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« Sterling Hayden as Johnny Clay in Kubrick's "The Killing" [by John Harbourne] | Main | On Seeing the Nutcracker Suite as an Adult [by Stacey Harwood-Lehman] »

December 18, 2022


I love the way Paul Tran gives us their autobiography commingled with a mother story, a grandmother story, a war story, and their own observation of relationship: “I choose the lipstick she’d least approve of.” Lovely, complicated stories. Thanks.

"In the kitchen,/I wrap a white sheet around my waist and dance/for hours, mesmerized by my reflection in a charred skillet."ant

Stunning brilliant just god damn great poetry, language, imagery. Suprises!
Must read Paul Tran's book!

Thanks for this PAUL AND TERENCE!

Thanks for the comment, Anne.

Bill: thanks for the comment.

incandescent imagery. Thank you, P & T !

A dynamite poem. Paul Tran never disappoints: the honesty, vulnerability coupled with distinct control of imagery and line make this poem (for me) admirable & memorable.

"I’m her understudy. Hiding

in the doorway between her grief and mine"

This is spirit in action. Giving us amazement.

And I long for this day each week to see the art curated by Terence.

In the haunting pictures he paints in this poem, Paul Tran takes us well beneath the surface into something real and memorable. Glad to be introduced to his work here.

I love Paul's work! I taught their book All the Flowers Kneeling this past winter. Simply stunning! Thanks for sharing this, Terence.

The imagery of clothing and cosmetics rubs up against both concealing in plain sight and unveiling what Yeats might call "the deep heart's core." The language is effulgent where it needs to be, yet never spills into excess even when excess may be part of the point. The first image taking my breath away comes in the first and second lines: "Torrents of rain / shirring the sand." The choice of "shirring" is pin-perfect: a trimming procedure in clothing and fashion where cloth is gathered by drawing the material up on parallel rows of short, running stitches. I can picture Paul Tran's description with utter clarity. "Lipstick Elegy" is rich in evocative--and provocative--language and lean in the most sobering, reflecting scenes. The equilibrium struck by Paul Tran is as deft as it gets in verse. And the last line, "No child in our family stays a child their mother can love," is devastating in its candor. Superb poem, superb pick: plaudits respectively to Paul Tran and Terence Winch.

Thanks, Jack. Appreciate the comment.

Thank you, Grace!

Thanks for the comment, Denise.

Thanks, Earle. Great comment.

We can all look beautiful if the mirror is polished enough, but to look beautiful in a charred skillet is beyond most.

stunningly poignant

Thank you to Paul and Terence for this poem. I love its precision, how it sticks to the concrete, the picture, so much of which is vivid and new to me. There's such a good surprise the reader gets from taking in so much new and expected description of these urgent actions and conditions.

Don: Thanks back to you.

Wonderful poem!

Wonderful, brilliant, unsettling, loving poem. I agree with everything everybody said.

What exquisite structure! So subtle, so tender, so rich.
Thanks for bringing this work to us, Terence.

Michael: Thanks for the comment.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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