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Starship Tahiti

Poems

Brandon Dean Lamson

Publication Year: 2013

The poems in Brandon Dean Lamson’s first volume, Starship Tahiti, explore imprisoned bodies and the tension between captivity and imagination. Beginning on Rikers Island, the book traces a creation myth in reverse, moving from prison to the spacious arches of Grand Central Station to the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Lamson examines themes of violence, gender, and identity in various real and imagined settings where inmates read Antigone, Howlin’ Wolf sings in a black barbershop, and Metallica records burn on a Viking altar. Throughout these shifts, the poems construct fractured narratives that subvert linear storytelling. The layering of voice and imagery in this collection transgresses boundaries between the secular and the sacred, and between the communal and the personal. As the speaker of “Portland Bardo” says, The fragile, in between state of larvae hatching is no less desirable than full bloom in a city of roses, if such a city can ever be found.

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Title Page, Copyright, Quote, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Black Dog, White Dog

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pp. 3-6

The Q101 Bus to Antigone

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p. 7-7

Pirate Ships

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p. 8-8

Prison Letters

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p. 9-9

Razor Dream Sonnet

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p. 10-10

Insomnia Sonnet

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p. 11-11

Exit Wounds – An Interlude

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pp. 12-13

Rose M. Singer

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pp. 14-15

Pit Bull Training

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p. 16-16

II

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pp. 17-18

Storming the Warehouse

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pp. 19-20

Evidence

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pp. 21-22

Buddha’s Robes

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pp. 23-24

White Power

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pp. 25-26

Finding Lola Savannah

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p. 27-27

Knights of Fidelity

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pp. 28-29

Mud Man Plays the Copenhagen Jazz Fest

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pp. 30-31

Portland Bardo

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pp. 32-34

III

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pp. 35-36

Rescue Divers

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pp. 37-38

Starship Tahiti

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p. 39-39

The Prophecy of Miss Branch

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p. 40-40

Crazy Horse & Bondage

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pp. 41-42

Dark Magus

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p. 43-43

Cannibal Headdress

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p. 44-44

Irises

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p. 45-45

Billie Holiday Sings at the Starlight Inn

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p. 46-46

IV

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pp. 47-48

Filming the Explosion

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pp. 49-50

Tropicana Drag

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p. 51-51

Sonar

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pp. 52-53

Psalm of Sambo

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pp. 54-55

Church Burning in Southern Maryland

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p. 56-56

Strange Fruit on Bourbon Street

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p. 57-57

Metallica Burns on the Altar of the Viking Rockstar

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pp. 58-60

’Bama Barbershop

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pp. 61-62

Notes

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pp. 63-64

Award, Back Cover

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pp. 65-BC


E-ISBN-13: 9781613762653
E-ISBN-10: 1613762658
Print-ISBN-13: 9781625340092
Print-ISBN-10: 1625340095

Page Count: 72
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Juniper Prize for Poetry
Series Editor Byline: n/a

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