There are many connections between the poems that Aaron Coleman wrote and read out loud and the themes that we have talked about in class. One of the connections between the poems and the class is the theme of masculinity. Aaron Coleman talked to us about wanting to show the more tender side of masculinity. He wanted to push beyond the toxic masculinity and look at more positive sides of it. I really loved the poem that he wrote titled Viciousness in End that talks about Black masculinity. That poem is the same forward and backwards which is super interesting to me. I had never seen a poem like that and it was beautiful to hear it read out loud. The poem was about boxing and talks a lot about the violence that is often associated with men. Many of the words in it are harsh and violent. Words like blades, fists, fear and blood are repeated throughout the poem.
It reminded me of the violence that we saw from a lot of the readings earlier in the class. For example, Jonah’s Gourd Vine. The main character John, was extremely abusive. He would constantly beat his wife. We also saw this abuse in the short story Sweat. The husband was super abusive to his wife, to such an extent that she ended up letting him die when she could have saved him. That is the exact form of toxic masculinity that Coleman is speaking up against. He is trying to show how men can break away from this stereotype and become more then it.
Here is the poem Viciousness in End