YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=8zHMSPoVNYg
Previous: Tay Zonday reads "Fathom"
Next: Blas Falconer reads "Like Jesus to the Crows"

Categories

Statistics

View count:124
Likes:18
Dislikes:1
Comments:2
Duration:02:42
Uploaded:2020-06-15
Last sync:2020-06-15 09:45
Vanessa Angélica Villarreal reads Aracelis Girmay's poem, "First Estrangement".

Vanessa:
https://twitter.com/Vanessid

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20: https://poetrymagazine.org/OursPoetica

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:
twitter.com/ourspoeticashow
instagram.com/ourspoeticashow
facebook.com/ourspoeticashow

#poetry #ourspoetica
Hi.  I'm Vanessa Angélica Villarreal and today, I'll be reading "First Estrangement" by Aracelis Girmay.  I chose this poem because this book came out the year before my book was scheduled for publication and during that year, I was struggling with a manuscript, how to order it, furiously editing, trying to make it accommodate a voice that perhaps wasn't mine, and there was a deep encouragement that I got from this book from poems that gave me permission to sort of plunge into a legible memory fragmentation tenderness and to write from that center.

First Estrangement

I do not remember back then
when I was trying to leave one world
for the next, my girl-mother on the table,
all her darkness torn 
for our two-headedness,

when around our violence floated 
the universe, & we, 
the naked astronauts
at our ends, at our beginnings,

years away from that staggering
out of one depth into another,
I remember her when I crack, again,
open the (already) starlight of the pomegranate,
when I bow my ear down toward it like a deer
without knowing why or from where 
the hunger comes, faintly it screams

the memory of stars, 
of estrangement, the lungs
pumping with air 

how I take, & take
what I cannot give back