[The Big Smoke reading group]
“Equality” is the first poem that we cover in this third section of poems, “Knee on the Canvas”, in The Big Smoke. As the title of the section suggests, Adrian Matejka paints a Jack Johnson that is more vulnerable than than in the previous sections.
In “Equality,” Jack Johnson is car racing against Polish boxer Stanley Ketchel. Throughout the volume, we hear mention of Johnson and his cars, one of the luxuries he was fond of indulging.
The poem reveals Johnson’s sometimes dangerous competitive spirit.
But what about you: what stood out to you about the poem? Why?