In this poem about mental illness, there’re two speakers weaving their thoughts together into one tapestry of consciousness. Mother and daughter shared the same narrative of shame and guilt as each started out as the inadequate caregiver who then became the confused, frightened patient. As the disease threaded its way through the generations, their history of pain and secrecy repeated itself.
[…] Your dough palm covers my face and silences closed-lid admissions. Listen. A history of mothers and daughters splitting into halves the way of green apples. […]
Read complete poem at: “Kitchen Ghosts.” Copper Nickel (University of Colorado Denver), Denver, CO, Issue No. 29, Fall 2019, pp. 128-129. Copper Nickel is a national literary journal was founded by poet Jake Adam York in 2002 and housed at the University of Colorado Denver. Work published in Copper Nickel has appeared in the Best American Poetry, Best American Short Stories, Best Small Fictions, and Pushcart Prize anthologies, and has been listed as “notable” in the Best American Essays anthology.
Carried a single branch inside my river,
downstream through milky lashes,
tattooed lips and deceitful thighs.
We are unreliable and cruel like the water.
Carried you into goodbye fingers
of spicy savage lickers… carried you
like a burden… like a shameful secret.
You are the life, and I am the delusion.
Do you know me, or I, you?
The irresistible melancholy of the miracles
that have soiled the currents ruptures
like stardust above the greatest cycle of life.
Time will eventually trot away
like dogs on parade. Love will scorn
like the mundane minutes of a lifeless day.
Without the right words to say,
the right hip sway, I am not
the right person to convince you to stay.
I can only promise you that I will hate you
just as much as I love you today.
~ by Samantha Lê
With a special thank you to Mr. Ryan Loyd, friend and fellow 312.
In “Watching Dad’s Porn on the VCR,” a poem about girlhood, the speaker of the poem searches for her identity in the images reflected back at her from the television screen “…Mouth of a prophet, tongue of a poet….” Her sense of self is tangled up in what she believes to be the definition of a man—the one for whom the women on the screen carry out their performances.
“Watching Dad’s Porn on the VCR.” The Minnesota Review (Virginia Tech, Duke University Press), Durham, NC, Issue No. 90, Spring 2018, pp. 15. Publishing contemporary poetry and fiction as well as reviews, critical commentary, and interviews of leading intellectual figures, The Minnesota Review curates smart, accessible collections of progressive new work.
A short and punchy poem about the cannibalistic nature love. In “Tongue Tied,” the speaker of the poem laments about being devoured by her lover, yet she accepts it and goes along with it, continuing to insist on “nothing” until she manages to forget what she tries to deny.
“Tongue Tied” is published in the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Tule Review. Tule Review is the publication of the Sacramento Poetry Center (Sacramento, CA). Publishes once a year, the journal showcases new writers and award winners from the region and across the nation.