Essays

Shields: A poem founds the world it finds

Editor’s note: The following essay is excerpted from Of Silence and Song, a book of essays, fragments, and poems forthcoming from Milkweed Editions (December 2017). Reading Hesiod on the shuttle bus to the…

Love song por La Condesa

On the night of September 19, 2017, I find a small map online of the oval park in front of my father’s house with its surrounding streets that extend out…

The authority to say anything at all

When I was a Catholic teenager, I was an altar server and reader at my parish church. Our parish priest was forward-thinking. At one Easter Vigil Mass, I played the…

Letter from Issue 50 guest editor Ricco Siasoco

The collective “I” in Issue 50 of The Critical Flame is one of protest, of comedy, and, hopefully, of the zeitgeist. As the guest editor for this issue, I’ve attempted…

A New Monument

Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, VA was, until recently, named Lee Park. In 1917, Paul Goodloe McIntire donated the land for the park, as well as the 26-foot monument of Robert…

Metropolitan is Still There

You used to go to Metropolitan alone. You were 21 and it was the closest gay bar to where you lived in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. It was a good place if…

Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Decentering Whiteness in Seattle

There was a talk going on about Black Lives Matters at the Seattle Center. For better or for worse, I suppose lately there is always a talk going on about…

Literature is not an Object: Toward an inter-“Activism”

“Leap and dance, ye living buildings—” —Shaker hymn I’m not writing this, and you’re not reading it. Because, how am I going to describe it, the belovedness unspeakability, especially of…

Conjuring Green with Natalie Diaz

This is the drill when it comes to poetry workshops: print out enough copies of your poem, read it to a room full of strangers, and engage in a sort…

All that’s left: the art of Teresa Margolles

Photo: Teresa Margolles, Lemas (Mottos), 2009. Fabric impregnated with blood gathered from the places where murders took place embroidered with gold threads / Intallation view: What Else Could We Talk…

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