A McSweeney’s Books Preview of Victoria Chang’s New Poetry Collection, The Boss.
Written in “a breathless kind of fury,” the poems in award-winning poet Victoria Chang’s virtuosic third collection The Boss dance across the page with the brutal power and incandescent beauty of spring lightning. Obsessive, brilliant, linguistically playful—the mesmerizing world of The Boss is as personal as it is distinctly post-9/11. The result is a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind exploration of contemporary American culture, power structures, family life, and ethnic and personal identity.
Today we offer a poem from the book. To purchase The Boss, please visit our store.
The boss calls us at home
The boss calls us at home the boss can call us anytime
the boss tells us to turn on the television
not to go into work I watch over and over
the planes the buildings that met each
other wept each other the people stuck the boss’s voice
shakes the boss must look familiar like a
mother like a sister but the boss isn’t our mother isn’t
our sister the shoe doesn’t fit she can
whimper does whimper can feel sorry for other people
can vomit sadness when someone says
it’s personal when is it not personal about the person
when the planes crashed into the
towers the pilots’ bodies met a CEO their bodies
pressed together their power latched
together on the 54th floor hating each other embracing
each other like an accordion
To purchase The Boss, please visit our store.
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