Poems by CooXooEii Black
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If history leaves an impression, then to be born in an Indigenous nation is to figure out how the residual effects are at play today while simultaneously seeing how your hand fits into the “impression.” CooXooEii Black has begun to think of history as being “nested.” His history, his tribe’s history, and his family’s history are all nested into one, all becoming my personal history. Dr. Emily Skaja’s nested poem project laid the foundation for this chapbook. She asked CooXooEii to peel back the veil from his obsessions and name them—she challenged him to see how his poems fit together like a Russian nesting doll. He grew up with six uncles who took on the role of father figures; you’d think their life stories are tales of legend. So he took all six of his uncles and “nested” them into one character. What ensued were poems that straddle the intersection of truth and myth-making. This collection is about childhood and maturation; about the reservation and land; about an uncle who becomes a teacher; about wrestling with identity and faith; about impressions.
From the Author
I’ve always been interested in emotionally compelling stories, whether it was music, movies, or tv. I constantly got into trouble in elementary school for telling stories, singing songs, and acting. Then in high school, I watched a spoken word video, and for the first time, I found a medium that incorporated everything I love to do. So I put a few images down on a page, and I haven’t stopped since. Because it was God, who gave me the ability to write, I daily return it to Him as a form of worship.
• “The Morning You Saw a Train of Stars Streaking Across the Sky” in Rattle (online)
• “My Uncle Asked” in Rattle (online)
• “My Uncle Teaches Me About Prayer” in Rattle (online)
About the Author
CooXooEii Black is an Afro-Indigenous writer and a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. He is an MFA creative writing candidate at the University of Memphis and a poetry reader for The Pinch Journal. His poetry has appeared in Eco Theo Review, Palette Poetry, and Carve Magazine. His creative nonfiction has appeared in The Tusculum Review.
Cover art by John Isaiah Pepion
Cover price: $6.00
Chapbook: 36 pages
Size: 6″ x 9″