Victoria Chang

cantfindit

Writer and editor Victoria Chang earned a BA in Asian studies from the University of Michigan, an MA in Asian studies from Harvard University, an MBA from Stanford University, and an MFA from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Her collections of poetry include Circle (2005), winner of the Crab Orchard Review Award Series in Poetry; 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. In 2017, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Chang is the editor of the anthology Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation (2004). In addition to editing, she writes children's books and teaches in Antioch University’s MFA program. She lives in Southern California with her family. Source

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?

Published:

2020

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

Themes:

Death & Loss

Faith & Hope

Family

Health & Illness

Literary Devices:

Metaphor

a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic

Personification

the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered