Do people of color, including women of color among the victims, count for anything more than “things” viewed from the outside, in Gaitskill’s work? Noticed by a penetrating (white) gaze, to be sure, but all the same invisible.
Tariq’s Heed the Hollow is a humorous, erotic, and stunningly heartbreaking engagement with a language that has forcefully made queer black bodies and voices invisible.
Harry Gruenberg’s twisted tale becomes interwoven with that of Lisa and his family, told with fragments of song, personal letters, primary source materials, photographs, family dramas, scenes, stories, fantasies, and dreams that gain their own narrative force.
This sort of collection enumerates the best that poetry can be: a tool, a song, a gesture towards empathy, an enactment of living a life that continues to baffle.
Artists can be canaries flying down into mines or diving underwater.