The bakery’s graffiti either spells HOPE
or NOPE. But hope and results
are different, said Fanny Brawne to her Keats
voiding his unreasonable lung.
Getting off the medicine
completely means light again
blinking to light. Device returned
to its factory settings. The complete black
of before the meteor shower
above the bakery. If you lose the smell
of leather, lemon, or rose,
studies show you will fail at being
Poets.org, Christopher Salerno
rt Gemi on Pixiv
Don’t take it personal’, they said;
but I did, I took it all quite personal—
the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;
the price of grapefruit and stamps,
the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me
and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.
The government reminded me of my father,
with its deafness and its laws,
and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.
Tony Hoagland, Poetry Magazine
“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.
In 2014 to celebrate Black History Month, NPR Books asked Afua Richardson, an award-winning illustrator who’s worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics, to illustrate something that inspired her. She created this extraordinary video – 50 seconds that perfectly melds the oral, visual, and textual traditions of storytelling into something of pure magic, resonant with historical echoes.
Blood & Water: The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes from AfuaRichardson on Vimeo.