poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

May Yang is a first-generation Hmong-American artist, writer, and ethnographer from California. Writing under the persona HAUNTIE, she is the author of To Whitey and the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017), which was selected by Evie Shockley for the 2016 Robert Dana Prize in Poetry. 

Meeting Place

by HAUNTIE
 
i am straddling memory and the present tension
muscles turning into stone from the weight of time
how do you understand me in all of your knowing?
 
i am standing at crossroads
and there are many of them, one on top of the other
and they are not flat
and i could not just lie on the ground to rest and breathe
 
but i would like to
 
to survive i must stand and hold them all together
with my feet pinned down like a needle binding seems
so that when people cross me
when they cut these paths
we can speak
and we can be together
for a moment in time
 
this is how i feel about myself.
 

From To Whitey & the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.

From To Whitey & the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by May Yang. Reprinted by permission of Anhinga Press.

May Yang

May Yang

May Yang is a first-generation Hmong-American artist, writer, and ethnographer from California. Writing under the persona HAUNTIE, she is the author of To Whitey and the Cracker Jack (Anhinga Press, 2017), which was selected by Evie Shockley for the 2016 Robert Dana Prize in Poetry. 

by this poet

poem
by HAUNTIE
 
Body
 
A meeting place between the many times that came before it
These times, the trajectories that brought me to be here now
 
Body
 
A passing form
like a flower
the slowest
poem
by HAUNTIE
 
That I could be this human at this time
breathing, looking, seeing, smelling
 
That I could be this moment at this time
resting, calmly moving, feeling
 
That I could be this excellence at this time
poem
by HAUNTIE
 
Some time ago pale bodies slipped into Indochina and harvested
slave bodies to sow opium and mine silver. These slaves developed a
dependency on this unsustainable