30 Under 30 16/30: Marcus Wicker
“...I could have killed
my white friend for walking in on us.
Or kissed him, right there in the dorms.
Damn the smoldering Newporty cherry
that bathed my room in red. And you
cocking-back that cold, hard Glock
against Samuel L. Jackson’s dick.”
-from Love Letter to Pam Grier
Thank God for making whatever planet Marcus Wicker comes from, but damn him for not giving us access to that land. I want to go to wherever he is from and dance in their sun. Well, this weekend I did. I was in Ann Arbor and at only a glimpse, I stepped into the world of much of Marcus’ writing. What an interesting, cul-de-sacy place to write about blackness in & that’s why I am HERE for Marcus, he is expanding the diaspora so much by what it means to be black in several different spaces than the narrative we are most commonly offered. Marcus is a wizard of race, sexuality, class, and pop culture. He writes within the intersection of all his identities, not attempting to dodge the coming traffic, but allowing it all to move through him and become active participants, even when on an undercurrent, in the work. With all those spirits and partners active in the work, Marcus’ work really comes alive off the page. I am convinced that Marcus’s poems get haircuts on weekends, have occasional hangovers, and forget to call Marcus like they should, that they are veined and bruised and smiling somewhere, that’s how alive his work is. Don’t trust me? Go read ‘Maybe The Saddest Thing’, Marcus’s National Poetry Series winning collection. First off, the cover feels amazing and makes you aware of yourself the entire time you are reading his brilliance. 2nd, the book holds you, pinches you, kisses you soft, rubs up against your jeans, does all likes of things to show you how much it cares for you, same way Marcus cares for the work. Folks, get into Marcus Wicker, if you really love his work, get into the Southern Indiana MFA where he teaches (killing the game) and let his poems overcome you with their humanity.
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