The Black Ocean (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)

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Crab Orchard Series in Poetry: The Black Ocean by Brian Barker (2011, Paperback)

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Add to cart. Sold by thrift. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information In The Black Ocean , poet Brian Barker attempts to make sense of some of the darkest chapters in history while peering forward to what lies ahead as the world totters in the wake of human complacence.

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Unveiled here are ruminations on human torture, the Chernobyl disaster, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and genocide against Native Americans. The ghosts of Lincoln, Poe, and Billie Holiday manifest from pages laden with grim prophecies and catastrophes both real and imagined. These hauntingly intense documentary poems reflect on the past in an attempt to approach it with more clarity and understanding, while offering blistering insight into the state of the world today.

Barker touches upon the power of manipulation and class oppression; the depths of fear and the struggle for social justice; and reveals how failure to acton the parts of both politicians and everyday citizenscan have the most devastating effects of all. I was not arrested.

The Black Ocean

I have thought her wrong To think that we would need saving. But what do I know Of having to choose one violence over another?


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Asleep now She rests inside her flesh, my father close beside her On his back, his forearm across his eyes, He who chose her, too, And over his own family, he knew to tell us, having learned early That you must cross whatever line you have to cross. Or, a tiny moon On a shore of white sand, The tide lapping it in foam and tugging—No, Twelve dead presidents perched there Each with the face of my father— Tight-lipped, vacant-eyed— Scanning the field for a body to mark Then locking in on her knee-bent dread— Ordinary, mammary— A yellow suckling heavy on her tit.

No, I think it was her one good eye Refusing to blink, Scaling the bare-white wall At the core of the mind not measuring its height Then circling a waterless well In a desert without sand, Unnumbered sisters before her Caught in the belly of the boats— Where there was too much sound to hear, Though only one voice, one cry— Their dark arms like trellised vines Crossed and reaching. Charif Shanahan The World Seems… The world seems so palpable And dense: people and things And the landscapes They inhabit or move through. And us: Poised in the middle, aware Of the objects out there Waiting patiently to be named, As if the right words Could save them.

So much hidden inside each one, Such a longing To become the beloved. And inside us: the sounds That could extend that blessing— How they crowd our mouths, How they press up against Our lips, which are such A narrow exit for a joy so desperate. Gregory Orr Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem.