American Sonnets: 91

By Wanda Coleman 1946–2013 Wanda Coleman
the gates of mercy slammed on the right foot.
they would not permit return and bent
a wing. there was no choice but
to learn to boogaloo. those horrid days
were not without their pleasure, learning
to swear and wearing mock leather so tight
eyes bulged, a stolen puff or two
behind crack-broken backs and tickled palms
in hallways dark, flirtations during choir practice
as the body organized itself against the will
(a mystic gone ballistic, not home but blood
on the range) as one descended on this effed-up
breeding hole of greeds—to suffer chronic seeings

was’t hunger or holiness spurred the sighting?

Wanda Coleman, "American Sonnets: 91" from Mercurochrome. Copyright © 2001 by Wanda Coleman.  Reprinted by permission of Black Sparrow Press (Godine).

Source: Mercurochrome (Black Sparrow Press, 2001)

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Poet Wanda Coleman 1946–2013

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Subjects Social Commentaries, Crime & Punishment, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Wanda  Coleman


Poet and writer Wanda Coleman was a blatantly humanist artist who won much critical acclaim for her unusually prescient and often innovative work, but who struggled to make a living from her craft. In discussing “my life in poetry,” More magazine, April 2005, Camille Paglia said of Coleman: “She’s not as central as she should be. Her language jumps off the page.” With twelve books of collected writings published by the small . . .

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SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Crime & Punishment, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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