Blood on the Fog
Author: Tongo Eisen-Martin
Publisher: City Lights (2021)
A rhapsodic follow-up to Tongo Eisen-Martin's Heaven is All Goodbyes, this collection further explores themes of love and loss, family and faith, refracted through the lens of Black experience. These poems honor intellectual tradition and ancestral knowledge while blazing an entirely new path, recording and replaying the poet's sensory travels through America, from its packed metropolises to desolate anytowns. Radical, outraged, knowing, wry, and deeply humane, these are poems of survival that soar with a vision of collective liberation.
"Continuing the lofty tradition of Langston Hughes, June Jordan, and Amiri Baraka, Tongo Eisen-Martin has emerged on center stage as today's premier revolutionary poet. A master craftsman and a sensitive artist, he reserves his sledgehammer words for the cruelty of imperialism. He should not only be read—he should be studied."
"In Blood on the Fog, find a poetry of 'swinging type body language' where the swinging swings like Ellington and Ali combined, knocking you out inside and out, and turning you around in this extraordinary book."
"Black poetry has got to get its head around the deranged way language and the world expect us to be and live again. Tongo has figured this out, is feeling out how to vein the poem with his own life, and that's why I love his work."
"This is no precious, immortal-aspirational monologue; no autocrat stone of finality; no poor folks as thought experiments. More fugue than state. More disturbance as the groove. If poems are for anything, I feel like it must be this."
–Justin Phillip Reed
"Blood on the Fog is the illest artifact of time travel I've ever experienced. Tongo Eisen-Martin takes us to a tomorrow and yesterday where we stand—contorted and mangled—but oh so beautiful, faithful and free."
"Whether speaking rhyme in slant, calling forward Medgar Evers, or the spirituality of an oppressed people, Eisen-Martin offers stanza after stanza as a sunrise. Each poem leads us towards our liberation. This means these poems are heavy in their desire to free our current state of stoic apathy. This means Tongo Eisen-Martin's poetic legacy will live forever."
–Mahogany L. Browne