On Landlords and Other Dispraises


End of the month, end of the world: same perpetrators, same fight.
—Gilets Jaunes protest slogan, cited in Andreas Malm, How to Blow Up a Pipeline

“Poets hate their landlords,” Sandra Simonds declares in “A Poem for Landlords.” [1] Like the rents we pay, this animus is non-negotiable, an “imperative” to loathe. “It,” she insists, “has no grammar.” Simonds blurs the referent—does “it” refer to the odium for landlords itself or the directive to despise them?—then equivocates on her absolutism. Allowing that “maybe” this hatred, or its imperative, “has a crude grammar,” crowbars open a deadbolted door into an American poetics of landlords and renters. Once inside, Simonds’s poem shines a harsh light on the complex matrix of economic, social, and domestic relations that defines the lives of the rent-paying poets during this dire historical juncture.

What does Simonds mean by a “grammar”? Is she using the term crudely, that is colloquially, as a set of rules to obey, with its classed, raced, and gendered norms of the proper, the correct, the socially acceptable, the taboo? Or is she speaking as a teacher, alluding to the building blocks of communication and meaning making? Or, as the poem enunciates ferociously, is Simonds speaking foremost as a mother, as the parent of a three-year old son and infant daughter for whom she embraces a corollary imperative to educate about property relations and to arm with a language to encounter, navigate, and resist their proprietary terms? Each of these subject positions and their discursive modes converge in the person of the renter, the one who pays and pays and pays, with her words and her wages, and, perhaps most of all, her precious time.


How does a “crude” grammar of property relations sound? Crude as in crass or crude as in elementary, or some combination thereof, featuring markers of style and intellect? And how does this grammar keep, withhold, or distort capitalist time? In Simonds’s “A Poem for Landlords,” as in a constellation of other poems and songs of landlords, renters, and rents, this grammar has a distinct temporality and an attendant, embodied affect. In Simonds’s words, the landlord poem is driven by a “seething contempt” that drums within the poet’s own heart. This poem is the dialectical opposite of a praise poem. It’s a dispraise poem. Or, if you wish, a hate poem.


It is the 4th of May, 1993, when Kill My Landlord, The Coup’s debut album, hits record store shelves. In twenty days, I turn seventeen with the good fortune not to have a landlord to fantasize finishing off. I live with my parents in a house they own in a small college town still fourteen years away from its total eclipse by the gun’s long shadow. It’s a year and change until I devour The Communist Manifesto on the bus ride to a soccer match. And it’s another twenty before my landlord’s son, our super, breaks into our apartment in the dead of night, bolting into our bedroom, demanding to touch our three-month old daughter. So, I don’t yet hold a grudge, grievance, or judgment—let alone a gun—for the landlords among us.


Simonds composes “A Poem for Landlords” on “the 5th of November, 2012.” Her antipoetic references to this date, in arch typographic fashion, bookend the poem. Her dispraise poem is thus also an occasional poem, or perhaps its dialectical opposition. This isn’t a poem created to celebrate a public occasion marked by fanfare. This one is mundane, monthly, but it can also be monumental for the cash-strapped renter. In those pre-Venmo days, when rent was due, it was time to put pen to paper. Simonds is in her car, writing her rent check in cursive, “which,” she admits, “is the last place / in the world in which I use cursive,” adding that this is “also the last place / I write checks.” These two anachronisms, one a form of writing, the other a material on which writing takes (monetary) form, underscore the idea that rent, as an economic form, is past due for extinction. With time out of joint, the poem depicts a simultaneous production: Simonds is writing her check and her poem at the same time. The first mode is defined by an antiquated formality, as cursive connotes. The second, Simonds’s poem, is characterized by conversational informality, culminating in the conclusion that she will publish the poem on her blog. Together, these two forms (check, poem) constitute the anti-lyric present of a landlord poetics.


Of Martín Espada’s many landlord poems, the most memorable, “Imagine the Angels of Bread,” [2] unfolds an anaphoric series of reversals of colonial and capitalist relations. The poem begins by envisioning the joyous overturning of the landlord’s command of the state’s policing power:

This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roofdeck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower[.]

Espada’s precise diction, sourced in his experience as a tenants’ rights lawyer, deploys the juridical tools of property owners against them. To evictlandlords is to usurp their capacity to deprive others of the basic right to shelter. And it’s not renters but squatters, the lowest of the low, those insurgents who rebel against the grammar of property relations, who, unlike the renter with her limited rights, have no legal claim to residence. Whereas Simonds’s vehicle is a symbol of mobility that rent-check writing renders immobile in the “parked car” of her landlord’s lot, Espada’s apartment building is a shape-shifting symbol of both stability and transience that his reversal converts to a magnificent ship, if one that retains colonial overtones.


Forty days after Simonds makes her poem while making her rent, our landlord’s son upends our lives. It is the 15th of December, 2012, the night after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Rent is often understood as an impersonal thing, a straightforward exchange of wages for windows. But it is often intimate, sweat-soaked. In many circumstances, separating property from family relations is impossible. Simonds implies that she must hand deliver her check, her older child waiting in his carseat, though this action remains offstage. We sent our handwritten checks for that Pacific Street apartment in Brooklyn to an address in Malibu, presumably overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes your landlord must look you in the eye. Other times, he remains offstage until he stalks you in your bed in the dead of night.

I have already written this landlord story. [3] It is long, absurd, disturbed. There was panic, fear, and trauma, but we remain solvent, and we’re all alive, our daughter most of all. Simonds claims that landlords and their threats “are all exactly the same.” Our experience of visceral terror in our bedroom may be the exception that proves the rule: if you’ve had one landlord you’ve had a dozen. “A Poem for Landlords” incorporates this tension between personal experience and political ideology. Simonds’s unflinching use of “hatred” is rhetorical, but it isn’t hyperbolic. Rather, her hatred is felt, theorized, considered. It’s a “sophisticated” hatred “in the manner of a Marxist,” yet also “unsophisticated” like a “juvenile delinquent.” As such, this hatred is both “abstract,” due to its futurity—rent’s due again in a month—and “concrete” because it’s “right here,” inside her body behind the wheel of a car. This bearing shouldn’t be mistaken for class resentment or wealth envy, as it often is in social forums and media representations of dissent against the superrich. It’s principled, intense, philosophical, unbending, enduring. It entails despising the whole apparatus that produces landlords and renters and, Simonds suggests, the flesh-and-blood person who cashes your check.


Fast forward. It is the 10th of June, 2023. I am also in the car, a daughter’s father DJ’ing a private Eras tour in lieu of writing a check to Ticketmaster. Eleven hours of Taylor Swift, seven from Philly to Blacksburg, then four more to sleepaway camp in North Carolina. Yesterday was our daughter’s last day of fourth grade, and we’ve yet to tell her of the threat that defined our first years of life together. At the end of the first verse of “I Forgot That You Existed,” [4] I catch Swift’s rapid-fire metaphor of landlords and renters. “Free rent, living in my mind” describes the rejected lover’s psychological state after a breakup, until a “magical” night arrives when she realizes, with wonderment, “I Forgot That You Existed.” Although the anthem of overcoming swallows this short staccato line, the locution serves as the song’s pivot from a state of helplessness to one of liberation. The idea seems simple, but it takes me some time to parse. You own your own mind. You are in effect its landlord so may rent it in exchange for something (love, affection, trust) unless, that is, you lose control of your power to extract payment and another person becomes the squatter in your head.

Working through this conceit, I find myself talking to the windshield. How would Swift, who’s worth $740 billion, know that rent is not a metaphor? It’s no accident that “A Poem for Landlords” eschews figurative language. For Simonds, rent is an economic relationship structuring all aspects of social, cultural, and domestic life. In contrast, the landlord, who her poem is for, remains primed for figuration. In “Puerto Rican Obituary,” Pedro Pietri combines what Simonds calls the abstract and concrete disgust for landlords with an incisive material and ideational matrix that entraps Puerto Ricans in a colonial relationship to the US. These conditions transcend human mortality, stretching to “the dead Puerto Ricans”

Who never took a coffee break
from the ten commandments
the landlords of their cracked skulls [5]

Pietri performs his poem in public for the first time, in December 1969, in the basement of the First Spanish United Methodist Church in Harlem, during a takeover by The Young Lords Party. It is at this juncture, after delivering minutes in what Urayoán Noel calls a “beat monotone,” [6] where Pietri’s volume rises. His triplicate all-caps KILL will later find expression in the hatred of Simonds and The Coup’s Boots Riley. Although this is the poem’s lone mention of landlords, this figure of the colonized mind, without autonomy, self-understanding, or self-rule, energizes the modes and moods of Pietri’s epic. Unlike Swift’s exes, who can be vanquished with time, spunk, and (white) girl power, the price of colonization is that the colonized person may never have the moment to forget that you—the colonizer—existed. The price of chasing the American Dream is you get a landlord in your skull that you must pay every single second.


I have been thinking towards a reframing of rent as a social relation, away from the insistence of landlords and their ideological servants in the media and political classes that rent is private, equitable, and inevitable. Simonds turns the private grief, turmoil, shame, and hatred of rent day into a public denunciation, an occasion for outrage, solidarity, uprising. This recasting of the occasional poem challenges the monumental quality of the virtuoso public performance, as if to suggest that making rent can be noteworthy, deserving of respect if not awe and praise. The poem’s desire for the abolition of rent extends the performative gusto of The Rent is Too Damn High Party, which gained some notoriety (though never office) in New York in the early 2000s. “A Poem for Landlords” ends with the poet recounting her son’s touching revelation at dinner about the boundaries of friendship. Her anger subsiding, she announces, “I will post this on my blog / immediately,” followed by a dateline, “It is Nov 5th, 2012.” Simonds posts her poem as a rent check would “post.” The latter vanishes into the landlord’s coffers, while the former becomes a public good theoretically accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Her blog-poem resists the commodity logic of literary property as well as the prestige networks of poetry publishing. Simonds favors instead wide circulation as a hopeful step toward the widely shared, potentially collective hatred bubbling up in renters everywhere.

It is on this molten ground that Simonds distinguishes unruly joy from bourgeois happiness. Espada’s image of “levitating hands in praise / of steam in the shower” distills joy’s elemental levity compared to orderly “happiness.” Simonds expresses what may surprise some readers: she hopes her children will never be “happy.” She associates happiness with contentment and complacency; joy, on the other hand, may find wellsprings in contempt for the status quo, so is more fleeting, provisional, surprising. Qualifying her points, she admits to having “so much hatred in my heart / for property and landlords / but not land or streams.” Unlike land and streams, private property is, to borrow the words of Wendy Trevino, “a cruel fiction”

[m]aintained by constant policing, violence
Always threatening a new map. It takes
Time, lots of people’s time, to organize
The world this way. & violence. It takes more
Violence. Violence no one can confuse for
Anything but violence. […] [7]

This violence is the tick-tock of capitalist time, the everyday harms necessary to reproduce property relations. As trenchant argument, Trevino’s idea embeds a dare: many regularly do confuse this violence for something else: order, rights, security, the good life. Likewise, Simonds implies, many confuse happiness for a social good, even one that resists norms of productivity and profit-making. It’s better understood as the disposition of the capitalist class’s ideal subject, who passively accepts the inequalities facilitating happiness for some, immiseration for others.

As if to reassure readers she’s not a monster who wishes her kids woe, Simonds repeats “I don’t mean it like that,” once for each child. This near apology transports me to Layli Long Soldier’s “38,” [8] where a deadpan phrase, when borrowed and adapted, captures the kinetic force of Simonds’s corrective: “the words ‘I don’t mean it like that’ click the gears of the poem into place.” This uneasiness about being misunderstood raises relieved laughter when I read it on Thanksgiving to family, friends, and near-strangers, some surely landlords. Simonds does want her kids to find joy; she imagines her daughter, years later, “walk[ing] in a forest.” But this hope lags the pride she will feel if her grown child harbors a “seething contempt.” She articulates this desire with a formal turn in diction and syntax of biblical proportions: “I will be proud of her for I shall know / she is my daughter.” I have yet to read a more precise evocation of my own latent pride in our daughter. This thought brings me joy, but it doesn’t make me happy.


It is the 4th of July, 2004. I read Allen Ginsberg’s “America” to my roommates, grad students in molecular biology. On a peeper-loud porch under white pines, I lay the first lines about money and time on thick: “America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing. / America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.” [9] Our landlord is a jeweler who makes sterling-silver flying-pig pendants. Around Thanksgiving, they feature in those thin column ads in The New Yorker, wedged between ads for Panama hats and wellness centers. That winter, I shredded a Robert Frost paperback in the fireplace when we ran out of newspaper. I learned, with ample effort, the mechanisms for mRNA transmission. My roommates learned, with little, that when a poet’s cold he may burn a book with an inscrutable glee.


The constellation of poems and songs I have assembled here is obsessed with time: dates, clocks, coffee breaks. “Today I paid my landlord,” Simonds begins, “at the last possible minute / on the last possible day / of the month.” She’s working with what she’s got, pushing capitalist time to its limits without challenging its basic turnings. In contrast, Pietri bends linear time, for otherwise it’s inconceivable to labor under conditions in which “They worked / ten days a week / and were only paid for five.” For his part, Espada conjures a perpetual present of possibility with the deictic this year. At first glance, Trevino departs from Espada’s visionary reversals. Yet each centers the provisional character of capitalist property relations and the borders of the nation-states that police them. The implication lands forcefully: because time can be conceived differently, it can be spent differently and thus reorganized according to other goals if enough people realize that time is one of the most potent weapons of class struggle.


For reasons that are only now coming clear, O.C.’s song “Time’s Up” [10] was for years after its release in October 1994 near the top of my playlist. O.C. laments hip hop’s commercialization even as he acknowledges the practical limits of an art-for-art’s sake view:

Of course, we gotta pay rent, so money connects
but I’d rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect.
It’s the principle of it. I get a rush when I bust
some dope lines I wrote that maybe somebody’ll quote[.]

I’m now the somebody quoting these lines because their sonics still pulse in my ears. Jab-punch monosyllables reverberate from the first line’s “rent”: broke, lot, get, rush, bust, some, dope, lines, wrote, quote. These words are generated from the sound, sense, and concept of rent. Rent from “rent,” they spin out a wind-rush of words related to money and writing. Contrasting these monosyllables, the iambic near-rhyme “connects” / “respect” demonstrates the subtle knowledge that money is instrumental, a means of exchange and sociality, rather than an end, or a social good, on its own. I often forget which figure of speech is correct, that money is time or time is money. Listening to “Time’s Up,” I recall that money and time are seductive, all-encompassing fictions. To resist their magnetism, you must disrespect their authority and allure, the “rush” they provide when for a moment you seem to command them. But first, you gotta pay rent.


I am often told that my reading, listening, and viewing preferences run to dark. I’d say they’re tearful, tempest-tossed, timeful. The poems and songs, occasional and otherwise, which I have gathered here mark time. But some of these poems also (un)make time and in (un)making time show how time is elastic, alive. They reveal how it turns. And when it seems to stop. In Myriam Gurba’s Mean,mean is a time. [11] Greenwich Mean Time sets a standard time for world affairs. In the meantime, that pliable phrase of delay, denotes an interlude between notable events, occasions, or times. In Mean, meantime is the colonizing time of men’s plunder, as well as the counter-time of the “mean girl” orchestrating Gurba’s righteous, sometime joyous, always dangerous, challenges to the violence of men and the patriarchy. For Gurba, time, in the aftermath of a traumatic event, ticks inside a pressurized bomb:

Some of us use death to tell time.

Some of us use life to tell time.

Some of us use Jesus to tell time.


Some of us use metronomes to tell time.

Some of us use baseball bats as metronomes.

Some of us use rape to tell time.


Some of us use oil portraits to tell time.

Some of us use bullet holes to tell time.

Some of us use grandparents to tell time.

This passage’s turn from Gurba’s marvelously defiant prose to tender lyric showcases how verse “tells time.” Gurba’s paired rhetorical devices—the anaphora “some of us use” and the epiphora “to tell time”—create a claustrophobic chant that squeezes the freighted nouns between them: death, life, Jesus, metronomes, rape, portraits, bullets, grandparents. While the anaphora’s sibilance speeds the beginning of lines, which slip quickly into their nouns, the plosive stops of the t sounds in the epiphora slow the lines to a halt. Time moves fluidly, even swiftly, but then it slows, stops, and you find yourself in a different time. The anaphora and the epiphora are the before and after periods of an event—a death, rape, or shooting—that causes time to stand still.


Poems for public occasions rarely voice embodied vulnerability and ill-mannered contempt, and with candid, humorous disavowals of decorum, as Gurba’s Mean and Simonds’s “A Poem for Landlords” manage. Chasing solemnity and gravity along a teleological arc, occasional poems such as Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” grasp for a flexible articulation of what Jorie Graham calls “the / artifice us.” [12] Sixty years before Gorman’s inaugural reading, Frost read “The Gift Outright” at another president’s inauguration. Three years later, JFK would be shot dead in a car in Dallas. Last month, Gorman’s book was banned from a South Florida school district under the anti-woke demand of some Proud Boy parent, even though her homage to struggle and triumph lands well shy of Simonds’s radical anger. If “The Hill We Climb” is a poem for “us” in praising of “our” climbing, “A Poem for Landlords” is a poem of private grief seeking collective mourning. Of personal hatred gathering collective rage. Of individual struggle that is invariably structural and always with a shared class enemy to confront.


It is the 21st of June, 2023. On this summer solstice I learn that the rhetorical device epiphora shares a name with a clinical condition. Epiphora, Wikipedia reports, is “an overflow of tears onto the face, other than caused by normal crying.” What the hell is normal crying? As far as I can gather, it is called-for crying, when life’s wrong turns cause it, when you’re moved to tears by sadness, fear, grief, rage, joy, or any emotion that overwhelms the capacity for restraint. Epiphora is not a state of out-of-control crying but one in which the tears your eyes regularly produce to keep them from dying out “drain down the face rather than through the nasolacrimal system.” What is meant to flow inward, getting reincorporated into your body’s systems, becomes a visible manifestation of a complex internal process. Sometimes a poem redirects time, energy, desire, and pain outward rather than inward. Sometimes a poem can mark an occasion of agony, individual and collective, by reversing and making manifest the flow of tears.

It is the 17th of April, 2007, one day after the mass shooting that upended my hometown, my old university, the lives of many I knew and so many I never would. When Nikki Giovanni delivers “We Are Virginia Tech” at Cassell Coliseum, I am living in Brooklyn so watch on a small screen the poet who wrote poems of seething contempt in the Sixties. I am now, like so many others in so many unevenly distributed ways, a resident of the epiphora, the after this, the time that tells us stop. Like the first-person plural in Gurba’s Mean, Giovanni’s “we” is no “artifice us.” It’s a people bound by a man and a gun. So many of us must use mass shootings to tell time. Too few of us use mass shootings to tell time. Which does not mean: Too few of us use the gun.


Gurba and Giovanni answer a brutal question: how does one compose a public response to rape or mass murder? The Anglo-American tradition canonizes rape (The Waste Land) and genocide (“The Gift Outright”) poems, not to mention Thomas Jefferson. Yeats’s “Leda and the Swan,” an occasional poem for a mythical rape, is exhibit A of a “Bad Touch Example,” to borrow the title of Company Flow’s 1995 rap. In this context, Gurba’s Mean offers an unrelenting critique, with gallows humor and seething contempt, of the culture that sustains, even celebrates, sexual violence as foundational, like property relations, to its ideals. Patricia Lockwood’s “Rape Joke” likewise reckons with the temporality of enduring, surviving, and living with a rape: “The rape joke is that time is different, becomes more horrible and more habitable, and accommodates your need to go deeper into it.” [13] Gurba, Lockwood, and Simonds know that a “good” joke is all about timing. Their humor unsettles, discomforts, and rearranges the dynamics between victims and perpetrators. They seize the power to tell time—time which becomes both “more horrible and more habitable” through the victim’s counter-penetration of it—from rapists and their apologists.

I know I’m running the risk of conflating types of violence, some of which may not look like violence (rent) and some of which, pace Trevino, “no one can confuse for / Anything but.” But confuse it plenty do, for property, family, safety, the holy. And for many on the right, the violence is precisely what they find funny and, it’s becoming clear, what makes them happy.


The “imperative” for poets to hate their landlords ignores the poets who are landlords. Simonds knows this fact; she lets readers ponder why. The clue, again, is time. Nearing the end of “A Poem for Landlords,” Simonds comments, “I am writing this so quickly.” A handful of lines later, she adds, “I am writing this so fast.” In such self-reflexive moments, this refers to the poem and the check. She writes rapidly for material and literary reasons. There’s a domestic economy to run: breastfeeding, cooking dinner, cleaning the (landlord’s) house. Although she doesn’t express it directly, Simonds also longs for poems to be as urgent and essential as rent checks. Simonds’s poem thereby corners poet-landlords into the serial production of poems and check deposits governed by self-hatred, self-loathing, and self-contempt. Or, bad poems by bad people.


I am not a landlord, but after a baker’s dozen landlords, I become a property owner shortly after I turn forty. In the summer of 2016, my partner and I buy a bungalow. In the summer of 2020, we use our equity to buy a bigger house, the pandemic making us conclude we’ll never move again. Then, in the summer of 2022, we use the equity from that one and the one before to buy a twin in West Philly, where I hope this chain of buying and selling will end. Owning a house doesn’t make me happy, nor does it give me joy. What it does provide for my partner, our daughter, and me is stability and a breathing space, minus the menace of a landlord who may materialize in your bedroom in the middle of the night with a threat that you must face until the end of time.


It is the 24th of May, 2022, my forty-sixth birthday. We’re strolling home from an end-of-year elementary school picnic when we learn about the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. My epiphora comes hard and fast. Dear god, it does. Nearly a year later I see Deborah Paredez read “Uvalde Shooting Highlights Role of Doors in Security Plans.” [14] Each of her sestina’s six end words is “door.” The epiphora roars. For some of us time stops when a door rips open and a man rushes in frantic as a man fleeing a fire. But the fire is inside him and soon it will smolder within everyone he burns with his bad touch. Epiphora is this repeating door. Epiphora is a descending hall of doors where normal crying ceases. A public, overflowing, unruly, choral cry is required. The gun is our landlord and we’re all paying rent. But we never know when it will come due, how much it will cost, and whether we will pay with our blood or our tears.


It is the 21st of June, 2023.

I am sipping a Timothy Taylor Landlord ale in an Airbnb in the north of England.

My partner and I write while rain thrums the skylights. When it slows, we walk the moors.

Our daughter is at summer camp. Her grandmother sends pics of her letters. I spit the name Anders Brevik from the back of my throat.

Some of us use summer to tell time.

This is the year of the forest fires. This is the year of the mass shootings.

America I’ve given you my seething contempt and now I’m ducking.

This is the year I love my students, in their coffins of debt wearing their suits of armor, more than ever. I love their depressions and fed-up excuses, their solid and mushy words to each other.

Jorie Graham: “we have gone into another story.” [15]

Beneath the front doors of my daughter’s school, “Ripples of Hope,” by Kwame Dawes and a dozen or so children, moved in sparkling mosaic waves across a mural.

Some of us use poems to measure the mornings.

Some of us use equity to count the years.

Some of us have two hands, the hour and the minute.

Some of us have one, the second wrapping and dragging our wrists through the streets.

Some of us tell time in thirty-year spans.

This is the year of the timelord, the landlord who demands tributes of your hours.

Some of us ride ripples of hope. Some of us smooth them out. Some of us pull the plug.

Some of us believe that time’s up, that it’s high time to forget that you, whoever you are, existed.

Then, perhaps, a joyous grammar will rise from all the abandoned cars in all the parking lots where all the rents were extracted.

It is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.


[1] Simonds, Sandra. “A Poem for Landlords.”Pinwheel. Spring 2013. https://pinwheeljournal.com/poets/sandra-simonds/

[2] Espada, Martín. “Imagine the Angels of Bread.” 1996. Mass Poetry. https://masspoetry.org/espada/

[3] Dowdy, Michael. “The Night After Newtown.” Waccamaw. Fall 2019. http://waccamawjournal.com/nonfiction/the-night-after-newtown/

[4] Swift, Taylor. “I Forgot That You Existed.” Lover. Republic Records. 2019.

[5] Pietri, Pedro. “Puerto Rican Obituary.” 1973. Monthly Review. June 2004. https://monthlyreview.org/2004/06/01/puerto-rican-obituary/

[6] Noel, Urayoán. In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam. University of Iowa Press. 2014.

[7] Trevino, Wendy. “from ‘Brazilian is Not a Race.’” The Poetry Project. March 2019. https://www.poetryproject.org/library/poems-texts/brazilian-is-not-a-race

[8] Long Soldier, Layli. “38.” On Being. March 2017. https://onbeing.org/poetry/38/

[9] Ginsberg, Allen. “America.” 1956. Poetry Foundation. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49305/america-56d22b41f119f

[10] O.C. “Time’s Up.” Word…Life. Wild Pitch Records. 1994.

[11] Gurba, Myriam. Mean. Coffee House Press. 2017.

[12] Graham, Jorie. “My Skin Is.” Runaway. Carcanet. 2020.

[13] Lockwood, Patricia. “Rape Joke.” The Awl. July 2013. https://www.theawl.com/2013/07/patricia-lockwood-rape-joke/

[14] Paredez, Deborah. “Uvalde Shooting Highlights Role of Doors in Security Plans. Poets.org. 2022. https://poets.org/poem/uvalde-shooting-highlights-role-doors-security-plans

[15] Graham, Jorie. “Tree.” Runaway. Carcanet. 2020.

Michael Dowdy’s book of lyric essays on fathering in anxious times will be published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2025. His previous books include Urbilly (Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award), Broken Souths (University of Arizona Press), and, as co-editor with Claudia Rankine, Poetics of Social Engagement (Wesleyan University Press). Recent work has appeared in Appalachian Review, Chicago Review, Miracle Monocle, and Poetry. He lives in Philadelphia and teaches Latinx literature at Villanova University. For more information, please visit www.michael-dowdy.com.