REVIEW: BUILD YOURSELF A BOAT – CAMONGHNE FELIX (HAYMARKET BOOKS)

No one’s looking for us. Emmy’s mom died five weeks ago, so as far as she’s concerned, what the fuck is a parent? I’ve never had a best friend before. All the books say that when your best friend’s mama die, you ain’t got no parents neither. We spend our days in patient wanderlust, living off sheer probability in a series of cheap, rancid thrills.
from “Cutting W/ JB”

Somewhere between life, heartbreak, love, loss, and identity, falls the person we think we are. We are caretakers to those who don’t even know they need it. We don’t matter. We are a secondary character in the long history of other people’s lives. We are found in the footnotes.

Camonghne Felix’ Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books) is not meant to be a solution for any of life’s ills. It is, however, a look at truth. It’s an opportunity to see modern day society as it is, where lives don’t matter as they should, where things do not go as planned, where at times, people are only known by titles given by people who say they have power. But don’t.

More than that, BYAB is a look at how to have strength in spite of the politics, in spite of where others falter, in spite of all obstacles. It’s the way we shouldn’t “fear shit except the way my / lonesome is your invitation, the way / all my power sustains and sanctifies, / the way the world will lay / it’s violence at the threat / of my able black body.”

Purchase your copy of Build Yourself a Boat from Haymarket Books.

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