What Are We Not for (Paperback)
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Poetry. African & African American Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Through biography, fairy tale, and history, Tommye Blount's debut chapbook WHAT ARE WE NOT FOR redraws the fatherland of manhood as a territory beyond whose borders tenderness and cruelty fight for space. The men and boys in these poems are transformed into instruments of pleasure and of destruction, worshipped artifacts and disfigured toys, victims and assailants. WHAT ARE WE NOT FOR moves its reader toward caustic longing, the hope that danger and risk promise.
"Tommye Blount's WHAT ARE WE NOT FOR is an instruction manual on how to fall to our knees and crawl from the mouth of failed transformations. Here, Pinocchio's boyhood demands bloodspill for proof and the speaker's humanity is never fulfilled: 'After all, I am a broken animal.' Desire turns toward the darkest trail and does not look back through challenging forms and twisted prosody. This collection is rope and whip, daughter-sons and muzzles, and 'a prayer they mistake/ for a growl.' I am not myself, any longer, after these poems.' Phillip B. Williams.