Cooling Board: A Long Playing Poem by Mitchell L. Douglas is on the Amazon.com list for top 100 African American Titles.
At a time when most series writing has been reduced to metaphor’d-fact and young poets, in the pursuit of the bleached mask of Post Race cultural aesthetics, have lost their kinship to the nuances of the oral tradition, let alone soulful journeys into Soul, comes Cooling Board, a passionate, layered plea and low swing into the Go Tell It Corner and MountainBottom of human genius, its lineage, tutelage, maturation, triumphs, loves and losses. Whatever Soul is, it’s all hereâ€“struggling through the pain of secular impulse, and the note-reaching psychological drama-duets that haunted the vision of Donny Hathaway’s gift and unique approach to song. Mitchell Douglas deepens, inward, the extensions of prosody, adding inspired improvisation to the unknown knowns of persona, collective and personal. Cooling Board might just be the last necessary series, the one with church-basement and chart-topping swagger, the one that amens the rise and alternate takes the fall.
Thomas Sayers Ellis