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Last sync:2023-03-09 16:30
Diana Khoi Nguyen reads Kim Yideum's poem, "Hysteria".


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I'm Diana Khoi Nguyen, and I'm reading Hysteria by Kim Yideum. I chose Hysteria because when I first started reading the poem and also the book, I was shocked and very agape from her rage or the rage that's in the poem and it was really exciting because i've felt that it coincided with a lot of rage that I feel at nothing, at everything at times. Whether it's related to my PMS or not and I love that she captures it on the page with that kind of violence and it's unflinching, unapologetic, it's what I wish I could write.


I want to rip you apart with my teeth. I want to tear you to
death on this speeding subway. Hey, you groping, hey, hey,
hands off! I feel like I'm ripping, like I'll tear apart any second.
I want to scream, throw a fit, but I take my hand and push
deep into my gut. Breathe. Deep. Don't fucking touch me. I
said stop leaning on me. You're driving me nuts, what the fuck?
The leather on my body begins to strain. Is it a fox or a wolf?
I'm about to pop. Flowing blood like a lunar halo, bloodstains
that bleed through blue sheets, you think that's instinctual?
Because of the full moon? Shut your mouth. Truth-speaking
woman, if you know the truth, keep it to yourself. This is the
gospel of filthy humans. Periodic bleeding. Stomach cramps. I
won't stop. I'm complicated as hell, but people try and try to get inside. I'm an insider, me. Not an outsider. You mumble even
in your sleep. Sudden hemorrhaging. Blood flowing. A world
with a big door. Closing, opening, repeat, repeat. A wheel that
stops and stops as it turns. I need a new route, need to get out.
I need a heavy duty maxi pad. What to do with this passed-
out-fucker? With his hand in my coat, this fucker is talking in
his sleep like he's reading a scribbled letter. I want to kill the
motherfucker. But what if he's my lover? If only I could pick 
him up by the back of his neck with my teeth. I would leap off
this train and sprint over the tracks. I would head to the darkest
part of the night, my wild hair flapping. If only I could go to 
the sandy beach on the red coast, moonlit. There, beside the
cool waters, I would lay him down. If only.