Electric Arches is collection of poetry by Eve L. Ewing. Her poems muse on the black experience. She reveals painful moments of racism she encounters and add in handwritten font her imagined replies to the N-word. She writes odes to her musical heroes in “Appletree [on black womanhood, from and to Erykah Badu] and “On Prince”. Each poem describes how their music touched her soul. She uplifts the ordinary with her words adding a fantastical gloss of wonder.
“so in this world, grease is a compliment,
no it’s a weapon,
no, it’s a dream you had, where it was cold
and your mother, seeing the threat of gray at your elbows
and knowing that ash is the language of the dead knelt, and put her hands on your face like this
and annoited you a protected child, a hot iron in a place of frost,”
– Excerpt from “Shea Butter Manifesto”.
Both of these poems hit me right where I live. A rally cry for black girl magic. I don’t want to live in a world without Shea Moisture, but I would like to stop explaining why strangers can’t touch my hair.
I had the pleasure of attending a reading with at the Los Angeles Public Library in Exposition Park. Poetry read aloud from the author’s lips is a rare treat. Totally worth leaving the house on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The author graciously signed my copy of the book. What I love about poetry books is you can revisit random pages and see something entirely new. Even reading poems I had already heard was a new experience. You engage your memory while discovering things you may have missed. Her poetry is very accessible with mentions of real people throughout including LeBron. This was a wonderful read to close out 2017. Thematically, it was the perfect book to read after The Hate U Give. Highly recommend this of black speculative fiction, especially any Octavia E. Butler fans and modern poetry readers. Also be sure to follow her hilarious and inspiring twitter! You won’t be disappointed.
I may not have hit a half cannonball, but I did read 12 books. Two more than last year. I also branched out of my genre comfort zone. I reviewed an autobiography, a cookbook and now this poetry book. Last year was mainly urban fantasy and romance reads! I also miraculously reviewed books before the last week of December. Progress I say. Excited for CBR10 in 2018 where I hope to read even more and procrastinate less.