The poems in Ed Pavlić’s Let It Be Broke are ignited by sonic memories—from Chaka Khan on the radio to his teenaged daughter singing “Stay” at a local café—that spark a journey into personal and ontological questions. Pavlić’s lyric lines are equal parts introspection and inter-spection, a term he coins for the shared rumination that encourages a collective “deep think” about the arbitrary boundaries that perpetuate racial and geographic segregation and the power of words to transcend those differences. In an epiphanic moment, Pavlić recalls a quote shared by a former teacher as “a hammer made of written words,” and how he held “onto those words / as if they were steel bars and I was dangling over some bright black deepness.”
2016 summer equinox (police state)
revision: john donne
and the american word
brother resound ::
( father son uncle nephew )
any black man’s death diminishes me
…During this American and global era of renewed awakening and self-reckoning around racial justice, Pavlić’s message resonates. While police are still murdering Black men and Black women in the street and in their own homes, bullets penetrate the entire human fabric.
…Pavlic emphatically and attentively observes and riffs on what unites and divides people within countries, races, families, and even among individuals….
…A hard, sharp kick to the color line; important reading in ‘a country that’s busy day and night/ …putting you in charge of its lies.’
… Each of Pavlić’s biting inquiries, shaped by personal and intellectual histories, persist in asking how is it we come to stand beside one another? These dynamic poems offer a way for us to listen and to know.
…Let It Be Broke style is fragmentary, incantory, and emotionally dangerous—as he looks at the very broken psychic and physical landscape of America…
This book bridges intellect and ecstasy, miracle and disaster, Rukeyser and Rihanna. …Let It Be Broke delves, demands, and delights.