'Snippets 2' by Ghost is Write Out Loud's Poem of the Week
The new Write Out Loud Poem of the Week is ‘Snippets 2’ by Ghost, a young Korean American born in Middletown, New York. ‘Snippets 2’ is a powerful and poignant poem despite its unassuming title. In his answers to our questions, the poet says his mother encouraged him to start writing: “She threw books at me to read all the time.” His current favourite poet is Ocean Vuong, winner of the 2017 Forward prize for best first collection.
What got you into writing poetry?
My mother got me into writing. She threw books at me to read all the time. I never had anything else to do either.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since I was little. I wrote on my own since middle school.
Do you go to any open-mic performance nights?
I go to open mics on campus and in downtown LA when I visit my father.
What’s your favourite poet/poem?
At the moment, my favourite poet is Ocean Vuong and his poem ‘Telemachus’.
You're cast away on a desert island. What's your luxury?
Being a cast away on a desert island is my luxury. I like the idea of being cast away.
My mother was lovely I-Miss-You-Post-It-Notes and letter,
a hundred missed messages, phone calls and emails.
all over the walls, she left them
stitched them into a red scarf
I know she will never wear.
The notes are gone.
Their absence made the house a catacomb.
she gets lost in it…
found her once in a room.
felt the unapologetic shudder
of her chest as she draped her arms around me.
felt a shudder. felt a crying. felt a numbness a seething
a gasp a apology in her shuddering.
She doesn’t have to say it, but like a broken
tape recorder she loops
“I’m Sorry.” And it loops…
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Five Home Depot Boxes wait at the front door like how ‘fuck you’
waits in your school locker as a note
waits for several periods as a boy
waits to grow up as a man
waits well past his 50s to be brave as my mother
waits to be struck as the boxes
wait to be opened:
lingerie, shirts, photos, albums, lip balm, hair dryer, more photos, more memories, antiques, reminders, even used tissue and hair follicles
scattered all over the floor.
My mother cried the way snow falls
Sun 14th Jan 2018 11:55
This is a worthy winner - well deserved. Congratulations!
Tue 9th Jan 2018 17:29
There are ghosts in your poem, sad, lovely and thought provoking. Thank you
Tue 9th Jan 2018 13:41
excellent work. i received Vuong's first collection for xmas, i absolutely love his work and while this is reminiscent of his style, it carries itself on the strength of the words and the placement. lovely stuff, great to see a proper, alternative piece of poetry get POTW.
<Deleted User> (13762)
Tue 9th Jan 2018 09:22
There is much to intrigue the reader in these and your other 'snippets'. In many ways it is not important for the reader to ever know the full back story. The snippets of information offered are like images plucked from a story board or the jottings of a reporter. There is also a certain amount of restraint and detachment from emotion until the last three breathtaking lines.
Congratulations on POTW. Your desert island luxury is the best answer given to this question. I couldn't agree more although I think I probably requested chocolate! Good luck with your writing.
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