I mentioned the photographer Carrie Mae Weems. If you don’t know her work, I envy you your first encounter! Here’s a link and a good place to start exploring. There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé is Morgan Parker’s second book. Her first is Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up at Night (Switchback Books, 2015) and her latest is Magical Negro (Tin House, 2019). I’ve read Magical Negro. It’s fantastic. I’ll try to read Parker’s first book soon, if I can find a copy that hasn’t been inflated as obscenely as those listed on Amazon, just because it’s out of print!

Fortunately there are several of Parker’s live readings on YouTube. Here’s one of them. She reads the poem that I read at 27:36. I recorded my video before I watched her reading. This is something I love about poetry: spending time interpreting the tenor and rhythm and emotional value of a line for yourself, then looking up the poet’s reading and listening to her/his/their interpretation. Seeing where your readings overlap and where they diverge. It’s like you’re visiting the same island. But you’re not always in the same place on that island. And there aren’t always margaritas at hand. Makes a difference.

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