Friday, December 6, 2013

Tony Lindsay Presents... Etheridge Knight

‘The Essential Etheridge Knight’ is a compilation of poems from the poet’s first three works. These poems demonstrate Knight’s immense talent which stems from his ability to place the reader in the visions of the poet. What Knight sees . . . the reader experiences.

                                  AS YOU LEAVE ME

                Shiny record albums scattered over

                 the living room floor, reflecting light

                my eyes as I watch you, squatting among the platters,

                the beer foam making mustaches on your lips.

And, too,

                                the shadows on your cheeks from your long lashes

                                fascinate me-almost as much as the dimples

                                in your cheeks, your arms, and your legs.


                                hum along with Mathis-how you Mathis!

                                 with his burnished hair and quicksilver voice that dances

                                among the stars and whirls through canyons

                                like windblown snow, sometimes I think that Mathis

                                could take you from me if you could be complete

                                without me. I glance at my watch. It is now time.

                                You rise,

                                silently, and to the bedroom and the paint;

                                on the lips red, on the eyes black,

                                and I lean in the doorway and smoke, and see you

grow old before my eyes, and smoke, why do you

chatter while you dress? and smile when you grab

your large leather purse? Don’t you know when you

leave me I walk to the window and watch you? And light

a reefer as I watch you? and I die as I watch you

disappear in the dark streets

to whistle and smile at the johns.

                 The ethos of a reader’s mind and heart are manipulated while reading Etheridge Knight. The poet shares dark pain and light joy evenly in the collection. Perhaps, a life lived as Knight lived his (imprisonment, addiction, divorce, homelessness) had no choice but to produce art of the heart and mind.
Tony Lindsay is an award-winning author and adjunct professor at Chicago State University. His book ONE DEAD DOCTOR was chosen by Conversations Book Club as one of its Top 100 Books of 2012. Lindsay was named Conversations Author of the Year 2012-2013.  His new book EMOTIONAL DRIPPINGS is available now on He can be reached at or on Facebook at

No comments:

Post a Comment