How men deal


Personal ambition: Have my own style of music.
See my mother again.—Jimi Hendrix, in a survey
for the UK publication New Musical Express

A psychedelic voodoo priest sacrificing still-humming
heartstrings on a pyre demanding god fire like that
burns too bright too fast never lasts         except in
memory         Can you see your mother? So young
she was and you                  splintered         like your guitar
chasing         fire         burning your throat like a scream
shot         memory         The memorial—your father gave
a shot of whiskey said this is how men deal         men
burn down ashes to ashes                  are all ash and hurt
Your father like my father said                  I guess you just
a child can’t let go of what’s past         I don’t owe you
Listen heart crackle         fire sparks on train tracks
rushing         Mama’s body cold barely four months
and he thinks to marry                  This is how men deal
You learned too well                  pour another round
turn ashes to smoke    forget     this cold     inheritance



How Men Deal


Photo Untitled by David Wright used under Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND-2.0)


About Author

Jenny Qi is a writer, scientist and co-founder of the storytelling podcast Bone Lab Radio. Her essays have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Huffington Post. Her poems have appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Rattle, Off the Coast, and Spry, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is currently based in San Francisco.

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