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from Perennial Fashion Presence Falling by Fred Moten

we’re walking
an open diary.
which seems
like exercise
in parting,
is really
and incline,
a velvet
of approach
in approach
to write the
of our viewing
in the moment
and apply and
violently to
soften our eyes
as she applies
and softens
brightness and
shadow in
emulsion, grave
and fly in rough

sharing trembling
cusp in tending
unknown partners,
toward them
as we practice
saving differences
in quiet stride.
should we
take off
our shoes?
this mosaic
of fluid,
as we keep
turning cube
in continual
return of
leaving being
to scratch
and spin still
being stranger,

in that manner,
with those
lightly measured,
the sharpness
of these angles
lets us gently
ply the angles
of our turning,
almost trying
to get behind
the volume
of the room.
there’s warmth
there, where
they seem to
come from.
they are
angels, so
we join them.

About the Poet

Fred Moten - Featured Artist - Just Buffalo Literary Center - Photo Credit Kari Orvik
Fred Moten is a poet, essayist, and philosopher who has been writing and teaching for many years. He is a professor of performance studies and comparative literature at New York University whose main focuses and concerns are social movement, aesthetic experiment, and Black study.

Moten has written a number of books of poetry and criticism, including In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition (University of Minnesota Press, 2003); Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works, 2009); B. Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010); The Feel Trio (Letter Machine Editions, 2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the winner of the California Book Award; The Little Edges, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award (Wesleyan University Press, 2015); The Service Porch (Letter Machine Editions, 2016); Black and Blur: consent not to be a single being (Duke University Press, 2017); and All That Beauty (Letter Machine Editions, 2019).

His recent projects include a poetry collection, Perennial Fashion Presence Falling (Wave Books, 2023), a record album, Fred Moten/Brandon López/Gerald Cleaver (Reading Group Records, 2022), and an essay collection,All Incomplete (Minor Compositions, 2021), written with his long-time co-worker Stefano Harney.

He lives in New York City with his partner, Laura Harris, and their children, Lorenzo and Julian.

Photo credit: Kari Orvik

Related Event

    • Fred Moten (who will perform with critically-acclaimed double bassist Brandon Lopez), with Christina Vega-Westhoff along with an installation of work by artist Bree Gilliam at the next Just Buffalo Literary Center Silo City Reading Series event from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at Silo City (Marine A), 85 Silo City Row in Buffalo. Doors at 7:00 p.m. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Books of the featured poets are available for purchase from Fitz Books online and at the event.

The Poem of the Week feature is curated by literary legacy awardee R.D. Pohl.