‘Our nation is a spell of nerves and gas. We say yes to monsters, to elegies etched in our palms.’ Translated by Daniel Canty.
Song for Goliath
‘I see them as a needlepoint sampler, / flowing script that reads: everyone suffers.’
Nassau homme recouvert d’une couverture de laine assis au sol sous une série de clous...
‘Underneath the leaves that stack my upper lip / the reindeer do not share their love.’ Translated from the Korean by Jake Levine.
‘Syllables are excised by / X-Acto, fed into a shredder / for good measure.’
I’ll Come Later Tomorrow
‘all in black, her arms raised in the air, their shadow sketching some malign bird I couldn’t recognize’
Black Rot and Mildew
‘a look I’d managed to accessorize / with raw dermatological distress.’
‘Let me tell you how / white hands kilned me / in the moonless middle / of night.’
Friday Afternoon with Boko Haram
I spent the Hezbollah war in Nigeria eating hummus in a Syrian cafe and watching...
woman is a construct
‘woman is basically meant / to be a residential complex / all the same / all plastered over / just in different colors’
Release the Darkness to New Lichen
‘otherwise it is all otherwise I’m lost, did I say that’
Sanjay Nagar Blues
‘motorcyclists like to howl / and dogs drop bulging bags of garbage / from their mouths when they see other dogs / they want to mount’
‘The lemon shark / who returns to the same mangrove-lined shallows / every year to give birth.’
How to Get Over Someone You Love
‘Would you like to come with me for some / old-fashioned inconclusive combat?’
‘What I do not have is Everything: / how is it that I won’t bear this neediness?’
The Japanese Firefly Squid
‘nothing like an ancient corridor where a / woman is stripped of resistance.’
‘Certainly the tide or the dog striding along the sluff of seaweed, / this afternoon – brown, light green, black green, white and red.’
‘The train station was a cemetery. / Drunk with spirits, another being entered.’
‘Do they dance for those creatures / whose unmade selves / come unbuttoning out of the dark?’
‘Of the 36 views of Fuji, this one is the strangest: / the great wave off Kanagawa, frozen and tempestuous, / both sound and silence.’
Fortunate It Is If Her Skirts Do Not Catch Fire
‘I must remember god is not my private / secretary.’
Black Against the Sky, the Giant Mothers
‘Black against the sky the giant mothers / are whispering together in the moonlight’
‘Who connects with the next woman / With tens and hundreds and thousands of women.’
Life and Time
We grow up but do not comprehend life. We think life is just the passing...
‘Our conversations faltered, the celestial musicians / took a break between sets, and all the little engines / we had so painstakingly gathered and constructed / lapsed into stillness for a few brief moments.’
The Door Was Open and the House Was Dark
‘I called his name, although I knew / The answer this time would be silence / That kept me standing listening while it grew.’