Types of Burns: Architecture by Prince Bush

Black lives matter. Jacob Blake’s life matters.

Types of Burns has been a space for Black voices who have something to say about this moment. The series began with Prince Bush’s poem, “Types of Burns.” With gratitude, we finish the summer series with Prince again.


The nude buildings flash themselves
Incandescent—new, making a roundabout
In the ripe street, moving the water
To the roof, and the forest out a window
Like succulents; yucca; rubber, ponytail and peace
Lily, palm, and plant—and the white-hot
Filament shines once the current catches
A fever. If you want to know who owns the structures
Against you, it isn’t metaphysical: go downtown
And look at the branding hooked to the skin
Receding your eyelid. Chase John Pierpoint
Morgan First, a smack amalgamated
Command. The power naked as Truth Coming 
From the Well Armed with Her Whip to 
Chastise Mankind. Don’t be just
Standing there; what had Truth seen? I was
Writing a poem about a photograph of a painting
That’s a painting of a photograph, a shot
Of how blurry I was, walking out the sitting
Room of the new erection I trekked to, to submit:
Bank of America, at the bottom
Of housing, owed debt. Each
Building owned by one, one thousands
Poked their head in, their hands, but whose?
Each inch and foot of it, this, theirs?


Prince Bush

Prince Bush lives in Nashville, TN. He’s a 2019 Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets Fellow and an MFA student at Western Kentucky University — with poems in The Cincinnati Review, Cotton Xenomorph, Hobart, Pleiades, Puerto del Sol, and wildness.

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