Dothead: Poems

What do we do with our ancestry? What do we do with our race, interpreted by the world around us? Many second- or third- generation immigrants walk a tight line between the culture of their parents and the demands of the country they live in.

I recommend Dothead: Poems because as it navigates that boundary, and not so kindly. There’s a lot of anger and rage beneath the often playful rhyme scheme. Take the titular poem, which features the author as a child answering the question if his “mother wears a dot”:

“I said, Hand me that ketchup packet there.
And Nick said, What? I snatched it, twitched the tear,
and squeezed a dollop on my thumb and worked
circles till the red planet entered the house of war
and on my forehead for the world to see
my third eye burned those schoolboys in their seats,
their flesh in little puddles underneath,
pale pools where Nataraja cooled his feet.”

The first couple poems similarly deal with the TSA, drone strikes, and the like. But there’s also more fully playful poems- one on the subject of The Great Masters talks about how ants preferred grapes painted by Van Os rather than real sugar, and it suggests we look it up on Youtube (this video, I couldn’t find). I recommend leafing through the book, seeing what you like.

Dothead: Poems

A book of poetry by radiologist and Poet Laureate of Ohio Amit Majmudar. Subjects include racial discrimination, the legacy of the author’s parents, art criticism, and contemporary politics.