Get Lit Minute

Victoria Chang | excerpt from “Obit” [Blame]

March 18, 2022 Get Lit - Words Ignite Season 4 Episode 4
Get Lit Minute
Victoria Chang | excerpt from “Obit” [Blame]
Show Notes

In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Victoria Chang.  Her collections of poetry include Circle (2005); Salvinia Molesta (2008); The Boss (2013); and Barbie Chang (2017). Her poems have been published in the Kenyon Review, Poetry, the Threepenny Review, and Best American Poetry 2005. Chang is the editor of the anthology Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (2004).  Source

This episode includes a reading of an excerpt from her poem,  "Orbit", featured in our 2022 Get Lit Anthology.

Excerpt from "Obit" [Blame]

Blame—wants to die but cannot. Its

hair is untidy but it’s always here. My

mother blamed my father. I blamed my

father’s dementia. My father blamed

my mother’s lack of exercise. My

father is the story, not the storyteller.

I eventually blamed my father because

the story kept on trying to become the 

storyteller. Blame has no face. I have

walked on its staircase around and

around, trying to slap its face but only

hitting my own cheeks. When some

people suffer, they want to tell everyone

about their suffering. When the brush

hits a knot, the child cries out loud,

makes a noise that is an expression of

pain but not the pain itself. I can’t feel

the child’s pain but some echo of her 

pain, based on my imagination. Blame

is just an echo of pain, a veil across

the face of the one you blame. I blame

God. I want to complain to the boss of

God about God. What if the boss of

God is rain and the only way to speak

to rain is to open your mouth to the sky

and drown?

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