August 21-28, 2017: Poetry from Eric Evans and Michael Chin

​Eric Evans and Michael Chin

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​Eric Evans
inkpublications@macadia.net

Bio (auto)

Eric Evans is a writer from Buffalo, New York with stops in Portland, Oregon and Rochester, New York where he currently resides. His work has appeared in Steel Bellow, Decades Review, Dead Snakes, decomP magazinE, Red River Review, Posey, Xenith Magazine, Anobium Literary Magazine,, Pemmican Press, Remark and many other publications and anthologies. He has published eight full collections and three broadsides through his own small press, Ink Publications, in addition to a broadside through Lucid Moon Press. He is also the co-editor of The Bond Street Review.

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by ​Eric Evans and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Your Own Better Demise

Death, I’ve been told, does not
make and angel of an asshole,
does not confer wings and a halo,
does not with certitude lead to
flowing white robes and keys to
the kingdom.
 
Death does not unclench
a fist or retract such barbed words,
does not refund weekly therapists’
rates or refill sleepless nights
with blissful slumber, does not
offer absolution, absolute or
otherwise.
 
Death, I’ve been told does not
make an angel of an asshole,
does not qualify what’s come before,
does not provide convenient context.
The secretly and guiltily wished-for
death does, however, offer relief and
release, fuel and fire, motivation
for your own better demise and
the words that will inevitably
follow, tales told of off-color
jokes and unfinished rants, rather
than a skeletal poker game played
with stacks of unused prayer cards
and penny-ante pots hardly worth
anyone’s time or attention.

 



Michael Chin
miketchin@gmail.com

Bio (auto)

Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and is an alum of Oregon State’s MFA Program. He won Bayou Magazine’s Jim Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and has work published or forthcoming in journals including The Normal School, Passages North, and Hobart. He is the author of Three-Way Dance, and works as a contributing editor for Moss. Find him online at miketchin.com or follow him on Twitter @miketchin

The following work is Copyright © 2017, and owned by Michael Chin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Movie

I was part of a team once, charged with picking a film to spark discussion about diversity. Folks floated Crash and Zootopia and Malcolm X. I suggested White Men Can’t Jump.
 
They laughed like I was joking.
 
Terrence, who had been a high school basketball player, who had dunked, who had dominated a handful of department pickup games after hours raised an eyebrow. “My people don’t have much. You don’t want to let us have dunking?”
 
I tried to explain. That Woody Harrelson’s character in the movie represented the best and worst of white people—ignorant, sure, but striving to learn and you’d be hard pressed to find a more level-headed film with people talking candidly about race in real ways. Little evangelizing. The kind of movie people could watch and not feel like they’d been lectured to. And there’s that scene—that eponymous, climactic scene in which Woody has the world in his hands but his idiot white male pride (not to mention his gambling addiction) make him bet his life savings on whether he can dunk. Wesley Snipes tells him in no uncertain terms, “White men can’t jump.”
 
Woody gets a running start to try one last time.
 
The dunk is a metaphor, I tried to articulate, for everything we can’t do or understand or communicate.
 
Terrence spun his ballpoint over the knuckle of his index finger. I’d seen him extend that index fingers straight and spin a ball on top of it. Knew that if he sided with me, my half-baked idea would get some traction.
 
We watched Crash.