My short story “Recognition” just appeared in issue 35 of RiverSedge: A Journal of Art and Literature, which is published annually by the Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: https://www.riversedgejournal.com/works/recognition. I hope you enjoy it!
Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Night Sky with Exit Wounds is a challenging but very rewarding book of poems. Some poems, like “Aubade with Burning City,” about the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, are more straightforward and powerful. But this collection is best read slowly to give you time to think, reread, and digest the meaning of each poem before moving on. Each is rich, and I certainly didn’t fully understand all of them. I’d read Ocean Vuong‘s semi-autobiographical novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous recently, and it certainly helped me understand some of the allusions he was making. But with or without that background knowledge, these poems evoke strong feelings and emotions–of lost love, of cultural alienation, of a difficult family life. To borrow from “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong,” these poems pass through you like wind through a wind chime. Except Vuong is talking there about dead friends. It’s one of many sad and wonderful poems in this collection.