Rhys Langston

“Language Arts Unit: A Rap Text Book,” by Rhys Langston Podell, is an interactive album comprised of music, video, and audio poetry as well as poetry and essay in print. Visit Langstonia for the full album. (See also Youtube; story at Tablet.)

Rhys Langston writes:

I am made to be reminded I am or am on the color line, the can in “can pass.” (I am the second son of two adjacent relayers in an oppression olympics. My (ad)mix(ture) is a great punchline or a point of analysis in postcolonial, comparative race research: eastern European Jews fleeing pogroms land at Ellis Island adjoin Louisiana sharecropping descendants of those enslaved and raped for free labor. Both ends it should be noted converged at a comedy club.)
— “Language Arts Unit: A Rap Text Book,” Foreword, p.29

Nebbish Fred

Several pieces in “Language Arts Unit” touch on the topic of scripture and its interpretation. Here, for example, are a few words from “Morning Becomes Apoplectic, A Follower’s Prayer,” and “Nebbish Frederick Douglass” —

Morning Becomes Apoplectic,
A Follower’s Prayer

Clock ticks are irrelevant
settlement, the present tense
deed is an exegesis
with a felt-tipped rhetoric
scratch and sniff
these ashy palms
smoking desert kiss

In the name of the non-gendered parent
offspring, and all encompassing spirit of WiFi,
I do ask and beseech
— “Language Arts Unit: A Rap Text Book,” p.64

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