Dangerous Goods: Poems
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From the poet whose stunning debut was praised as "transcendent" by Kevin Young and "steadily confident" by Carl Phillips, Dangerous Goods tracks its speaker throughout North America and abroad, illuminating the ways in which home and place may inhabit one another comfortably or uncomfortably — or both simultaneously. From the Bahamas, London, and Cairo, to Bemidji, Minnesota, and Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill interweaves the contemporary with the historical, and explores with urgency the relationship between travel, migration, alienation, and home. Here, playful "postcard" poems addressed to Nostalgia and My Third Crush Today sit alongside powerful reflections on the immigration of African Americans to Liberia during and after the era of slavery. Such range and formal innovation make Hill's second collection both rare and exhilarating. Part shadowbox, part migration map, part travelogue-in-verse, Dangerous Goods is poignant, elegant, and deeply moving.
what moves a murmuration of starlings spilling like sheets billowing on clotheslines or water tripping on stones in gullies after rain or the grain of the palm of Dad’s hand and wood in the ark Noah built or words spilt from person to person like the chatter of a ﬂock of starlings before they light out on their ﬂight roiling 103 like the heart of a Maroon dreaming she’s in a barracoon again before waking to the green of the forest in the mountains and in that forest the tint of U.S. legal
Bros. Exports & Imports” Connotations Press (An Online Artifact): “Aurora Borealis,” “Fortnight,” “Voices in St. Paul’s Cathedral” Copper Nickel: “Postcard to Listlessness,” “Vacation” Crab Orchard Review: “In My Father’s House,” “Spring in Bemidji” DIAGRAM: “Bemidji in Spring” Gulf Coast: “Penumbra” Harvard Review: “Still Life with Starlings and Man” Mandala Journal: “Dangerous Goods,” “Lack,” “The Wall” Mantis: “Postcard to the Bottoms of My Shoes” Memorious: “Postcard to Eduardo,” “Postcard to
brother’s twenty-ﬁve-year-old body startled me, grown, lounging in his boxers, nonchalant in his skin (still living in that house); I didn’t recognize him since I hadn’t watched him the way I do the ground (always a window seat, so I can see how far we’ll fall) out this window—the middle of the country, a quilt pieced from generations of scraps folded in a chest at the foot of a farmhouse bed, looks nothing like the coasts with their tightly packed subdivisions with kidney pools and cul-de-sacs
at the Minit Mart), running in the wind up and down until they caught a current that carried them farther than we knew how to measure. In September and October when the weather began to cool we played football or rather a game that gestured toward football— no lines or bounds, no real plays, uneven teams, but the freedom of running—being chased and chasing, the intimacy of being dragged to the ground by another’s weight. Occasionally a guard would step out the side door and quietly watch us or
Repository, the Society reports of its fall expedition, “The barque ‘Jasper,’ which left New York on Thursday, November 21, bore a noble freight for Liberia. A company of one hundred and ﬁfty persons left this country to better their condition, and to promote Christian civilization in Africa.” These were emigrants from central Georgia. 57 FAMILY Leaving the university library, I see over my shoulder the curly-haired man who just hailed me. His face, a wedge, ends with a tuft of hair on his