• 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
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readings & workshops
July 6

Poetry Reading: Derrick Harriell

readings & workshops
July 11

Offsite Reading: Poetry In the Park

special events
July 11 -21

CLOSED for Inventory

readings & workshops
Jul 6 Thursday, July 6
7:00pm, FREE

Join us as Derrick Harriell reads from his latest collection, Stripper in Wonderland (Louisiana State University Press, 2017).

 

Derrick Harriell was born and raised in Milwaukee, and completed a PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He is the director of the Master of Fine Arts-Creative Writing Program and assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at the University of Mississippi. He’s the author of three collections of poetry: Cotton (Aquarius Press-Willow Books, 2010), Ropes, (Aquarius Press-Willow Books, 2013), and Stripper in Wonderland (Louisiana State University Press, 2017). His essays and book reviews have been published widely.


The Investment Banker Stumbles into a Vegas Strip Club

 

pumped on too many / Mollys / too many / dead

lines / too many / nose blown

superlatives / salute / the morals / integrity /

the hedge funds / the benefits / beneficiaries / bonds / blondes

adorn Vegas boys / we all die ugly

in empty caskets / we all die and sign off

souls to men / women / children we barely know / take

what’s reaped / what Harvard Wall Street afforded you

grim reaper / Candy Land Alexander / vanquisher

and ventriloquist / you got this / it’s yours

like the Ackermann deal / yours / like the wretched tie

lights you / a tier below / rappers / atmospheres above

teachers / your hand raised / trophy clench

Grey Goose / glows / fiancé belly like /

platinum rapper like / you know all the words /

all the words / all the worlds

backdrop this pageant / and beauty bangs

your brain pulsar / like that time

you stumble out your last one

 

-As appeared in The Louisville Review, Spring 2016

 

 

Sunday

 

and declared to be the Son of God with power,

according to the spirit of holiness,

by the resurrection from the dead

—romans 1:4

 

I’d only planned to observe / get in and out

anthropologic like / find bones and buried

blood of past violent moons / rehash

narrowly escaped burials / anatomy

salvaging politicking and midnight alley fleeing

to create a past moment from a future rendition

of a coward’s embellishment / like the way

I’m full of shit when I hand to God swear

that night in that yard that bullet almost ruined

this crown / the way we’re full of shit

when we hand to God swear

those threats from them boys that summer

didn’t have us shook / you know

teaching college English only saves you

when you’re teaching college English

but when you’re playing tourist to a ruined colony

you may find yourself negotiating for life /

so when a body devoid of bullets ta-da poofs

glowing silhouette of mystification ghetto strolls

an interruption of nostalgic hyperbole

the fucking exact face you fed cereal to

you like to believe you’ve crossed over /

because you cried a funeral at that funeral

watched him lowered deep / clinched

an almost perished tulip like the born again end

of an almost buried hand

 

-As appeared in Memorious, Summer 2016, Issue 26

 

 

Monday

 

he’s been on the wagon

for a moment sane we celebrate /

no cheers or toast or mention of being off /

we remember the relapse / the way

the diseased body does this Parkinson’s thing /

like the time it took a whole song to land

that bottle to his mouth / he amends

for moments at his bedside / times we awaited

the call / funerals I nightmared into

a eulogy speech almost memorized / we celebrate

this miracle of moment and wagon

until he’s agony flushed in forgiveness

overcome with cure

 

-As appeared in Memorious, Summer 2016, Issue 26