Marcus Amaker

Author archive

20 ’til Infinity

(new book coming in 2020!)

Hey everyone! Just a note to let you know that I’m working on a new poetry book, and will not post any more poems until the book is published. I’d like for you to experience these new poems for the first time when your eyes meet the paper. Stay tuned to this page for the […]

“Sleep when the baby sleeps,”

they say. As if sleeping is a switch easily turned on. Especially when all of your mind’s power is being used for the electricity of fatherhood. Especially when you know that a dad could be a God, but you are a feminist. Especially when your daughter’s breathing could brush the quiet off of a cloud, […]

Retelling and the remembering

composed for the Anderson Slave Dwelling Preservation Fund Black spirits can not be absent from anything. Especially in South Carolina, where every open, abandoned space holds a family’s erased echo, and racism is embedded in every memory. We, the living, have the privilege of being restful ghosts. We haunt material things, and hold our history […]

Hope is in the listening

2020 Charleston Mayoral Inauguration poem. Read about it here. City as sorcerer and storyteller, sharp-eyed observant, holy grandmother. She’s survived 350 years because the longevity of the Lowcountry requires a special kind of magic. Today, we are witnesses to that witchcraft. Citizens of its charm. Today, she is the voice connecting her family: The tourist […]

Reflector

When will I stop seeing tired eyes after waking up next to mirrors? Why do I call the cracks on my face fault lines? How does the earth hold so much weight, so much anxiousness? When will I stop messing with my hair? When will I break free from vanity’s repetition: Look for natural light. […]

the colossal

depression and anxiety, you are not just the elephant in the room, you are the weight that holds the animal, the air shared with its shadow, the zoo that won’t release a caged mind. depression and anxiety, you are not just the elephant in the room, you are the ceiling below the sky, the mosquito […]

on headphones

muscle memory through music releases sound waves of remembrance through my body. and I realize I am a little boy sleeping in a man’s frame, sentimental and sensitive to the audible accents of melody ringing through my years.

BLACK NUMEROLOGY (a poem for Walter Scott)

Walter Scott, I’ve watched your death hundreds of times. Recently, I counted the steps it took before the eighth shot grounded you: 13. you took 13 paces, running for your life, inline and online, the warrior stride of a 50-year-old body that died too soon. I wonder how many impressions your feet made before that […]

ambient noise

written for the Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert at sunrise, street sweepers silence the ringing filth of a late night’s vibrato. in the sneaky hours of the morning, empty bottles and parking spaces form a hushed choir, a privileged quiet, a soundtrack to the aftermath of the discord that comes with alcohol. before noon, the […]