A poetry review of ” Strangers, A Collection Of Poems By André Richardson Hogan II”

 

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By: Austin Winter-Chase

To just say that poet André Richardson Hogan II poems  are raw and edgy is to say that Michelangelo was good at drawing.

André Richardson Hogan II was born in 1978 in Chicago. He is a playwright, screenwriter, poet, essayist, visual artist, and theater critic. His plays have received stage readings and productions in numerous theaters which include the American Theater Company, Blackboard Reading Series, Black Ensemble Theater, Chicago Dramatists, Dramatists Personae, the Field Museum of Natural History, Magnified Gift Theater and Dance Company, Negro Ensemble Company, Nommo PlayLab, Prop Thtr, and Red Harlem Readers. The Chicago Chronicles, Volume 1, a docudrama of Logan Square residents, was produced as a commissioned work for American Theater Company. An Ode to the Washermen, a short work in one act, was produced by Negro Ensemble Company in association with the Midwest International Theater Festival (NYC) in the summer of 2010. It was also nominated for Outstanding Production of a Short Subject. Several poems have been published such as in Many Mountains Moving and Segue. Strangers, a collection of poetry, was published by Xlibris in 2009. Sugar for Coffee, a full length drama, was produced and presented by Blue Collar Theater Company in June of 2012. Hogan is currently a writer for an upcoming documentary, produced by Driven Entertainment and Four Features. In 2001, Hogan received a B.F.A. in Liberal Arts from Columbia College, Chicago. He was a resident playwright at Magnified Gift Theater and Dance Company and Timber Lake Playhouse Playwrights Colony in Mt. Carroll, IL., and is currently a member of Da’Right Productions, Driven Entertainment, Four Features, and Nommo Play Lab.

André Richardson Hogan II goes far beyond the tangible to the unseen hidden wounds of humanity. Yes, his work is raw and edgy,  but that is what makes his work so profound.  The Poems  in ” Strangers,  a collection of poems by André Richardson Hogan II”  are not  conduits to  accomplish a feel good sensation; they are gateways to the dark side of emotions. Which are to make people think, react, scream, but these poems certainly do not allow the observer to do nothing!  They are made to feel as if each word  was alive with electricity continuing to  shock  the observer into seeing what is real and what is not. It is a work that is designed to make people break out of their complacency and strive for something more. Whether it is  hope, faith, or love.   André Richardson Hogan II  is a phenomenal artist and poet, in  which his words transcend all boundaries of culture to get to the very heartbeat of society. He resides at Hyde Park in Chicago. Enjoy the selection of poems from ” Strangers,  a collection of poems by André Richardson Hogan II”.

Journal Entries: in Haiku

I

Cool! My first haiku,
after buying Jill and fish
Just blessed of this wish.

II

You won’t think it’s wrong
if I were to sing your song
… and still tag along.

III

Don’t know if it’s true
if I am to live for you.
Still? I’d fuck with you.

IV

I’m sick of this shit.
Gittin’ a job and then quit.
The fuck he’d be on?

V

Don’t know where he went
but done stole my doe and left
Ain’t shit but this lint.

VI

Watching his hand raise,
giving the Almighty praise;
and rage I, too, pray.

VII

That’s not what I mean
when I told you that it seems
that you are not clean.

VIII

for poets, or who I’m ‘bout to chew, who think they know it

J.B., hear ye. It
costs being posh – or of
hogwash, in your case.

IX

Eventually,
I move to get me some air.
Problem is, you don’t.

X

the victims of Hurricane Katrina

They danced in the wind:
clothes, chairs, what’s left of the hair
and over again.

XI

I could be the best
that you expect me to be,
and if you’ll let me.

Morning Routine

With the water that
scattered,
and in the cracks that
gathered,
her pants,
pulled down
(and the police around!),
she wa’n’t supposed to be out there
pissing.

Nothing new.

She knew.

Maybe it was because some guy she was
tired of missing.

She had to drink just so it could help
her think as to why
– with all she helped ‘em buy,
bus fare to go somewhere,
a place to sleep after that foot he had
deep up his ass,
since not payin’ the rent was of a time that’s
his last;
and child support;
another to abort;
and that trance she was in as she gave in for
him to come in before he
came in – that out
the blue:

“I don’t wanna be with you.”

And at an instant
did she go someplace distant:
her friend’s:
who told her,

wiping her face,
that he wa’n’t no good in the first place!

Offered her a bed;
collard greens, neck bones,
cornbread.

Had nuthin’ to drink, except for some
beer.
Shh, with a window she’d sat near,
ol’ girl needed to think.

And she helped herself,
found a song she ain’t heard in so long on the shelf.

All drunk,
but thunk.

Musty,
crusty.

All that funk.

And sunk in that bed, laid like
she was dead. But

no more was the man who not only did she
stand but plan to wed.

Naw…

with the water scattered,
the cracks that gathered
her pants,
pulled up,
showing a bit (all on the back of her shorts and shit) of splatter:
with them trippin’ them po-po’s,
she know that she wa’n’t supposed to be out there pissing.

But who she was tired of missin’,
always thought about,
talked about,
who she now pissed out?

It was just the beginning.

“Shh, I’ll git up,” she said,
pulling her shit up.
“I’ll go.”

Least I think so.

 

Stranger

Vines mound of high,
or the hair,
intestinal;

lines round her eyes,
as she stared,
subtextual,

walking with a friend,
exasperated in “going through this shit
again,” she
exacerbated a plan that’ll do – “cuz I’m tired of you” –
some hurt,
and as she tugged on her black bleached shirt,

torn.

And I wondered how she looked when she
was born.

I don’t know.

Mama told me to quit walking slow.

First Thing

for Meco

He probably went as far as high school, but not to
say he a fool,
especially if you’re someone who he’d catch on
the street –
ask if you need a dub, kick it at this club,
grab something to eat, I mean,
the brotha’s cool.

Even if he ain’t a security guard, he could only
be hard when he want to be.

Don’t matter if your child need something for
her hair,
brakes and batteries for that old ass chair,
and how upset your child will be as far as her check
(or what you would hold until she
starts to unfold):

Just sign, he’d say. If you’d be so kind.
Before you leave, would the humble counter plea,
the pass behind.

(The break room was down the hall on the right, and
always were posters of protest, ordering
to both look and clean their best.)

Known him for a couple of years —
think, like, three.
Argued a few times,
but wa’n’t a matter of time before he’d
leave those things be.

Unlike, aside from me,
a manager who’s into business who thinks he’s business since
he’s a manager
(rounds and routine meticulous,
vertigo);
and his baby mama,
given her distractions and spit snatch blood contractions

and yet…
as husky and mellow and local,
as deep, the vocal, like hotcakes and sausage smelling daddy’s
coffee on Saturday morning,
he would kiss and hug both his
girls and boy,
before he come and sit,
poised.

However furious; the faintest
of ray,
he will await the orders,
and rise
— professional or otherwise —
of the day.

 

Excerpts from” Strangers, a collection of poems by André Richardson Hogan II”

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