‘He said look in the mirror / naked / if it ain’t black—jewish
If we don’t do it to ourselves / first / then they do it to us
Said he loves countin’ stacks / is that black? / jewish?
Said we loves eating chicken cause we black-jewish!’
from Broken Ghazal
Aaron Samuels, should he ever get tired of troubling & thrashing the waters of poetry, needs to become a sculptor. He understands craft in way that only masters of stone can understand the delicate nature of a stone and how to bring it into life. While others remain marveled at the sheer size and marvel of the mountains, Aaron sees an opportunity to deconstruct, to discover and unearth, and to build. Aaron puts his hands right into grand questions on masculinity, violence, race & culture, sexuality, faith, and he doesn’t just allow himself to feel the weight of trying to push their massive entities, but he actually moves them forward. Aaron is at once blunt & subtle, about to say what needs to be said and not a peep more. This skill to alternate words so swiftly from blade to feather makes to lines and images that caress until it’s too late to realize the gash, that come for us head on, rushing and threating. It makes poems that embrace and makes us realize those poems need our embrace just as badly as we need theirs. Aaron transfers those same lethal and lovely tools to the stage, where he becomes a case study on the word precision. Aaron gives himself to the words, not getting in their way, but rather letting his voice and body become a vessel for the work. I am all the way here for Aaron Samuels, whose debut collection is forthcoming from Write Bloody Publishing. Folks, if you ain’t know, now you do. Get into the man, the non-myth but always legend that is Mr. Aaron Samuels.