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Today, 2018

Just Another Dead Black Girl


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Evans lays out a map into this region [between life and death... that haunted space where dreams reign]." And reading her collection again, I feel this even more, the way the poems work as a series, calling back and illuminating each other. It's true in the sense that the poems begin in the home (writing of it as a site of violence) and subtly makes a return at the end; th Evans lays out a map into this region [between life and death... that haunted space where dreams reign]." And reading her collection again, I feel this even more, the way the poems work as a series, calling back and illuminating each other. It's true in the sense that the poems begin in the home (writing of it as a site of violence) and subtly makes a return at the end; the shared language and themes. But there's also a broader way of reading that connectedness to her poems, which I'm still trying to work out after many readings - there's something about the way Evans forms the broader narrative through individual poems on narratives, fiction, dreams, fantasies. In the text there's the presence of the narratives that hurt her (societal fictions about family and the home; fictions of meritocracy and equal opportunity) and a furious effort to counter those narratives and replace them with a vision that reaches toward liberation (like in the lines: "Concept. Black is clean. Black is holy. Black has done more for this world than you ever will.") We can see the frustration she expresses as a writer and just someone trying to survive racial capitalism as resulting from the tension, the yawning gap, between the institutional fictions that are killing black girls and the life-affirming narratives that Evans is trying to put into words here.
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