Sunday, July 24, 2022

LEONA SEVICK—"HAPA" (Issue 24)

HAPA

Taking my order by phone, she asks me

What do you look like? So I can find you?

Except that’s not how she says it. Dropping

words the way my Korean mother does,

still making herself understood, she waits

while I decide. Pausing, as I do, as

I have done since the first time someone asked

me with genuine interest what are you?

I answer this woman in a way I

know already she will never accept,

take the chance I never take. Yes, she says,

I think I know you. Spotting her just as

she comes through the door, I wait for her to

scan the room, find me and then decide. She

approaches, tosses bags on the table,

mouths the word I know she’s thinking, the word

I’ve heard a dozen times. Hapa. It is

the one my mother hates, the reason why

I was grown before she took me home to

meet her people. I see her stiff face, black

eyes of resentment at their turned backs, their

conditional love. Now I speak the truth

of who I am, or at least half of who

I am. This woman receives from me a

wide smile. I thank her, watch her go knowing

half a truth is better than any lie.




ABOUT THE POET

Leona Sevick is a professor of English at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where 
she teaches Asian American literature (she is an Asian American poet). Sevick was 
named a 2019 Walter E. Dakin Fellow for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and 
serves on the advisory board of the Furious Flower Black Poetry Center.


 ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

ARAH KO—"CULLET" (Issue 24)

Sugar House Review · Arah Ko's "Cullet"

CULLET


I’ve swallowed glass for every bottle

you drank. Call me terror. Call me

reckonings you looked for

in the bathroom mirror. Call

 

me shit that oughta been slapped

out of you younger, before the old

men touched you in a stained-

glass cathedral. Call me window

 

broken by your ruined knuckles. My

blood is your blood; my nose is your

mother’s nose. Compared to you, I am

summer that never ends, tempered glass,

 

a nest of unhatched eggs. I say hello & you

pray my name back to me.



ABOUT THE POET 

Arah Ko hails from an active volcano but is currently based in the Midwest. Her 
recent work has appeared in SiderealFugueGrimoire, and New Reader 
Magazineamong others. Arah is an MFA candidate in creative writing at the Ohio 
State University where she serves as Wheeler Prize editor for The JournalWhen 
not writing, Arah can be found correcting her name pronunciation or making a 
mean pot of coffee. Catch her at ArahKo.com.


ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an 
opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of 
poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors 
from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to 
hear it.

Monday, May 9, 2022

SAMANTHA SAMAKANDE—"SELF PORTRAIT" (Issue 23)

SELF PORTRAIT

a lake of a window
whited out by the finishing
December        coming out the rear
of the worst blizzard to drop
by the east coast in years         the yawning
door     a snare of a mouth        collecting
lookers like the white gunks
at the corners of lips     becoming
spectacle in a paper gown
the gauzy shade of a dollar store
shower curtain              so many priests
in white robes charging in to format
my sins            chart them        take my
confession with my temperature
Were you trying to hurt yourself?
Why were you trying to hurt yourself?

ritualized         the thwack of a stethoscope
urgent against my rib cage and the throbbing
underneath       systematized     the chatty
machine and its long-winded
appendages     see-through and skeletal
and plastic      holding my hands and arms
at needlepoint             the itch on the belly
side of my palms        the tickle on the inside
of my elbow I am forbidden
to scratch or bend and the wail
of the machine when I do
the light and loose kind of faded
my mind is      the brilliant anger
bringing me back to my own body
the aching       unsoothable       the pressing
hard on my chest to find it
smell it like you touch the back
of your ear and smell it
the filmy afterbirth of grief        and I
right on the rim of dissolve

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Samantha Samakande is a Zimbabwean poet currently based out of Bloomfield, New Jersey, where she resides with her husband. She is a graduate of Allegheny College and is a junior editor for F(r)iction. It is her lived experience as an immigrant that made her a poet, an observer, and a daughter of many tongues and in-betweens. Her work has appeared in Pif Magazine, Hobart, and Gordon Square Review. In 2020, she was the second-place winner of Frontier Poetry’s Award for New Poets.


ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Monday, April 25, 2022

ROS SEAMARK—"THE CREATION OF THE WORLD" (Issue 23)

THE CREATION OF THE WORLD

Brushing my teeth in a South Station bathroom is the closest I come
to being myself this morning. The buzzing florescents illuminating
my body bent here over the sink, my hands flashing under the faucet
is not a faithful copy of dawn like I am. I am so faithful. I am the sky’s
dog. At 6:03 a.m. I look in the mirror and I see words scratched into
the weather. I spit, and it’s clouds.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Ros Seamark is a queer poet and translator from Central California.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

Monday, April 11, 2022

JEREMY ROCK—"ON THE DRIVE DOWN" (Issue 23)

ON THE DRIVE DOWN

Behind the washed-out boards of a roadside
stand and those empty shacks with windows so thin
the glass becomes part of the room, lawn signs

remember lost elections, their letters uncollected
and warped with moisture. I’ve resolved never
to meet these houses away from the road for fear

they’d try to keep me, so I hold an even sixty-two
in a fifty-five and watch the pawn shops fade
to vulture feathers around pits of old rain. This trail

is seamed between homes, crosshatched the way
snow melts striated from a hood and I see, by the lights
lining the water, a bridge emerging as if it was just being

formed. I play the good moth and lope along, morning
wearing over me in dull blue streaks.

 

ABOUT THE POET 

Jeremy Rock is from Frederick, Maryland, and is a graduate of Salisbury University. He has work published in Ninth Letter, Waccamaw, The Shore, Stonecoast Review, Cider Press Review, The New Mexico Review, and elsewhere.

 

ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW 

We loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), and we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We're featuring audio recordings of poems from our pages, read by the poet. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.