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Featured Reader

Indigo Moor

Virtual Event on May 10th, 2022–6:00 P.M to 8:00 P.M.

Live stream will be available on our YouTube Channel at the time of the event!

Indigo Moor

Poet Laureate Emeritus of Sacramento, Indigo Moor’s fourth book of poetry Everybody’s Jonesin’ for Something, took second place in the University of Nebraska Press’ Backwater Prize. Jonesin’—a multi-genre work consisting of poetry, short fiction, memoir pieces, and stage plays—will be published in spring 2021. Through the Stonecutter’s Window, won Northwestern University Press’s Cave Canem prize. His first and third books, Tap-Root and In the Room of Thirsts & Hungers, were both parts of Main Street Rag’s Editor’s Select Poetry Series. Indigo is part of the visiting faculty for Dominican’s MFA program, teaching poetry and short fiction. His stageplay, Live! at the Excelsior, was a finalist for the Images Theatre Playwright Award. The subsequent screenplay was optioned as a full-length film.


It starts with red smoke acrylic, a floundering desire
to pull the plane out of the first tower like a finger

from a plum. Horsehair, heavy enough to brush
doubt into America, unmans each cockpit. If we

obscure the debris falling top left of the canvas,
we will never know deceit is our kissing cousin.

Pivot the easel. The first tower still crumbles,
but the second plays dodgeball and crouches.

Narratives don’t always belong to history’s victors.
A swollen flag dances Red & Blue across white sands.

When the painter’s brush heals smoke-tinged glass,
one last someone still loses their grip and leaps

from a window. If this is loss of innocence, what
do we tell the Blacks and Indians? Is there another

layer to this tableau, painted over in patriotic greys,
depending on pressure to make us all whole again?

A pale explosion rolls across the green-grey sky.
No. It’s a porcupine jutting quills of smoke and fire.

The second plane enters stage left of canvas. An aria
of witness coming face-to-face with its banshee scream.


Grandpa Daniel was in his late seventies. Yet still spry enough to climb
the tree in our backyard for figs. He insisted that the only man ever born
worth his salt was Martin Luther King Jr.

“I’d take a bullet for that man, yes I would,” he said, raining figs down
upon his grandson Michael, who raced around the tree beneath his
grandpa’s scrawny legs poking out of Bermuda shorts. Michael balanced
a large wicker basket on his head, always a foot away from where the figs hit.

When they shot the Reverend King, Grandpa Daniel was true to his
word. He lay down on his bed, deciding this was the bullet meant for him.

“Soon,” he told his daughter-in-law, Caroline, “the good Reverend will
wake up, and I will be a hero.” But days later, Grandpa Daniel was still
alive, and the Reverend was still very much dead. No less true to his word
than he was before the announcement of the funeral, Grandpa decided
that God hadn’t switched him and the Reverend because Grandpa hadn’t
proven how serious he was. So, Daniel, who had survived seven sit-ins,
six police dog attacks, and four hosing downs with water he claimed was
colder than Alaskan ice, dug a shallow grave in the backyard. He donned
his second-best dress suit—his best, he reasoned, he would wear at his
funeral—and lay down in the grave.

That night, it rained. Caroline, who had promised her late husband
that she would look after his dad, put an umbrella over the head of the
ditch. From his bedroom window, Michael could see his grandpa’s feet
sticking out from under his grey half-domeof a promise, his wool pants
sticking to his legs.