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Drawn from poems written over the past twenty years, this collection captures the faces, voices, feelings, words, and stories of an African American family
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The Black Back-ups
The Breast Milk Poem
The Bridge Poem
Camden, New Jersey
Comparative History: Our Stories
The Construction Workers
Everybody Says Miss Lindy Brown Is A Witch
Gramom And My Great-aunt Rachel Sit At The Kitchen Table
Have You Seen Them?
Horace Chandler Wasn't Quite Right
I Am Afraid Of The Noise So My Aunt Hilda Rides
I Never See You
I've Got Something To Say About This: A Survival Incantation
If I Were An Epic Poem
In Answer To The Question: Have You Ever Considered Suicide
The Invisible Woman
It Was In Ibadan
It's The Saturday Morning Before School Starts
Making Way For Sister
Miss Mary 'n' Martha Run The Little Candy Store
A Northern Ohio Love Poem
The Old Woman With The Ramrod Back Looks Me Up
One Day At The Museum Of Natural History
One Sunday Even Junie Hightower Gets Saved
Our Second-grade Teacher, Mrs. Ionelli,
A Pacifist Becomes Militant And Declares War
Penny Has Freckles And Red Hair And A Process.
Poppy Sits In His Armchair In The Corner With His Bad Leg
Reba Is A State Child And What You Call Fast.
Ruby Laughs Too Loud, Drinks Too Much
Sundays. After Church. In The Summertime.
Syracuse, By Night, In Transit
They Stand On The Sidelines, My Uncles
The Tired Poem: .. Unemployed Black Professional Woman
To Be Continued
The Tv Will Not Come On Until You Put A Quarter In
Up From The Ladder
We Play In The Do-it-yourself Family Rooms
Wednesday Night At Mt. Calvary Evening Youth Service
When An Old Man Dies
When I Came Home
When My Gramom Got Baptized At Grace Temple
Whenever There's A Thunderstorm, My Aunt Puts On Her
Why I Like To Go Places: Flagstaff, Arizona, June 1978
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®
In her first collection, constructed with interlocking passages of prose and poetry, Rushin focuses on being a black child and then a black woman in a world where power has been controlled predominantly by white men. The metaphor of the title poem, dedicated to ". . . all of the Black women who sang back-up for / Elvis Presley, John Denver, James Taylor, Lou Reed. / Etc. Etc. Etc.," is developed in small autobiographical sketches, such as that of a grandmother who purchased silverware with a dollar and a coupon from Nabisco Shredded Wheat. There is a tender quality in much of the work, which can be attributed to the poet's role as "bridge," which she playfully complains about: "I explain my mother to my father my father to my little sister my little sister to my brother my brother to the White Feminists . . . " At times she demonstrates an acute sensitivity to detail ("I am Invisible Woman / The itch in the middle of your back / . . . The meat / Between / Your teeth"), but in some of the overtly political poems Rushin loses her concentration and what follows (a portrait of construction workers, for instance) veers toward stereotype while the language becomes deflated.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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