B. And I dare you to type his name at the beginning of a sentence and press return because due to the nature of Jordan’s name your word processor will most likely predict the formatting you see here.
C. Which is a little inappropriate and entirely wrong.
D. But there you have it, Van. Even Your Name has stirred a poetic form.
If Americans are getting dumber and not reading, then they’re certainly not reading poetry. And I can’t think of a medium more appropriate for American’s short attention span. In the hands of a good poet, a couple of lines, a few stanzas are all you need for a hell of a story.
I fucking love poetry. And I love A. Van Jordan’s. B. It’s good. He is the best kind of poet, distilling wisdom & observation into beautiful language. Another definition for poetry I know not.
In his perfectly titled most recent collection, Quantum Lyrics, Jordan is a great storyteller, combining Albert Einstein and physics, The Atom and comic book heroes, love and romance, and race and racism into poignant poems that are both personal and universal, concrete and abstract. Despite traversing such varied, disparate themes as science, racism, music, and love, Jordan achieves cohesion in his creative, imaginative prose; his poetry.
It is a joyous thrill to be along for the linguistic ride and daring formalistic adventure. Jordan uses the language of screenplays and films to inform his poems. He starts poems with smash cuts, using “CUT TO:”
“Everything we do in life comes down to experiments/with love and curiosities. Lives should be experienced as two children masquerading as adults. Although the public reads the work of scientists and poets, this they don’t understand.”
There are poems of dialogue and slug lines of description with dates and times setting the scenes of his work.
“How revolutionary an act - /for saying, simply, what’s complicated/about love and war. An elegant equation/can sum it up in a few factors,/but no one can do the math.”
“Working an equation is as tedious as a comedian/working a room, timing when to drop/the solution to our worries so profoundly we rear back/and laugh at them. Or, for those without/a sense of humor, math can be as simple as buttoning/a blouse, really: after you misfeed the first button,/though, every move of the hand, no matter how sincere,/becomes a lie.”
It’s all right here.
Life is long division and A. Van Jordan is doing the math with poetry, adding it all up on his fingers and his toes and everything else he needs.
And thank god.
eBook Quantum Lyrics