The Armageddon of Funk (Paperback)
Tracking a nonlinear trek across terrain as distinct as Timbuktu and Baton Rouge, and beliefs as “contrary” as Christianity and Communism, in The Armageddon of Funk Michael Warr manages to interconnect a world of opposites. Via “poetic memoir” we join his navigation through the “apolitical,” rigid morality of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; the revolutionary theories and free love of Black Panthers and Marxists; the promise of a bourgeois future from bank executives; a screaming soldier brandishing an AK-47 in his face, a blizzard of white termite wings; an interrogation under Haile Selassie’s Jubilee Palace; hallucinating of “of cornbread islands” at Chicago’s “Velvet Lounge,” and many “Street Signs, Convolutions, and other California Coincidences” as one poem is titled in this second collection. Warr’s poetry, like his life, is full of interruptions and circularity that captures the broad sweep of the times and microscopic idiosyncrasies of the moment.
michael Warr is the author of We Are All the Black Boy (Tia Chucha, 1990) and a co-editor of Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex (Tia Chucha, 1999). A performing and collaborative poet, his poems have been dramatized on stage, depicted on canvas, and set to original music compositions. He is the recipient of many honors and awards including the Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award and an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship for Poetry. He is principal at Warr Consulting and lives in San Francisco, California.
“The psychotic passion of michael Warr is sprayed with bursts of humor and pathos, resonating with all the heat and power of urban verse at its finest.” —Wanda Coleman