He Needs a Stage or a Pedestal or a Pinnacle

 

In my sack I place an inventory: cartilage, cracked skull,

thumb, belt buckle, femur, bicuspid, shin, pelvis, scalp tuft.

The hero does not look like himself here, disjointed earth fruit

poised against nothing but the material of sack. I want power

for him more than I wanted to turn a cock into gold. 

So I shake the contents. My memory spits a cloud into grief.

He is lucky I want to depict him as whole. He is lucky I slip

into calling him you. The bones rattle their botched future,

man’s time doesn’t freeze so much as it Cordyceps to privilege. For example:

I was so sad to see you go I cut myself on the blade of gone.

My belly blossoms under the pebbles I’ve swallowed to keep dignity.

And the dignity of men is so important, a profligate red

beams from my throat. The distance I crave necessitates holy

striations, a coin that should roll from one hyperbole to the next.

I have asked to take residency in the mission of reconstruction:

Eden is covered in wet bathroom tiles, cracked with fecal dazzle

scenting the city with its small magazines. A worship as occupied

as its water damage. You see I have taken my sack here

and gazed into the sprouted dark, I lick at the botulism,

I hum in the warfare I’ve attempted to unweave and find

the man’s song gentle, his nickel rolls such gentle, gentle song.

 

—Originally published in jubilat

BOOKS

Indictus 
(forthcoming from Noemi Press; winner of the 2016 Noemi Press Contest)

 

 

Swan Feast (2015)

 

“There is no document of civilization that isn’t also its ruins.” Swan Feast is the banquet of a fallen goddess, told through the trance of an autobiographical duckling girl. The transforming voice is visionary. She connects the discovery of the Venus of Willendorf to the discovery of oil in the Middle East, implicating imperial industrialism to the passing away of Venus into faded memory and historical anorexia. Empire is the tomb of the goddess. To excavate is a “hilarious privilege,” and its anachronism borrows illumination from darkness. The duckling is resurrecting ancient powers whose excavation ride on rage, grief, a woman’s paradoxically empowered desperation which finds solidity in disappearance. In the wake of suffering, we may remember ourselves. Out of ruin, an alien star rises.
— FENG SUN CHEN
 

Chapbooks

And I Shall Again Be Virtuous (2014)

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Conversation with the Stone Wife (2014)