bring us out. On a swivel now in the bureaucratic fabric. On a walk you’ve taken to escape the mind so

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Photo of Joy Priest

Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, 2020), winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. She is the recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a 2019–2020 Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, and the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from The American Poetry Review. Her poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, The Atlantic and The Nation, among others, as well as in commissions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). She is the editor of Once a City Said: A Louisville Poets Anthology, forthcoming from Sarabande Books in 2023.

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The enclosure is so brutal.  — Saidiya Hartman The jazz, it puts you on a swing in your project neighborhood. Where you learned the antithesis of ownership. Where you learned to […]

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By Timothy Donnelly

The enclosure is so brutal.  — Saidiya Hartman The jazz, it puts you on a swing in your project neighborhood. Where you learned the antithesis of ownership. Where you learned to […]

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