Lucy 72 (Paperback)
Poetry. African & African American Studies. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Performance Studies. Ronaldo V. Wilson explodes all over the mouth of whiteness in LUCY 72 like C saire stroking the Latin root 'niger, ' courting its deranged figuration. With satire, grace, deep lyric reflection--all inside of the persistent strangulation of a rigorous couplet--the radiant poems in LUCY 72 are a working out and a working on this thing we call 'race.' In these poems, whiteness is abstracted away from color and made manifest in gesture, a relaxed state, a non-awareness, and certain preferences and unperceived privileges. Wilson strips down the symbolic figure, Lucy, exposing her blind and deaf obsession with her own whiteness--'One of my favorite words is alabaster'--and cranks our eyes toward these brutal cultural tropes: there is 'a black' and then there is the effortless abstraction of whiteness; blackness is opaque; whiteness is transparent; blackness, hard object, whiteness, effervescence. LUCY 72 is a haunting, gorgeously written, and absolutely necessary book for our times. When Lucy speaks, we should all listen closely.--Dawn Lundy Martin LUCY 72 is an intricate, multi-faceted, rarely used underhand serve executed with the power and skill of a masterful languager. Wilson undertakes and asserts a new kind of self-reflexive portraiture in which all manner of 'body' is addressed. The body historical, the racial body, the flesh body, all gather in an open-air refusal to conform, to resign. Here agency is fiercely nuanced--petaled and thorned...the gloves have come off. Raise your racquet. Loose your head and heart. These poems are a guidebook of rosary beads for crossing the street, returning an out wide serve, and for being transcendently human.--giovanni singleton.