damn near might still be is what it is
damn near might still be is what it is is part autofiction, part memoir and travelogue, part road novel, part journal entry. Beginning in New York and winding first around the country, with stops in Kansas City and Colorado, then around the world, the unnamed narrator of damn near… confronts what it means to be American, to be Black, to be a tourist and penniless and to fall in love in cities like London, Vienna, and Milan. Central to the book are questions of authenticity, memory, friendship and family. An electrifying voice takes the lead in this global journey, by turns hilarious and heart rending, harsh and tender. damn near… concerns itself with the profound questions of life through a singular focus on one person’s circuit around the globe.
marcus scott williams’s damn near might still be is what it is is LIT lit, a mono-travel-journal-ogue crisscrossing the US and Europe, by a brilliant Black writer capable of remaking everyday language—and everything he sees, dreams, lives—into something fresh and new. This piece is the ISH!
Readers will want to “fw” damn near might still be is what it is for its multi-luxe, often anti-cryptic exploration of crowded but, lone-geography of blackness and the incessant record skip of home. Lush prose poems potted in footnotes, photography and song lyrics make williams’s work a gorgeous overgrown and weeded installation hosed in hip-pop-culture, history & the day-to- day struggles of personhood. Take this book wherever and whenever you find yourself traveling,“yfm?”
Making notes in strands of emergent languaging, offering astonishingly intimate glimpses into the lives he traverses, marcus scott williams’ damn near might still be is what it is is as much syntactic intervention into language’s daily, desirous generation as it is journal of recount. There’s a Sebaldian expansiveness to williams’s prose blocks—they’re both of their own discreet moment while shouldering echoes of colonialism’s all seeing / shaping historic grip. Against said violence, wrought with the dailiness of travel, sex, social media, money woes, cicada shells & the veins of a lover’s eyelids, damn near… sets out a project for memory creation / maintenance grounded in our own volition—a way towards nurturance standing against the surveillance state(s) seemingly omnipotent power. marcus scott williams writes a poetics of vital motion.