Drift (Willow Books, 2012) is now out and available for order from Small Press Distribution or you can get it directly from me:
Alan King is a poet and journalist, living in the DC metropolitan area. He writes about art and domestic issues at Alanwking.com. In addition to teaching creative writing throughout the DC/Baltimore region, he’s taught at Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the DC Creative Writing Workshop at Charles Hart Middle School in DC’s Congress Heights neighborhood.
King’s poems have appeared in Alehouse, Audience, Boxcar Poetry Review, Indiana Review, MiPoesias and RATTLE, among others. He is a Cave Canem fellow, VONA Alum, a Stonecoast MFA graduate, and was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net selection. Drift is his first collection of poems.
Praise for Drift:
“Tender and tough, the poems in Alan King’s wonderful debut book of poems, Drift, reveal the cities of memory, love and friendship with the precise and caring eye of a poet deeply invested in the lives of those around him.” –Ching-in Chen, author of The Heart’s Traffic
“Alan King’s first collection is aptly named. The pictorial poems he posits drift between two worlds: the angst-ridden coming-of-age confessionals of the prescient observer and the ironist picking apart each airborne particle of memory’s introspective infernal excavation. The metaphors and imagery herein startle while what they reveal lingers like the strands of a song that won’t let you go.”—Tony Medina, author of My Old Man Was Always On The Lamb and Broke On Ice
“In this collection Alan King’s words sparkle like the season’s first snow, here we marvel at the crystals of language that have accumulated into stanzas that wall the city of his imagination. Like the brick and mortar metropolis in which his work is set, this city is oriented to the Cardinal points. Here Love brightens the night sky and a young man learns to navigate by its gleam. Here the neon glow of the Diner, the flicker of the street light, the white finger of the headlight is Polaris. Let us be thankful we have this star to follow.”–Joel Dias-Porter (aka DJ Renegade), author of 4000 Shades of Blue and Libation Song (CD)
What’s Going On
It’s been years since I’ve heard
your voice, since we last saw
each other on a night like this:
stars hemmed to the sky
like glittery sequins on a dark
formfitting dress. Even then, I wanted
to be so many things: the cursive
script of light in your long wavy hair,
the iridescent glow glazing your
olive skin. And weren’t we so determined
to keep our friendship we disregarded
Driving through your old area,
each street takes me back to
that night outside the record shop–
you in the Soul Train line and me
wanting to be the imaginary hool-a-
hoop your hips were working. All I have
now is a missed call and your message.
I don’t know what to call this current
tugging us both after so long
when I’m minutes from calling you
before a friend breaks the news
of your engagement.
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