Not-So-Recent Poems

These poems, recently published in Lavender Review, are from my first manuscript claims at the edge, which I haven’t quite decided if I will dismantle, revise, or burn. At this current state, the collection is not cohesive, as I wrote it during a span of three years in grad school. The abstract that I wrote (and hated that I had to write) for this manuscript clearly shows the need to focus my approach:

CLAIMS AT THE EDGE, a collection of original prose poems, explores the intricacies of what is familiar, discarded, peculiar, and tempting to the author, who is a young, immigrant, queer woman. This collection begins with a history of sorts, documenting the speaker’s dual displacement as she exists along the margins of American culture and battles with physical and linguistic estrangement from her Filipino roots. The author also studies a difficult, yet infinitely vital want—love—which elicits vulnerability and genuine optimism. In these poems that range from the obscene to the sublime, there is restrained anger, subtle intimacy, and indelible violation of the spirit. She approaches language just as she would a perfectly formed fruit or the ephemeral body—with speculation and want.

Ugh. Sounds pretentious, which does not match the poems therein. No wonder I didn’t write much the year after graduating. I’m glad to be in a different space now, but I’m not sure if revision is worth it. How does one revisit the same poems without completely changing the original intent, especially when the original intent no longer seems to be suitable?

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