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Poem of the Week by Douglas Kearney

(for Deshawn, Eric, Dallas, Jerome & Lerone) By Douglas Kearney We brown boys play stick games, say nicknames like BIG D, EVIL E; and conjure Knievel with jigsawed dirt bikes and sewer curbs for asphalt launch pads. We all sweat to know flight for just a minute. We brown boys, hair all knaps, wear ballcaps’ broken brims. Broken rims from hungry slamdunks, pro-ball pipe dreams over ice cream man’s “Pop Goes the Weasel.” We all hunt change from cords’, Bermudas and mamas. We brown boys – smack talking slap boxing – stay bragging and bagging, drinking summer from hoses and water bomb barrages. We throw rocks at garages making no dents. We all just trying to leave a mark. Poet, performer and librettist DOUGLAS KEARNEY will read from his work at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the University at Buffalo Poetry Collection, 420 Capen Hall on the UB North Campus and again at 8 p.m. at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. He is the author of three full-length poetry collections widely praised for their “performative typography” and their cross-cultural thematic concerns: “Fear, Some” (Red Hen Press, 2006), “The Black Automaton” (National Poetry Series Selection, Fence Books, 2009) and “Patter” (Red Hen Press, 2014). This poem originally appeared in his debut collection “Fear, Some.”