• Address 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
«
»
readings & workshops
December 3

Ultimate Truth Poetry Reading and Book Release

readings & workshops
December 6

Heddy Keith author of Through it All

readings & workshops
December 9

Poetry Reading: Tonya M. Foster & Samiya Bashir

performances
December 10

Alternating Currents Live presents Nicole Mitchell Quartet

exhibitions
December 15 - Jan 28

Text, Textile, Exile: Works by Maria Damon

special events
January 27 -28

24th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Amaud Jamaul Johnson's first collection,Red Summer (Tupelo, 2006) was selected by Carl Phillips as winner of The Dorset Prize. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University and a graduate of the Cave Canem workshop, he holds degrees from Howard University and Cornell University. His poems have appeared, and or forthcoming in Quarterly West, Shenandoah, New England Review,The Virginia Quarterly Review, Indiana Review, and West Branch. He teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Selected Poems

Burlesque


Amaud Jamaul Johnson

 

Watch the fire undress him,
how flame fingers each button,
rolls back his collar, unzips him
without sweet talk or mystery.

See how the skin begins to gather
at his ankles, how it slips into
the embers, how it shimmers
beneath him, unshapen, iridescent,

as candlelight on a dark negligee.
Come, look at him, at all his goods,
how his whole body becomes song,
an aria of light, a psalm's kaleidoscope.

Listen as he lets loose an opus,
night's national anthem, the tune
you can't name, but can't stop humming.
There, he burns brilliant as a blue note.