Updated: Dec 16, 2021
“Back in the day when KRS-One intoned–The Bridge is over!–he did not prefigure a poet from Queens of the fierce attitude and intellectual magnitude of Enzo Silon Surin. WHEN MY BODY WAS A CLINCHED FIST gives the Heisman to such a refrain with lyrical power-packing poetics that settles the score with a succinct–Not! No the Bridge is not over, for Surin’s Queens is alive and well and under the gaze of a master observer who eulogizes lives that though at times are battered have always mattered. Enzo Silon Surin’s poems get you caught up in the deeply personal experiences of growing and visceral all-encompassing knowing from an acute witness of every breath and follicle of Black life from palm trees, sand and sea to street corner projects, suburban houses and fistfuls of black water.
“Surin writes about the confused and disconnected, trigger happy wannabes trapped by outdated notions of masculinity, the cracked head crackheads all held in the clutch of society’s clinched fist through which the trauma that comes with being of color, addicted, broke, lost and tossed, is itself a clinched fist of black bodies caught in the Russian nesting doll America’s clinched fists make. WHEN MY BODY WAS A CLINCHED FIST is an elegy for ‘the premature exits.’ It is a blues for the black-on-black black and blue. Surin yields his pen like a microscopic scalpel whereby an autopsy of possibility is performed to un-clinch the remarkable bone gristle poetry in these unflinching heart-wrenching pages.”