The moon, distant & flickering, trapped itself in beads of sweat on my neck. Tucson, AZ 85721-0510 • MAP IT She is most drawn in by poems that explore the exuberance and exhaustion of the body, gendered desire, and the complex interplay of faith, reason, and technology. Don’t we touch each other just to prove we are still here? Ocean Vuong’s poem “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is a single, stunning poem in a tender collection that both asks and answers his own question: Don’t we touch each other just to prove we are still here? Even the deities know it, so in stories they come to us as something a little less scorching, something infinitely more touchable once made finite: human. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. I wanted to disappear — so I opened the door to a stranger’s car. Archived [POEM] On earth we’re briefly gorgeous - Ocean Vuong. In On Earth we’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong explores the lasting effects of the Vietnam War on his family.He specifically mentions the Tet Offensive, a North Vietnamese attack on South Vietnam in 1968. For hunger is to give the body what it knows. As a poet and a critic, I am drawn to work that directly engages with god as physical, and more provocatively, as sexual. In his poems, he often explores transformation, desire, and violent loss. He was divorced. I let the fog spill through the cracked window & cover my fangs. Alexandra Barylski is a poet, a senior editor at Marginalia Review of Books, and an educational consultant. I was still here once. College of HumanitiesCreative Writing MFAHumanities Seminars. Potent in every meaningful act of connection is the possibility of coming to discern what, until then, remained indiscernible to you about yourself and another. in the bathroom until we heard his muffled cries through the walls. At home, I threw myself on the bed like a torch & watched the flames gnaw through my mother’s house until the sky appeared, bloodshot & massive. She is fascinated by work that addresses ways we touch one another’s bodies in a progressively immaterial world directed by machines and how such an act helps us remain more human. The Vietnam War, which began in November of 1955 and lasted until the Fall of Saigon in April of 1975, involved the countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Ruminate Magazine, Phoebe, Minerva Rising, Ithaca Lit, and elsewhere. While I am grateful our presence sails through the sea of ones and zeros to one another, I am also frustrated by an absence made more keenly felt by experiencing my friend as both near and not near. The temptation to skim poetry as one might prose is often absent; the body of text invites the reader to slow down and stay, expressing a tangible grace from elsewhere. White space like a sheet focuses the contours of the poem’s presence. Say alabaster. How lovely and unhurried a poem appears, a languid beauty the eye is less likely to rush over. Ocean Vuong’s poem “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is a single, stunning poem in a tender collection that both asks and answers his own question: Don’t we touch each other just to prove we are still here? Poem. Close. Unbreakable dawn. For example, I am in an American coffee shop, but I am “hanging out” with my friend who teaches overseas. And so I learned that a man, in climax, was the closest thing. How one night, after, mother, then taking a chainsaw to the kitchen table, my father went to kneel. PHONE 520-626-3765 | poetry@email.arizona.edu. While the question is specific to his work, it is also, importantly, a question created by a culture that feels increasingly anxious about what people do or not do in their bodies. Switchblade. In the life before this one, you could tell. it cannot keep. 1508 East Helen Street (at Vine Avenue) Sign up for out Email Newsletter and stay up to date on all current events at the Poetry Center. 228. Each month, Alexandra Barylski will offer a post on a single poem or a poet whose work draws attention to our embodied selves. Poets seek and sing of divine fragments scattered over a world that has forgotten how to notice, which is another word for love. Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Study Guide of “On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong. When I left, the Buick kept sitting there, a dumb bull in pasture, its eyes searing my shadow onto the side of suburban houses. At once marvelous and cruel, there is something godlike about that kind of presence. Posted by 9 months ago. She was a finalist for the 2016 Fairy Tale Review Poetry Prize, the Yemassee Journal Poetry Prize, and the New South Poetry Prize. I can hear her voice and watch her facial expressions as we chat, but I can not touch her for a year. A poem lays itself down on the page unlike prose. So yes, touch is how we prove to one another we are still here, though not only “here” but distinctly human, which is to say divine and worthy. The collection evolved out of her experience living with chronic Lyme and explores the renegotiations of identity, relationships, and faith that arise when the body is in a state of dis-ease. Tell me it was for the hunger & nothing less. daylight. Poetry is my daily reminder that embodiment is not the soul’s afterthought, and that, when we meet another in the sheets of books or beds, we are called to take seriously the task of reminding each other we exist in the loving limits of non-digital space. [POEM] On earth we’re briefly gorgeous - Ocean Vuong. In his poems, he often explores transformation, desire, and violent loss. Say surrender. In a 2013 interview with Edward J. Rathke, Vuong discussed the relationship between... I’ll tell you how we’re wrong enough to be forgiven.

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