excerpts from “in her own words” – Poetry by Valerie Hsiung

Fate, Life, Truth, Beauty – Georg Pauli, 1905

From our Winter 2018 issue, here are four tantalizingly poetic excerpts from Valerie Hsiung‘s in her own words.

{ X }

TAKE THOSE HANDCUFFS OFF OF ME. All I hear. I am a penniless billionaire. I am the granddaughter to a squandered fortune. What would she say? She would say to not be so lazy today, tomorrow you can be lazy. She would say to walk clear into the burning fields.

{ X }

AND THEN. IT CHANGED… Became too quiet between us, what was left for us to trace went unfulfilled. The need to not speak too soon is the need to survive as prey. Cursed us all but not on purpose. Those are nice shoes! Oh no make no mistake, I was definitely flirting with you. So we’re both too old for this. At least me. All purpose flower. Black tea on an empty stomach kind of seasick.

Make believe. And later,       ropes them in.

{ X }

may still stand… And…sometimes, it’s good to let yourself be bad… She smiles.
Paper sails mean paper moon.
Can you picture it? She sits at a desk, and then
she gets up from it, the desk, smiling, identifying the source
inside her, both old and violent or nostalgic and haunting inside as a river or jukebox or when pharmacies still sold ice cream, yet on the outside, all you see
is something timeless. She cannot see this. She feels she is vanishing
before them, before herself.

{ X }

WHEN I LIE, EVERYONE BELIEVES ME. Because that’s what they want to hear,that’s what they’ve always. wanted. to hear.

But when I tell the truth?

everyone begins to call me a liar. Their liar.

That’s when the poison begins to take hold.

{ X }

Poet and performer VALERIE HSIUNG is the author of three full-length poetry collections: e f g: a trilog(Action Books, 2016), incantation inarticulate (O Balthazar Press, 2013), and under your face (O Balthazar Press, 2013). Her poetry and interviews can be found or is forthcoming in an array of places, including American Letters & Commentary, Apiary, Black Nerd Problems, Cloud RodeoCosmonauts Avenue, Bone Bouquet, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Diode Poetry Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Luna Luna Magazine, Mad Hatters’ Review, Moonshot, New Delta Review, PEN Poetry Series, PreludeRealPoetik, Tammy, and VOLT. She has performed at Casa Libre en la Solana, Common Area Maintenance, Leon Gallery, Poetic Research Bureau, Rhizome, Shapeshifter Lab, and Treefort Music Festival, among elsewhere. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hsiung studied literary translation and ecopoetics at Brown University and is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a modern-day matchmaker. She serves as an editor for Poor Claudia. Find her online at http://flowersintheirmouths.com

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