Mystic Bounce

By Terrance Hayes b. 1971 Terrance Hayes Read the Q & A
Even if you love the racket of ascension,
you must know how the power leaves you.
And at this pitch who has time for meditation?
the sea walled in by buildings. I do miss
the quiet, don't you? When I said, "Fuck the deer
antlered and hithered in fur," it was because
I had seen the faces of presidents balled into a fist.
If I were in charge, I would know how to fix
the world: free health care or free physicals,
at least, and an abiding love for the abstract.
When I said, "All of history is saved for us,"
it was because I scorned the emancipated sky.
Does the anthem choke you up? When I asked
God if anyone born to slaves would die
a slave, He said: "Sure as a rock descending
a hillside." That's why I'm not a Christian.

Source: Poetry (March 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2008
 Terrance  Hayes

Biography

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, poet Terrance Hayes earned a BA at Coker College and an MFA at the University of Pittsburgh. In his poems, in which he occasionally invents formal constraints, Hayes considers themes of popular culture, race, music, and masculinity. “Hayes’s fourth book puts invincibly restless wordplay at the service of strong emotions: a son’s frustration, a husband’s love, a citizen’s righteous anger and a . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, Money & Economics, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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