How men deal

by | Sep 28, 2016 | Poetry

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 The Author

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Jenny Qi is the author of the debut poetry collection Focal Point, winner of the 2020 Steel Toe Books Poetry Award. Her essays and poems have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Tin House, Rattle, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from Tin House, Omnidawn, Kearny Street Workshop, and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. Born in Pennsylvania to Chinese immigrants, she grew up mostly in Las Vegas and Nashville and now lives in San Francisco, where she completed her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. She is working on more essays and poems and translating her late mother’s memoirs of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and immigration to the U.S.



Books by Jenny Qi

Jenny Qi