yoko tawada

Day 30/30: Beginning new phases by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Such relief--though I haven't officially submitted today's (last) poem yet. But I'll give notes for all the remaining ones.

"The World Growing Smaller Every Day"

  • Title comes from a line in Kafka (or my slight perversion of it). It was accompanied by the following image on JB's Instagram:

  • - Last line stems from a TAL episode in which I found out that in Honduras, politician sometimes hang out at the morgue, offering to pay for coffins.

"Shades of White"

  • - First line gifted to me from JB after I shared him that NY Times article from above. (60/30, anyone?)

"Blood Eagle"

  • - Also took some quotes from that episode. Watching it is so generative for me--not matter how shocked.

  • - Took the scaffolding of Plath's poem, "Sheep in Fog"--god she will always be my master.

And today's poem (apologies if I change the title from now 'til my submission of the poem):

"Pas de Deux"

  • - Finally picked up Frank Stanford again--used the scaffolding of "Between Love and Death."

Day 23/30: What whittles down by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Unfortunate enough to catch a cold with this resurgence of chilly weather. Being sick means fog in the brain, and poems worse than usual. Am not despairing.


"Buzkashi (iii)"

  • - Can't recall anymore through the thicket of my skull if I borrowed/adapted this form from somewhere else. I only remember trying to find a median between the first and second buzkashi poems.

  • - And also, some lines from the latest Hannibal episode.

"Getting the Hero to Speak"

  • - Idea from a poem in Monica Youn's first book, Barter--in the notes section, she mentions one aspect of Greek hero workship in which supplicants pour blood down a funnel through the grave of a hero in order to get the hero to speak. Subsequently Googled all I could find about Greek hero cults. So awesome.

  • - JB assigned me some James Tate reading from his Selected--and loosely took the scaffold of the poem "Loyalty."

  • - Realized that I can't really be funny in a poem.

"From the Conch"

  • - Poem I sadly eked out while sick in bed yesterday. Totally embarrassed, but this might be the closest to funny I can get.

  • - Scaffold of poem from James Tate's "Annual Report."

  • - Totally a coincidence that JB's poem for this day also used more than one parentheticals. Funny because we were in separate states while composing our poems.

  • - The line "Last week the mermaid died of breast cancer" borrowed of course from Yoko Tawada's Where Europe Begins. She's my myth-genius.

Over & out--

Week 1, Day 7: The end of the first limb (leg, leg, arm, arm) by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Did manage to finish Jorie's Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts, but it was a slow process that reminded me of trying to study for biology or chemistry. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy this book, but that I couldn't just breeze through it in one sitting (or at a 11pm bedtime lying down position which is how I started the book last night).

And honestly, only made it through 1/3 of rereading Tawada's Where Europe Begins because (1) my brain is tired from all the forced reading (but pleasurable forced reading) and (2) I'm taking extensive poem notes, which slows down the whole process by mucho minutes. And I already have to tack on the African Myths book for next week.

Aaaaand I take the bus to Boston for AWP tonight. That is, if this snow/rain/wind thing doesn't delay/harm the roads. The idea of socializing is crippling me right now, but I think it would = poor mental health if I back out of going so last minute. I can force myself to interact with humans if I can force myself to read human letters.

Here's the roundup for March 8-14:

  • Cynthia Cruz's The Glimmering Room
  • Donald Revell's Tantivy
  • Donald Revell's The Bitter Withy
  • Donald Revell's A Thief of Strings
  • one book I will buy at AWP
  • African Myths and Tales
  • finish taking notes/rereading Yoko Tawada's Where Europe Begins