Mitchell L. H. DouglasWebsite
Years: 2007, 2009
Mitchell L. H. Douglas’ poetry has appeared in Callaloo, Ninth Letter, Crab Orchard Review and the anthologies The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (University of Georgia Press) and Zoland Poetry, Volume II (Steerforth Press) among others. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets and Poetry Editor for PLUCK!: The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture, Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem, is his debut collection. Before its publication by Red Hen Press in February 2009, Cooling Board was a runner-up for the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, a semifinalist for the 2007 Blue Lynx Prize, and a semifinalist for the 2006 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he resides in Indianapolis.
He plays when dreams come, when the hour is as late as the moon allows, when ribbons of light slice window panes, shine for the sake of sight. Can you play your fingers ivory, no difference between keys & bones? Can you lean into the first note like the strain to catch a faint voice, everything sweet whispered worth something? Sometimes, I raise the blanket over my head, try to pretend I don’t hear him reach for notes that aren’t there. Without the sight, we know the sound: a key pressed again & again like a voice cracking, the pause, the echo of ten fingers walking the plank of shadow & light.
The hidden. The longing.
From Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem (Red Hen Press, 2009)