Types of Burns: Echoes (or, Omissions of the Truth) by henry 7. reneau, jr

Black Lives Matter. We must all do what we can, one individual choice at a time, to dismantle white supremacy—in our selves, our relationships, our communities, and our institutions. Frontier stands in unrelenting support of the protestors demanding change—we send you every prayer, every bit of energy we have. Stay safe and stay healthy and stay bold.

Types of Burns is a space for Black voices who have something to say about this moment. This may be lyric essay, poetry, photography, etc. Submit your work here. We sincerely thank henry and every Black artist who has helped make Frontier what it is today. Today, we are publishing an urgent poem by henry 7. reneau, jr.


Echoes (or, Omissions of the Truth)


Echoes give body to something that is invisible, embodies
the riotous nature
of dissonance, the present participle of chaos
that recycles the shrapnel of history. An echo,
like Narcissus, drunk on its own reflection, beguiled &
by its own insistence. Embodies fences &
walls erected as borders, separating everything &
everyone, like a well-laid plan,
the causality of intolerance &
its consequences.

Echoes are repetitive. The past
haunting the present/:  Money, Mississippi, 1955.
The spent hatred
that ricochets from an open casket,
reverberates, in a new time &
place/:  The Sanford, Florida PD.
place/:  The Ferguson, MO PD.
place/:  The NYPD.
place/:  The Oakland PD
place/:  The LAPD.
place/:  The Baltimore PD.


The reverberation of echoes/:  the humming sorrow of the mote
in the tyranny of sunlight’s manifest gravity. The carnage ensued.

Darren Wilson made it about race.
George Zimmerman made it about race.
Sandra Bland, found
hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas, made it
about race.
Centuries of slavery made it about race.
Jim Crow made it about race.
The murderers of MLK, Emmett Till & Trayvon Martin,
Oscar Grant & Eric Garner,
& so many others,
made it about race.


The present participle
graffitied into a reinvented belief from the past; the echo of
the same old soul
with a different name. The foreground, a repetition of struggle &
many miles to go.
The common root
an unconscious racism, also known
as implicit bias/:  The human conscience
juggling apples of moral virtue
before an audience of absolute evil,
pins the blame on                     , so deeply entrenched
that many of us aren’t aware that we hold it.

That white is better than black. Them still thinking
we owe them something.


Our echolalia & rages.

Virtually every realm of human endeavor in Amerikkka
is colored, one way or the other,
by a racial dynamic of mute acceptance
of the inhumane,
wherein the overall narrative becomes a prejudiced distortion,
the misshapen images blurred beyond an accurate reflection,
an echo. Becomes a lesson
in compression, steel spring
coiled, like David before Goliath,
arms at the ready, &
stone projectiles



henry 7. reneau, jr.

henry 7. reneau, jr. writes words of conflagration to awaken the world ablaze, an inferno of free verse illuminated by his affinity for disobedience, like a discharged bullet that commits a felony every day, the spontaneous combustion that blazes from his heart, phoenix-fluxed red & gold, exploding through change is gonna come to implement the fire next time. He is the author of the poetry collection, freedomland blues (Transcendent Zero Press) and the e-chapbook, physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press), now available from their respective publishers. Additionally, he has self-published a chapbook entitled 13hirteen Levels of Resistance, and his collection, The Book Of Blue(s) : Tryin' To Make A Dollar Outta' Fifteen Cents, was a finalist for the 2018 Digging Press Chapbook Series. His work has also been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

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