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Continuity

“Cynthia Arrieu-King’s beautiful new book manages to feel written on the occasion of both a birth and a death, and perhaps it means to remind us that the passage of time necessitates both, as it brims with energy and elegy at once. I love the urge and pull of her richly textured language, her vision of what sorrow can teach us, her poem-as-jeweled-time-travelling- mausoleum, a place where we keep both our beloveds and our own past selves. Elegy doesn’t resurrect, but in Continuity it does teach, distill, unveil. It folds time. Thus it reaches for, thus it does reach. “They keep / saying your place / isn’t a room, but / a kind of paragraph.” Yes. Here. My gratitude to this poet for showing me new languages for feelings I thought I knew.”


—Wendy Xu

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Featured on May 3, 2021

In Praise of Black Weariness

I think of Black weariness as a specific condition born from the Middle Passage and ongoing genocide, a continual state of being that is distinct from resolvable feelings like "sleepiness." Black weariness is both intentional and environmental, a technology of survival in a world which has never left us any other choice. It is found in the procedural, grief-laden repetition of M. NourbeSe Philip's "Zong! #14" ("the truth was/the ship sailed/the rains came/the loss arose") and the directness of jay dodd’s "In the Age of Audacity" ("i don’t want a Solution/i want People to know/Everything hurts"). It's the flippant, sacred feeling writer Morgan Parker gestures towards in "Magical Negro #217: Diana Ross Finishing a Rib in Alabama, 1990s" (“Since I thought I'd be dead/by now everything/I do is fucking perfect"). Black weariness is the creation of luxury and time under impossible conditions. It's a balm, a speculative tradition, a freedom practice

 

 

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Featured on April 26, 2021

sundaey

'‘/i wanted to be as good as an amazon review,’ types this post-ambien(t) poet, ‘as laid bare /           in my interjections /               like one name being used by two people.’ Whitman, Stein, Lins, meet Kirsten Ihns—our American stenographer of emergent devotions, systemic derangements, and a cryptic magnificence beyond reason. ‘be a form of vast comportment,’ this work asks of itself, ‘at all points permit the ornament to wash /     up on the shores of a real decorum.’ Sundaey is a mesmerizing debut, a detonated confection, and a deliquescent cosmology ‘like the world /       /delicto, uncertain, stopless, asking /                                    in whose image have you /                                            deformed the material.’” —Srikanth Reddy, author of Facts for Visitors

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Featured on April 19, 2021

The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak

I began writing poetry in earnest around 2016 and 2017. I'd always loved reading and writing in some form, but writing poems specifically came much later. Reading these poems again now, I suspect that this is the reason the themes in the collection vary so much—I hadn't been able to process so many different events in my life until I started writing poems!

I believe it was the wonderful writer Ocean Vuong who said the act of reading a poem out loud gives it a new life, that "the air is a second page." For me, the act of writing these poems down gave not only my memories (especially the sad and angry ones), but also me, much-needed new lives. In a sense, it released me from them, and them from me. 

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