Amaud Johnson
2020 |

Imperial Liquor is a chronicle of melancholy, a reaction to the monotony of racism. These poems concern loneliness, fear, fatigue, rage, and love; they hold fatherhood held against the vulnerability of the black male body, aging, and urban decay. Part remembrance, part swan song for the Compton, California of the 1980s, Johnson examines the limitations of romance to heal broken relationships or rebuild a broken city. Slow Jams, red-lit rooms, cheap liquor, like seduction and betrayal—what’s more American? This book tracks echoes, rides the residue of music “after the love is gone.” Smokey the most dangerous men in my neighborhood only listened to love songs to reach those notes a musicologist told me a man essentially cuts his own throat. some nights even now, i’ll hear a falsetto and think i should run

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Imperial Liquor