“My father steps into a field of lost
sensation, sunflowers, a yellow star”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Beth Copeland about her gorgeous poem “Falling Lessons: Erasure One.” The poem is about the loss of her father to Alzheimer’s, and was transformed into the above video for Motionpoems by Ahn Vu (it was also featured on PBS Newshour!)
Read my interview here
My mother was a fever. My father was a restaurant.
Every noon he fed his lungs to an entire city.
Every night he held my belly searching for a suburb.
I was the firefly that flared only once in my father’s kingdom.
-Asian American Writer’s Workshop, Wo Chan
My daughter can’t understand
why, when I press the button,
the parking garage door doesn’t budge.
The car stuck. The park too far
for her small legs to walk. These things
happen, I say. It’s no one’s fault.
In the apartment courtyard, the tenants are gathered —
one complains he’s missing the Laker game,
one can’t charge her cell phone,
another’s laptop is dead.
of course, isn’t the problem — we’re each unprepared
for such sudden loss,
read more at Waxwing Mag
I Loved You from Another Star
He’s always coming back, our neighbor, never quite here.
His wife, who teaches English, will never leave Seoul,
so he’s present part-year
past-participle— a joke he tells without a face.
his cat Monkra who looks exactly like our cat, who also wakes him
before sunrise, whining for food. Call him Momo for short,
and we do, no questions. He deals in import-export,
never carries a briefcase, only a pamphlet
of English grammar his wife authored.
He says she doesn’t understand
what I do for a living,
that poetry is for children and nine-tailed foxes
favored in Korean dramas that he and I discuss in secret,
away from our disapproving spouses.
read more at Berfrois
There’s always the illusion the museum I carry
inside me, of coal dust, black bread and worn-out brooms
could turn into a seaside palazzo of framed lithographs
and immaculate linens. There’s the hope that some magical
storm could sweep over my life, making dinners prepare
themselves, dust motes fly back into the atmosphere,
newspapers slide out of their messy heaps into trash bins.
Geraldine Connolly, Rattle
It already sounds alluring
in your Eastern European accent,
and mandatory to the tongue.
I recall snatches
of Williams’ frozen plums;
Gemma Mahadeo, Tincture Journal
Very excited and honored this morning to say that I have two poems included in the winter issue of Melusine, a journal for women in the 21st century (but not just for women, and not just including women). Huge respect and thanks to editor Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom, and I’m especially pleased because I love the work of two other poets in this issue – Mary Cresswell and Simon Perchik (I’ll link Mary’s poem below along with mine).
I came home tired from China.
You were a sudden warmth on a violet doorstep –
Present and tender, with a smudge of laughter.
Closer than calluses, you sway me and
Check out Mary’s “Spy Story” poem here.
I try to understand the small outside I let in that year:
artichoke, orchid, what was beautifully composed. I admired
every sentence he spoke and the valleys of grape
Lauren Camp, Heron Tree
A door is alarming, left open. A leaving;
belief that the exited party will memorize
reasons to find you again. And then. When
it happens, what Saturdays. What planned
activities. What woman that rends your
days. What ways you insist that your hair
can be combed and your failings cannot
I like the kind of rain
that upsets people
postpones the softball game
stops traffic and the radio
I am the man
Salvation Army shoes
straightening cigarette butts
in front of the laundry mat
personal Jesus t-shirt
Scott Nolan, Puritan Magazine