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By Major Jackson

This downpour of bad reasoning, this age-old swarm,

this buzzing about town, this kick and stomp

through gardens, this snag on the way to the mall,

this heap and toss of fabric and strewn shoes, this tangled

beauty, this I came here not knowing, here

to be torched, this fumbling ecstasy, this ecstasy of fumbling,

this spray of lips and fingers, this scrape of bone, this raid

of private grounds, this heaving and rocking, this scream

and push, this sightless hunger, this tattered perishing,

this rhythmic teeth knocking, this unbearable

music, this motionless grip, grimace, and groan.

 


Major Jackson, "Superfluities" from Holding Company. Copyright © 2010 by Major Jackson.  Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc..

Source: Holding Company (W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2010)

Poet Bio

Major Jackson's books of poems are Holding Company and Hoops, both finalists for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Poetry, and Leaving Saturn, which was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for a first book of poems and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. He is a recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. He is a professor of English at the University of Vermont.

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