Monday, August 3, 2020

American Zero

Today I sat down in the shade on my patio to rest and re-hydrate after transplanting some yellow lilies from the library to my own back yard, and to re-read American Zero, by Stella Wong, a fabulous chapbook from Two Sylvias Press, for the Sealey Challenge, Day Three. Isn't this a great cover? The cover photo is by Elaine Dong, and the cover design by Kelli Russell Agodon, poet and publisher. I love this little book. It doesn't take long to read (I'm still drinking that Raspberry Lemonade Gatorade G2) as it's only 10 poems long, but each one is a zinger--powerful, full of word play, and teaching me new things, even in the re-reading because I always need to re-learn things. Sigh...

The random coincidence today is the color yellow. The lilies, the pineapple of the first poem, gold medals, golden skin, a "yellow skin- / tight suit" (perfect line break), a pomelo, Katy Perry's "yellowface / and Hello Kitty obsession," beer, pee, and Halloween pumpkins. Also, speaking of Halloween, today feels like fall.

I love these poems. I love the last poem, "While I'm Not a Heroic Couplet," how it contains the book's title, and how it begins:

     America, I am not a negative
     nor a positive. I am your zero

     sum game...

And I love the poem "Everything About You is Offensive Except Your Cat" (the one with the Katy Perry incident in it) for its wonderful title and how it ends:

          What is more
     sacred than

     a thousand arms
     born gold

     like me,
     dancing on

     one hand,

     myself with
     all the rest.

UPDATE: The next morning, during senior shopping hour at Jewel, I got wine! ("Dry July" is over!) Its name: Pomelo! Random Coinciday wins!

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