He saw teenagers carrying flammable cans / of kerosene and boxes of wooden matches, torching / the discarded carcasses of Fords and Chevies, / spreading flames through abandoned buildings / and unused factories, lighting one-story houses / on narrow lots in small neighborhoods.
Every night, I built a blind in the field from heaped tires, shot pheasants from there. I’d found the rifle at the abandoned shooting range. It was an air gun, fired pellets with hollow points that left holes the shape of keyholes in the targets. So far I had killed two pheasants and, accidentally, one squirrel. I had never seen another person. Squatters occupied the other abandoned warehouses, but squatters avoided the warehouse in the field.
When my mother fell ill during the Flint water crisis, I drove five hundred miles from Saint Louis, my new home. My mother had been among the skeptics when in April 2014 the city switched its water source from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in an alleged effort to save money.
David Robert Mitchell’s recent horror film is a work of in-betweens, as straightforward yet mysterious as its title suggests. The premise: Moments after a turn in the backseat of her new boyfriend’s car, nineteen-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe) learns that she will now be the subject of pursuit by a rotating cast of slow-walking predators. To impress upon Jay the seriousness of the situation, her date, who calls himself Hugh, chloroforms her, binds her to a wheelchair, and stations her in the middle of a disused parking structure, while out of the dark stalks a pale naked woman.
Indeed, in light of economic downturns leading to greater divides between the privileged and working classes, Levine’s poetry only seems to increase in relevancy. Never has there been more urgency for, as Edward Hirsch noted in his essay “Naming the Lost: The Poetry of Philip Levine,” poetry that reflects “the stubborn will of the dispossessed to dig in and endure.”