Title: Imagoes

Author: Wanda Coleman

Publisher: Black Sparrow Press

Publication Year: 1983

ISBN: 0876855095

Wanda Coleman blends inherited memory with the reality of her present through an idiom that oscillates seamlessly between natural imagery and the urban edifice of Los Angeles.  The close of the seventh strophe of the title poem gives a quick glimpse of all Coleman’s acerbic, probing elegance:

great granddad makes the Oklahoma land rush

slave of city
i bow before the ashes
the cold black tar my skin sticks
each move agony
i can’t get out of it

fuck me. make it hurt.

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