POETRY/PERFORMED: Two Versions of “BOOM BOOM” by Crystal Good

VERSION 1: Crystal Good performing “BOOM BOOM”

PRODUCTION: Unedited video by Jeff Getner
DATE: 2011

Affrilachian poet and native West Virginian Crystal Good’s debut poetry collection, “Valley Girl,” (2012) features the poem “BOOM BOOM.” Any canon of contemporary West Virginia poetry should include this unflinching poem by this writer-poet, media entrepreneur, and founder of Black By God The West Virginian, a news portal centering Black voices in West Virginia. (The poem even has Internet homages performed by others.) “BOOM BOOM” reflects on strip-mined mountains and women who take off their clothes for money. What’s the connection? Upon the release of the first video of her performing “BOOM BOOM” (seen above), Good said:

“I see the mountain as a woman. This poem is about strip mining as much as it is about gender. A heavy equipment operator working on an above-ground mine site is doing what he feels he has to do — sometimes life doesn’t give us many options and sometimes the consequences of few employment options are more than we expected. It’s hard for a stripper to reclaim her reputation — it’s impossible to put back a stream or a mountain top once it’s gone.”

Here are two takes on Crystal Good's iconic poem "BOOM BOOM,"
“Modern Photo,” says Crystal Good — when the dutiful editor seeks a current portrait shot of her, circa 2022.

Then, in 2013, I crafted the second version of “BOOM BOOM” (seen below), with judicious help from some friends. This included photography by West Virginia-based human rights photographer Paul Corbit Brown and mountain blasting video footage by Evening Star Productions, plus another friend who stepped in as the exotic dancer seen in black-and-white. Your call as to which you favor over the other. ~ Douglas John Imbrogno

VERSION 2: Crystal Good performing “Boom Boom”

BLASTING FOOTAGE: Courtesy of Evening Star Productions
ALL OTHER MINING IMAGERY: Paul Corbit Brown | paulcorbitbrown.com
DANCING: Exotic dancer ‘Boom Boom’
NOTE: Footage copyrighted by its owners and no reproduction allowed without their permission. CONTACT: info@legacyofnow.com
PRODUCTION: Douglas John Imbrogno
DATE: 2013


POETICS: “Appalachian Marie Kondo” by Crystal Good: May 27, 2022: I live in the disorder of a missing mother. / I sit in the middle of my mess. / I hear my mother’s voice: / You don’t need this. / This doesn’t fit. / When was the last time you used this? …

RE/PRINT: ‘Almost Heaven ’Til We Get There’: Black Miners and Blair Mountain: September 10, 2021: “I’m a sixth-generation West Virginian. My children are seventh-generation. My generational claim to Appalachia is subversive. It talks back to cavalier anti-Black stories of poor white redneck hillbillies and to the white people who claim an entire region as their own.”

RE/PRINT: Consuming Blackness in ‘progressive’ West Virginia: May 5, 2021: “White women were laughing and grabbing for bites of sushi off a human body. That imagery doesn’t fade. Instead, it continues to enrage me. It stands as both a metaphor and real evidence of oppression and silence.”

SOCIAL/MEDIA: ‘Wait. Doug Reynolds said what about what on Twitter?!?’: March 4, 2021: The word ‘gobsmacked’ should be used sparingly. It derives from the Irish/Scottish word for mouth — ‘gob’ — so might be transliterated as ‘smacked in the mouth.’ But in slang usage it means to be flabbergasted, astounded or made speechless. I am sure I wasn’t the only West Virginian gobsmacked by a tweet posted by HD Media headman, Doug Reynolds, in response to a tweet by Crystal Good.

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