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All posts by Airea D. Matthews

Black Ecstatic Ode

Praise to the father holding his sleeping daughter on the 52nd
Street trolley
To the daughter sleeping through the pothole thrum
Praise to the diabetic with shorn feet and sugarcane blood
To the shooting nerve through the left hip and lower spine
To those flying gods on their routes
Praise to the red-headed Rasta and his ganja-laced T-shirt
To the Vietnam vet at Cass Corridor holding his sign
To the sign which reads: “I’m not homeless, I’m just Black”
Praise to the barbers trying to calm the fatherless boys in their chairs
To the mothers trying not to overhear this soothing
To soothing

Fanon and the Case of the Diasporic Haints

* Airea D. Matthews *
We sat in my car for a short while before I turned the ignition. We needed to gather ourselves, to make some dumb sense of what just happened. We needed a moment, or a long lifetime, to figure out how beings think and move.

Animalia Repeating: A Pavlovian Account in Parts

* Airea D. Matthews *

I genuflect at Mass, stealing fleeting glances of my sons’ hands in prayer—tender, unburdened by veins or violence, unscathed. I redirected my attention, prayed that whoever feared their black bodies would soon unlearn myth and space and threat.

Meeting Wittgenstein at the Playscape

* Airea D. Matthews *

Since Tractatus suggests that language mirrors states of affairs in which objects are engaged, questions arise: if the object is invisible, does the object even exist? What if the object is the Black body?

The Cross or The Pill

There is no amount of being a privileged do-gooder that will do anyone any good if people can’t respectfully co-exist without entirely erasing each other—physically, geographically, economically, psychically—in the name of progress.