Eisen-Martin, Tongo: Blood on the Fog
City Lights Books, paperback
Publication Date: September 17, 2021
Publisher Marketing: Radical, outraged, knowing, wry, and deeply humane, poems of survival that soar with a vision of collective liberation.
A rhapsodic follow-up to Tongo Eisen-Martin's Heaven is All Goodbyes, this collection further explores themes of love and loss, family and faith, refracted through the lens of Black experience. These poems honor intellectual tradition and ancestral knowledge while blazing an entirely new path, recording and replaying the poet's sensory travels through America, from its packed metropolises to desolate anytowns. Packed with politically astute and clear-eyed takes on race and class, filled with wisdom and great humanity, these poems perform mind-bending leaps and wander down back alleys to arrive at their moment of ultimate truth.
Praise for Blood on the Fog:
Continuing the lofty tradition of Langston Hughes, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka, Tongo Eisen-Martin has emerged on center stage as today's premier revolutionary poet. A master craftsman and a sensitive artist, he reserves his sledgehammer words for the cruelty of imperialism. He should not only be read--he should be studied.--Gerald Horne
'Revolution' appears at least two dozen times in Tongo Eisen-Martin's amazing Blood on the Fog. Find something like a revolving, reiterating locomotion of music riding the rails of thinking and feeling in Blood on the Fog. Find a poetry of 'swinging type body language' where the swinging swings like Ellington and Ali combined, knocking you out inside and out, and turning you around in this extraordinary book.--Terrance Hayes
In this work that longs for and listens to 'real people ... not poem people, ' speakers speak of their fear and weakness as matters of fact--what it's like to walk with somebody alive and not what the metaphor of a 'universal' mouthpiece might make of them. This is no precious, immortal-aspirational monologue; no autocrat stone of finality; no poor folks as thought experiments. More fugue than state. More disturbance as the groove. If poems are for anything, I feel like it must be this.--Justin Phillip Reed
Blood on the Fog is the illest artifact of time travel I've ever experienced. Tongo Eisen-Martin takes us to a tomorrow and yesterday where we stand--contorted and mangled--but oh so beautiful, faithful and free.--Kiese Laymon