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Showing posts from December, 2011

Before the Sunset--Reading

2012 will be my fifth anniversary to be a published poet. I am very excited to join AWP for my first time and my poetry reading will be held in South Bend in May.

My first poems (Before the Sunset was one of them) were published in “Puerto Del Sol#44” in 2009. They were accepted by the former editor, Kathleene West, on Christmas day in 2007. I am thankful that she gave me my first chance in the publishing world.

Along with my poet friends, Charmi, Nancy, Amy, Ryan, Clayton, Alesandra, Jill, and ***drum sounds*** DDL, I am lucky to have this poetry community to help me poet forward.

Merry Christmas.

Only One Line

I showed an article to my mother in New York Magazine to point out my name.

I usually Skype her every weekend, but this was a Tuesday. When I texted her to ask for five minutes in Skype, she was busy practicing walking in her apartment with my father. I kept bugging her to get online because I have big news (which she interpreted as me being pregnant or something). In the tiny camera feed, I was proving that my name was actually next to the respected Swedish poet.

My mother seemed to be happy that my name was mentioned with those big names though she cannot read English and doesn’t have any idea what I am doing in the contemporary poetry world. She was excited to see my name with the words “New York” nonetheless.

In the magazine, the names listed are Will Hubbard (a best-selling poet in 2011), Naoko Fujimoto (no book publication), Tomas Tranströmer (Nobel laureate), and Walt Whitman (a legendary poet). In the tiny screen, my mother pointed out their credentials and said, “You have only …

Welcome to My 2010

I feel like 2010 finally started. The sun rises, Christmas ornaments shine, and I have been happy…so happy. Thank you, thank you very much (I am waving at you).

It took eleven months, maybe more than that to get where I thought I would have started here. In the end of September during my sister’s wedding, I wanted to divorce— my sick father did not want me to go back to America, my grandmother asked me to take a sleeping pill to calm down— because of my death metal-hubby’s drinking issues and the time it took to find a good job. On top of that, in early October, my company asked me to find a new job, and there were no publications yet this year. I can be on and on about my miserable months.

And then one manager asked me to be her assistant (in a way) in the middle of November. I have been working ok –things are so much better there—so I saved my job. I can pay my rent. Before then, my death-metal hubby cut his hair and has been working so hard as a researcher. His drinking issues have d…

New York Magazine -- Livelihoods of the Poets

Rachel Friedman wrote an article, "Livelihoods of the Poets," in New York Magazine.

My name was mentioned in the article! Thank you!
Tomas Tranströmer is having a good two weeks: On ­December 10, the 80-year-old Swedish poet was officially given the 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature in Oslo, and on December 19, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish a new edition of his verse. To get to this moment, he triumphed o’er what are perhaps the longest economic odds in the arts. THE WASTELAND
Estimated poetry M.F.A.’s awarded, according to M.F.A.-world blogger Seth Abramson, in …
2001: 700
2006: 1,000
2011: 1,400
Approximate number of jobs available to teach M.F.A. programs: 750Est. number of poems considered by editors of The Best American Poetry yearly anthology: 20,000
Number selected: 75The Bling
Representative Paychecks$460 for a 36-line poem: The New Yorker
$75 a poem: The Paris Review
$25 a page: Plough-shares
$10 a line: Poetry Magazine

Natural Bridge -- Accepted!

Natural Bridge is accepted two poems! Yes!

after Japan, 3/11/2011

I type numbers and sit in a black
chair for eight hours. Glass cloth
covers my eyes. Cold
sand fills my bones. A graveyard

on the hill is burning.

After the earthquake, a fisherman
runs to the fire. He carries
a clarinet and yells to me,

What else do you want?

My eyelids are sealed like wax stamps.
A tsunami pushes the flaming tombstones and boats.

Under the white moon, the fisherman
plays a clarinet concerto. He vibrates
the reed. In the ocean breeze, he inhales
human dust. I open

my eyes. I want


and then more lights.


Because I’m from Fukushima, I say, I’m not / radioactive, and eat / seaweed salad from a bowl. You / hold my hands as we share these long / silences. Because / I’m a Buddhist, I recite, Namu-amida-butsu, at noon / over lunch, and very late at night. But I don’t pray for the Japanese. I pray / for myself because I crave / a word. I want it to av…


after Japan, 3/11/2011

A woman lies with diapers full of sea water. Her legs remind me of a giant rubber band I shot in math class, summer 1993. I shot it at you, a love note landing on your thigh. I wanted for you to return it so my palm could feel your fingers like drops of eternal silver. That day spiderworts lined the streets in puddles going home. Your eye sockets were full of mud. “I cannot see my future,” you said as you plucked the rubber band. I stand up shouting, “Are you alright?” There is a baby underneath her. I smell my warm sweat.

AMPERSAND -- Prose Poem


I play Nazareth’s tango while you flap my yellow dress & hang it on the blue balcony. Your hands are dry like an entangled fish when its scales fall away after an ebb tide. You collect fish bones & line them up on a silver plate like a glockenspiel. A white fish is steamed in the red pot. I like to eat it with pepper & yuzu-citrus. Raindrops beat on the kitchen windows & insensible pavement. Here in the Midwest, I don’t smell rain like that. You look in the mirror at a lump in your breast & I live in rain years.