After months of waiting it finally arrived. “A Single Throat Opens,” a lyric exploration of addiction, is now available here! Part memoir, part epistolary experiment, this collaboration (written with Meghan McClure) means so much to me.
It’s my debut nonfiction book and Meghan’s debut book period. I have tried to be as vulnerable and open as possible in these words. I have tried to be honest about addiction, what it looks like, and what it does to a family. Despite the subject, the heart of the book remains filled with love for those who struggle. As a reviewer said, “While the emotional aspect of the book is raw in subject matter, the prose/poetry is so beautifully crafted that it makes the subject matter radiantly alive despite the nature of the thoughts.”
I’ve been able to move beyond some of the conflicts I’ve held onto from my childhood. Addiction is never something in the past; it’s a continuation. I hope in writing this I have been able to continue toward something bright and lovely. I hope I have been able to provide those dealing directly or indirectly with addiction some comfort.
I’m happy to have one of my poems featured on the Crab Creek Review blog! It owes a debt to Kevin Young’s beautiful poems in his “Book of Hours.” If you missed this book when it first came out, I highly recommend going back and remedying that. It is gorgeous.
I don’t know what hunger is for
or what to hunger for.
You can’t give me
any more anymore.
Read the rest of the poem here!
I wasn’t born in the states. But I wasn’t exactly born in Japan. I was born on a Navy Base in Japan…which complicates the idea of belonging. I can’t tell you what home is, or what home feels like. But sometimes I feel I’ve come close to feeling at home. The Pacific Ocean, for instance, gives me a feeling I can only describe as relief. It’s the same feeling I get when I walk into an Asian grocery store. Familiar smells and sights and sounds that bring me to myself just a little bit more.
And Seattle, this state in general, has seemed to give me a space of my own.
When the Seattle Review of Books published my poem “My Heart the Size of a Tea Kettle,” it’s hard to express how much that meant to me. To be located, recognized, in the place where I live, as if, maybe, this is my home, this community my family.
I still can’t tell you what home is…or if Washington is one for me, even after all these years. But even if I am a guest, I don’t think I’ve overstayed my welcome. I still greet this place with a sense of joy and feel I’ve many years to give here.