I just read The Overground Railroad, an anthology from Cherry Castle Publishing.
And – LAWD! – I’m still reeling from these poems produced in a workshop that poets Truth Thomas and Derrick Weston Brown conducted at Chicago State University last year.
It’s been a longtime since a poetry collection knocked me upside my head and made me listen.
Reading these poems reminded me that I’ve been in a literary winter.
And “Spring has returned,” Rainier Maria Rilke once put it. “The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”
The Earth would be even giddy to know that these poets – some experienced and others new to poetry – bring a fire I haven’t felt in a while. In fact, these poems are so charged that they put exclamations in my pulse.
And there’s also tenderness in this collection, where “commitment/keeps us warm” and where “jealous pens and pencils/spend eons” looking for “metaphors and similes” to woo the fine poem “pranc[ing] through line/breaks.”
The Overground in the collection’s title is an apt description. There’s nothing underground about these voices on their way to freedom, calling “to all hues/of brown” and “calling all bullets and other non-intellectual/weapons to cease.”
For the Rudy Guilianies and other propagandists wondering, where is the outrage against black on black crime, well it’s in these pages.
It’s in the wishbone of an alley “connecting Ludden to Preston,” where a basketball rim “graduate[s] from crate, to hoop with chains, to one with nylon.”
Order The Overground Railroad from Cherry Castle Publishing. You need that in your life!
note: the quoted lines came from the poems in this anthology