An excerpt from the essay “The Extraordinary Final Act of A Tribe Called Quest” by Nick Fox (fiction, ’09) in Waxwing:
The Extraordinary Final Act of A Tribe Called Quest
If you grew up on the sound of A Tribe Called Quest, you must have secretly hoped there would be one more album. Something, even if it was just a compilation of sorts, or a clearing of the vaults. But you had to believe that one day the group would find a way to clear out the bad air, walk back into the studio, and give us something we couldn’t see coming.
The years ticked off. Reunion tours and one-offs came and went, ending in statements that this was the last Tribe show. That’s a wrap. The group is done. Statements only to be followed by another tour, another show.
In March of 2016, news of the end came. Malik Taylor, better known as Phife Dawg, had passed away after a lifelong battle with diabetes. Without Phife, there was no Tribe. What they’d produced would be all there was, and there would be no final act. […continue reading here]
An excerpt from “In Plain Sight” by C. Dale Young, one of two poems appearing in Waxwing:
In Plain Sight
Alongside the twisting road to Erice, the cane fields
moved like water, the leaves and stalks bending
and rippling like water under the hand of the wind.
We had never seen sugarcane growing this way
except in the Caribbean; it had to be a mirage, a trick
of the imagination. But it was no trick, the cane
brought to Sicily by the Arabs in the Tenth Century.
Because Europe was sour, because it was addicted
to honey colonized by bacteria and its resulting toxins, […continue reading here]
An excerpt from the sonnet “Sonnet with Swan and Long Tall Sally,” by Robert Thomas (poetry, ’02), one of three sonnets published in The Yale Review:
Sonnet with Swan and Long Tall Sally
What if we’re the crux, the diamond lynchpin?
What if creatures in other galaxies
have a vague sense that something is missing,
but don’t know it’s Little Richard, Shakespeare,
and cornbread with plum jam? They have their songs,
but like the Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge, not
Exile on Main Street, or as if Monet
stopped painting before the water lilies; […continue reading here]
An excerpt from “Old Fools” by Francine Conley (poetry, ’14) published at Fogged Clarity:
You fool, I said, to not look me in the eye.
I used to wait for the serenade. Now I’m waiting
for some lover who takes pictures of himself
alone in his room
to notice, beck and call, to thicken
my milk. Some nights I go bustle my balling gown
from a gray gull closet, then wait to be asked to dance. But he’s too busy
taking pictures of himself to see me in the room,
disco ball bleating silver specks––I’m the smudge in the corner
by the keg clutching a restless flock of Grey-Lag geese,
the quick flighty types who hiss. Kiss me
and up we go. Then a six-foot drop
to the ground where we peck and doodle. Imagine the double dance I can do
with my geese, my orange beak and me. Wait a second. [….continue reading here]
Caroline Mar (poetry, ’13) has two poems, “Chinese Girl” and “Uniform,” in the recent Storyscape Journal. Here is an excerpt from “Chinese Girl”:
Bing bing. In the mouths of my Black students
my ethnicity is the sound of an elevator rising
past the floors of some anonymous downtown building
they will never set foot in. Our security guard,
also Black, uses Chinaman instead,
which I’m busily un-teaching
alongside the elevator’s ring.
My aunt was a teacher, too, called her boys
hak guai, as my grandmother called my mother
bok guai. Devils of two colors, but devils
nonetheless. And I was simply quai.
No Chinese family praises [….continue reading here]