When I read Ocean Vuong’s
work I find myself at a loss
for how I can continue to write
in a world where he exists.
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Both Prynne and Vuong
harbingers of the verse
I will never have the talent
to write or produce.
Autobiography of Red
Eros the Bittersweet
…and I reading Carson, Vuong,
Prynne and feeling worse about
myself. Whose work do you admire
in creative self-criticism?
– Aaron Kent
Why is there a Frame when
there’s an Akbar? When I grow up
I want nothing more than a list of
more poems by Chen Chen to read.
But here I am and here is the sun,
finally. I wonder which came first,
the phoenix or the Christ – twelve years
of catholic school clearly served me well.
But I was talking about the sun,
but in the yard across from me a son
rolls in grass and dew and rising light,
and I’m reading in a truck warmed
by itself. I guess it’s time to leave
Levine behind. Oh, mercy. Mercy.
Me. Akbar writes, “It’s difficult /
to be anything at all” but I’m lying
as usual. Is there an evolution of self
beyond self, beyond ego, id, I’d?
Is that what work is? (which work?)
Rane told me pest control was labor
unfit for humans, “but think of all
the poems!” Remember which work,
his final living lesson for me. I’ve
got a point I’m trying to make
and it’s desperate and it’s about
desperation. I don’t need Google
to know why the sun rose today.
And for whom. Sometimes, the boy
needs to see the dew. Sometimes,
he needs more light to keep reading:
“It’s difficult / to be anything at all with
the whole world right here for the having.”
– Anthony Frame