Read a poem, talk about it, read it again.

Episode 119 Family Ties - Diana Khoi Nguyen


Content Warning: Suicidality

Connor and Jack think through Diana Khoi Nguyen's remarkable poem "Family Ties," part of her haunting debut collection Ghost Of. They discuss the complex emotional textures Nguyen evokes in the poem, the challenges of representations of suicide, and ideas of family, self, and metaphorical webs.

More on Nguyen here.

Family Ties By: Diana Khoi Nguyen

Gradually a girl’s innocence itself becomes her major crime
A doe and her two fawns bent low in the sumac along the bank of a highway,
    the pinched peach of their ears twitching in the heat
Into the disordered evening my brother cut out only his face from every   
    photograph in the hall, carefully slipping each frame back into position
What good does it do?
Decades of no faces other than our own chipping faces
What good does it do, this resemblance to nothing we know of the dollhouse
New parents watch their newborn resting in a sunny patch of an empty
    room, the newborn making sense of its container—
And from the road a deer ripened in death and a tuft of fur—or dandelion—
    tumbled along, gently circled, driftwood, shaking loose, gathered,
    dissolving into the mouths of jewelweed nearby
Earth is rife with iron and blood is rich in stardust
Immediately I spotted one hoof print, then nothing, as if this was where she
  dragged herself out of the body
Strips of tire torn from their orbit

Is it right then, that we are left to hurtle alone

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