Murder Stay Murder by Geoff Kagan-Trenchard SIGNED
"Murder Stay Murder" arrives not only with Trenchard's signature ability to weave the bleak and beautiful with unflinchingly honesty, but it also provides a peek behind the curtain of his writing process. Features 49 poems along with writing prompts to accompany each.
Drawing from his more than 10 years of experience as a performer and educator, Kagan-Trenchard sifts through various portrayal of manhood, picking up and inspecting each like an anthropologist. The resultant poems leave classic tropes upended and fundamental assumptions shaken. A compelling, at times heartbreaking collection, "Murder Stay Murder" moves through the liminal spaces: between youth and adulthood, violence and tenderness, what it means to be "out" or "pass", holding still when the people right next to you might explode.
"This collection of poems by Trenchard stands naked before the reader, making us just as embarrassed as we are proud of the humanity we share. A sharp glimpse into the murkier side of a world we all experience but rarely acknowledge. This should be taught in schools, passed around at Church, and shared at house parties." - Sage Francis
"If a poem is a bullet, Murder Stay Murder is a full metal jacket. Unflinching, cool as a hollow body and hot as a fresh powder burn, Trenchard knows the hellion, the hero, the underdog and the undertaker, and comes at them with a witness's need to tell all and the vigilante's need for justice." - Daphne Gottlieb (author of Final Girl, Why Things Burn and 15 Ways to Stay Alive.)
Geoff Kagan Trenchard's poems have been published in numerous journals. He has received endowments from the National Performance Network, Dance Theater Workshop, The Zellerbach Family Foundation and the City of Oakland to produce original theatrical work. As a mentor for Urban Word NYC, he taught weekly poetry workshops in the foster care center at Bellevue as well as in Rikers Island with Columbia University's "Youth Voices on Lockdown" program. He is a recipient of a fellowship from the Riggio Writing and Democracy program at the New School and the first ever louderARTS Writing Fellowship. He has performed poetry on HBO's Def Poetry Jam, at universities throughout the United States, and in theaters internationally as a member of the performance poetry troupe The Suicide Kings. He is currently a Juris Doctor Candidate for the class of 2014 at the Hofstra University School of Law and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
An excerpt from the poem "Back To The Front", a piece included in "Murder Stay Murder":
Over beer and seasoned curly fries Matt tells me about the war.
How Iraqi street kids call the troops vampires
because of the eerie green-eyed glow
from their night vision goggles.
How they will in turn spit cherry Gatorade
and smile like a hacksaw. You have to keep it
tight on a patrol, he says. You have to
keep it tight. We lost touch after graduation.
He worked as a repo man and as an exterminator.
Joined the army because stealing cars legally didn't
have a medical plan for his son's asthma and the spray
used to kill roaches peals the skin off your ankles in sheets.
He says roadside bombs aren't planted by anyone in a militant group.
Rather then risk their own people on something so small they pay
some non-affiliated citizen fifty bucks that feeds a family
of four for a month. The recruiter said he'd be in Iraq for a year, tops.
When Matt had been there three he got a dear john e-mail
form his fiance. Now he's on his fourth refill of Xanaxs.
Army issue anti depressants are given out in thousand count bottles.
Because Matt is a medic, his CO encouraged him to dole them out
however he saw fit.
In our Junior year he clicked up with a crew of skinheads. Said it was
the only way a white boy could walk around this neighborhood with his
I remember standing in his bathroom doorway watching the clippers spit
hair off his skull. Asked what I should think about him joining a club
that's usually swung at people like me. Said as far as he was
I was white enough.
So I became the punk all the jocks wanted to jump 'cause I dressed
like a fag but couldn't because I was the Jew who had a pack of skin
I buy the next round of shots and I ask Matt if the guys ankle deep in
blood and sand think about the war. Says most of them know they dying
they'll never see and a people that dont want them there because the country
they swore to protect needed someone to swing at. Says even if there
was a magic wand that would bring all the boys home with the ease of a
credit card swipe no one would use it. As long as they're out there,
he says, we have to fight them. As I sit in this air conditioned bar,
looking at a parking lot full of unexploded cars filled with expensive
gasoline, I am bereft of argument.
I know how ready for war Matt looked in his straight laces
and number one crop. How he would sing along
to my Smiths tape when no one else was around.
How he once fended off fifteen Nortenos with a skateboard
and knife with a swastika carved in the handle and cried
when his friend got kicked face first into a barbwire fence.
I don't ask if he still believes that white people are some how more
on his side. When we leave here he will still be locked into a uniform
I am again
unable to talk him out of.