ISBN: 978-1-62557-088-8
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Categories Nomadic, Poetry


Publication Date: August 2024


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Phosphene was originally selected for publication by Nomadic.

From inside the glass, visible breath rises against the pane. A hand unseen carves the moist fog into words, like ghostly messages from the other side: points to consider, mappings gesturing towards escape, a puncture to mull over or anchor the body back down to Earth. Phosphene is a cyclical underworld journey, where light is both pressure and maze. The poetic voice meanders in the inbetween, a porous vessel, negotiating what it means to survive, be perceived, and the conundrum of escape between these densities of alienation.


I readied myself to read Phosphene. Gathered snacks, lit candles and checked in with all of my beautiful darknesses. I opened a window to let some of them out along with the energy trapped inside my incense and smoke. This werk of Brandon’s, from Table of Contents to foot notes and every page in between is an invitation to dig deep, to validate your self fully. To believe in the truth that is your breaking and your growth. Academia; take heed and catch up. This here is what a culminating experience looks like. It is work I will gladly reference. Phosphene is thesis, research and methods that offers us each space to get more free in its conclusion.
-Sarai Bordeaux

Phosphene by Brandon Logans is an exploration of body and light and its haunting yet beautiful vulnerability. Interwoven between nature and danger, Brandon brilliantly challenges us as readers to think about the value of being seen and unseen, death, and the different perceptions of light; reality. On this journey, Brandon effortlessly and successfully writes layers of disorientation and sections of repetition and space on the page. Captivating and dynamic, Brandon creates a myriad of voices that describe self, one’s body in relationship to the world on this earth, and survival with external limitations.
-Melissa Jones

Brandon Andre Logans’ Phosphene exposes the reader to a subject laboring through the realities of being, perception, & selfhood. The ominous & apathetically present light more than shines but singes through the lenses the speaker survives. Phosphene asks us to interrogate what is legible, visible, optical & illusory about the Others we make & Others we are. Dreamlike but more dynamic than fantastic, Logan’s collection is a flickering approach to the long exposures processed under the subjugation of having a body constantly navigating inhospitable interrogation & spotlight. They write: “Splendor seizes the scene” & that spectacle is more than a show but a series of revelatory sensations.
-Jzl Jmz

Phosphene reflects the best of Logans’ ability to craft work that is both sharply scientific and searingly sensual. This collection is a visceral journey through questions of survival, privilege, and the ability, through it all, to “taste briefly the thrill of flying.”
-Meilani Clay

Logans’ Phosphene is an amalgamation of the body with earth, time, and other dimensions.An otherworldly creator of scene, Logans pulls at the fibers of our realitiesto transport us to a place where we must imagine new ones. Phosphene not onlyinvites us on a journey serving as the antonym of stagnation, but also begs usto ask ourselves what it means to be both “curtain and perhaps the wind.” 
–Landon Smith

Brandon Logans’ potently nuanced debut book, Phosphene, traces the jagged shape of inequity’s searing light and asks, “Like this, can I survive?”

Logans stretches the limits of the page, disrupting white space. A subterranean voice presses up against the marginal boundary, straining to individuate, seeking ground against which to become figure.

This voice is housed in “a human shape in the / distance blinking in and out.” Here is the body: unsettled, unsettling, falling, fallen. This body, involuntary shapeshifter, becomes, in turn, animal, elemental, geometrical, architectural. Metaphor hardens, concretized into physical form.

Logans’ vivid descriptions of “this map of flesh” —permeable, fragmented, estranged—bring into focus the grotesqueries of structural violence, a violence so amorphous and diffuse as to seem invisible to those with the luxury of looking away.

The landscape of these poems is equally as destabilizing, a world constructed of mazes, mirrors, windows, and portals. Language, too, slips, splits, and spills as it veers between visceral sensorium and bureaucratic directive.

Logans refuses representational clarity; the speaker of his poems faces down the pane of legibility as an unwilling specimen who yearns to be known but not reduced: a desire in the spirit of Édouard Glissant’s “right to opacity.” This stance interrogates the very notion of categorization.

Light, shone directly into the eyes, disorients. Logans re-orients the reader to society’s gridlocked scaffolding, its hegemonic “net,” so that even ensnared, we can recognize power’s blueprint and attempt to unpin its piercing gaze.

With vulnerability and vitality, Logans’ urgent poems compel the reader toward the autonomy of unenlightenment through an insistently embodied avant-garde.
-Clare Lilliston

About the Author

© Christian Urrutia

Brandon Logans

Brandon Logans is a poet from Oakland, California with an M.F.A in Poetry from Mills College. His work has been published in the Patrice Lumumba Anthology, Foglifter, Variety Pack's Special Issue Black Voices of Pride, and Action, Spectacle. He might describe himself as a rectangular sheet of honey 30” x 62”, 6” above any surface.

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