Julian T. Brolaski, Sky Hammer


Julian Talamantez Brolaski's Sky Hammer is a collection of poems that roves through Philadelphia streets and the heart of empire, seeking meaning and solace amidst the "trash and shit everywhere and the glory/and the beauty and the smashed yuengling bottles." What is the role of the poet in the glum wastes of urban detritus and deprivation? Brolaski, in its wisdom and spirit, finds that it might just be discerning "a purple martin from a starling/ a cowbird from a grackle," or perhaps living "in love w/ one another/ as long as the creeks should flow." Here is one of our finest poets finding the lightening slivers of liberation and succor in the shadows of all this horror, charting an Indigenous dérive of possible hope in the Lenapehoking.