Tag Archives: Similar Peaks

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: Feng Sun Chen in Similar:Peaks

4 Oct

The first of the three begins “I want someone to watch me pick the dirt under my fingernails.” Which came first the scratching or this view? Feng Sun Chen’s poems here in Similar:Peaks burst each one of themselves from the grave of the moment, the untidy corner where “the garbage of dirty ghosts/courses enthusiastically through my fatty tissue.” Maybe it was just my groggy eyes, but probably not, but did the lights just flicker? The reaction to an exposed world where questions are not questions, where statements are questioned by their maker. As in “without scale? her exotic trauma? precede my own? but it is always a lie?” As in “is porn the opposite of solipsism or is it tautology.” [period there is mine okay] It is rare to open a (bunch of) poem(s) like a nut you’ve eaten before and find in it a weird diamond that reflects and refracts your terminal illness (life) so unbullshittedly, super soaked in fantastic ruin. The day has been battered, but we are continued and better yet, Feng Sun Chen gave us these marks.

Feng Sun Chen

Best Thing I’ve Read Today: Susana Gardner

20 Sep

susana-gardnerYesterday at the online journal Similar Peaksan excerpt from Susana Gardner’s poem “Lamia,” which works through Keats’ version of the Greek myth, went live. In the editor’s introduction to the poem, Carleen Tibbetts writes that the piece addresses “manifestations of longing and nostalgia,” all the while examining the “unforgiving passage of time” through a series of “bold linguistic leaps” and a “fierce mastery” of the line.

Here are the poem’s opening lines:

There are illustrations of want in light.
Light-work again and again moves through mossy trees.

Through ice.

There are trees. There are trees. Heavy magnolias offered fat
On out-cupped branches, palms. Branched. Paper-lanterns.
Laden bounteous laden raw–beauty
Some see only indifference in the gender-heavt sky.

There are poets.

Masked-poets. Poets who beg indifference.
Who fly into the night.
Who live–drunk against New Time.

O ruby.

To read more about Susana Gardner, her poems, and her poetics, check out the interview I conducted with her last May for Vouched Books.