Weekend Rumpus Roundup


To kick things off, Brandon Hicks offers us the hilarious illustrated life story of a “Born Failure.”

Then, National Poetry Month continues at The Rumpus. First, Amanda Deutch’s “Island Factory” uses couplets to tell a tragic story of immigrant labor in Long Island City. Then, Ashaki Jackson offers a powerful commentary on police violence in America in two poems, “A Deputy Chief Recommended Dismissal Long Ago” and “How It Happens.”

Meanwhile, Jay Deshpande is the subject of the Saturday Interview. K.T. Billey talks to the author about the process of writing his first poetry collection, Love the Stranger. Deshpande points out the natural instability of mortal life and the “immense eros” that writers discover in contacting the limits of poetic form. On the gratitude he has for publishing his work: “…I still look across the room [at my book] maybe once a day and go, ‘C’mon. You can’t be real.’”

And Allison Donahue reviews Larry Levis’s posthumous collection, The Darkening Trapeze, an “expansive” and “patient” book of poems that consider the reflective relationship between time and memory. Though this poet is no longer with us, his “heartbreaking” and “lyrical” work perpetuates.

Finally, in the Sunday Essay, Deborah A. Lott recounts the story of her relationship with an androgynous man named Ty whose confidence, originality, and sexual ambiguity both excited and challenged her. On one hand, Ty seemed to understand her better than other men, but on the other, he demonstrated all-too-familiar attitudes of misogyny. When they split, Lott is forced to accept a more comprehensive idea of gender.

Read more of Max Gray at Big City Sasquatch or follow him on Twitter @City_Sasquatch. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Encounters, Mount Hope, Conte, tNY.press, and English Kills Review. He co-hosts the etymology podcast Words For Dinner and is a graduate of the Rutgers-Newark MFA program. More from this author →