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Blood Verse

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When your grandma was a pistol-packing bootlegger around 18th and Vine, you don’t lack for credibility. Although Avila artist-in-residence Stanley E. Banks’ poetry often trips down the unkind streets of his childhood, a redemptive thread binds his lamentations. In “Carl,” Banks’ eulogy for a casualty of those streets, he tenderly considers the human aspect omitted by sensationalist news stories: In a photograph of him at age four/that his mother sleeps with/under her pillow/he has vanilla ice cream and snot/smeared from chin to forehead/while walking gently/with a load/in the seat/of his pants. Tonight at 7 at the Kansas City, Missouri, Central Library (14 West 10th Street) Banks presents the program “Dysfunctioning in the World as a Poet.” He says he encourages “dysfunctioning within dysfunction.” Dysfunction can manifest as rebellion — and in America, where racism lingers, somebody’s got to tell the truth.
Thu., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

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