Come Clean (Wisconsin Poetry Series)

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 30 Nov 2021
Joshua Nguyen's sharp, songlike, and often experimental collection compartmentalizes past trauma—sexual and generational—through the quotidian. Poems aim to confront the speaker's past by physically, and mentally, cleaning up. Here, the Asian-American masculine interrogates the domestic space through the sensual and finds healing through family and in everyday rhythms: rinsing rice until the water runs clear, folding clean shirts, and attempts at re-creating an unwritten family recipe. Yet past wounds remain present like permanent marker under layers of paint or spilled fish sauce set into car upholstery. Infused with the Shinto-inspired organizing practices of KonMari and the catchy nihilism of Mitski's songs, the poems in Come Clean unpack, organize, and tidy up life's messy joys and hurtful chaos with intimacy, grace, and vulnerability.

No matter how smattered my insides,
I am relieved that I left my room tidy—
One less ugly sight.
I always wanted to die clean & pretty
while my dreams made music in the night.
—Excerpt from "Last Words"
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ISBN-13: 9780299336042
ISBN-10: 0299336042
Pagini: 96
Dimensiuni: 178 x 229 x 10 mm
Greutate: 0.2 kg
Ediția: First Edition
Editura: University of Wisconsin Press
Colecția University of Wisconsin Press
Seria Wisconsin Poetry Series


“I am so deeply moved by the subdued lyric force of this collection, if only subdued could capture the elegant control Nguyen exerts on his line. Sensuously constructed, in Come Clean he looks at the vast landscape of history through the desire for Marie Kondo’s order and a cure for imposter’s syndrome, in a book that’s as current as it is timeless.”—Carmen Giménez Smith
"An unflinching look at how one tries to make order and sense of the messy dazzlement of life. The word ardent is from ardere—which means to burn—and that is precisely what I mean when I say I ardently admire this book, for it showcases an absurdly imaginative ear and heart. Nguyen is one of the strongest poetic debuts you'll come across this decade."—Aimee Nezhukumatathil
"Nguyen writes with equal parts inventiveness and honesty, opening possibilities for wonder within even the most painful of inheritances. Witty, deeply caring, and unafraid of mess, he is an exciting and necessary voice for the future of Asian American poetry."—Franny Choi
“If ever there was a language to add to masculinity a tenderness it’s starved for, it is found in Joshua Nguyen’s debut collection. . . . While Come Clean is a first book, the poems’ ability and virtuosity suggest Nguyen is a poet who has already spent a great deal of time tending his craft and performance.”—Mississippi Books Page
“The collection is a huge success with a profound resonance. While it tackles many difficult subjects, it does so with such nuance and beauty that the poems ache to be read, not just once, but many times over.”—Saigoneer
“Coming Clean is a journey of making peace with life and its uncertainty, cruelty, and flaws. . . . The collection explores the relationship between the Asian identity in relation to fetishization, white saviors, the ‘American dream,’ and self-assurance. . . . If there is one thing to take from Come Clean, it is this: We are not tainted by the things that have happened to us — we are the parts we choose to claim.”—Asia Media International

“Nguyen uses both more traditional and invented forms to portray the many dimensions of his anxiety around truth telling throughout the book and sequences them in a compelling way to create tension and surprise.”—The Rumpus
Come Clean serves as a manual on survival, self- reclamation, and living through and beyond the scars of a patriarchal and problematic world that seeks to unfold every neatly pinned t-shirt and tucked corner. It shows us how to bear a burden too long and how to purify ourselves clean. But moreover, it reminds us that we are not the things that happen to us, but are all of the ways we rebuild ourselves after we are knocked down. Joshua Nguyen reminds us that the act of truth-telling may be an act of the individual, but it sparks bravery through the masses. We are reminded to push against the isolating safety of denial and embrace a new strength.”—Muzzle Magazine

Notă biografică

Joshua Nguyen is the author of Come Clean (University of Wisconsin Press), winner of the 2021 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook, "American Lục Bát for My Mother" (Bull City Press, 2021). He is a Vietnamese-American writer, a collegiate national poetry slam champion (CUPSI), and a native Houstonian. He is a PhD student at The University of Mississippi, where he also received his MFA. 


No matter how smattered my insides,
I am relieved that I left my room tidy—
One less ugly sight.
I always wanted to die clean & pretty
while my dreams made music in the night.
—Excerpt from "Last Words"


Save Me, Marie Kondo

March 4th
My First Memory
Wisconsin Has A Place in My Heart & I Just Want It to Let Go
My Marie Kondo Manifesto
Father, the Father
Washing Rice [American Lục Bát]
My Brother Explains Driving
A Dirty Floor in The Key of Elbows
Peeling Eggs [American Lục Bát]
Bunk Bed
Toast / Butter / Sugar
Blessing the House
Marie Kondo Is My Hero: A Lesson on Folding Undergarments
First Day of School Aubade

After I Was Mistaken for the Stripper While Delivering Barbeque to an All-White Bachelorette Party
Dim Sum Depression
Scratch My Back & I’ll Love You Forever
An Argument About Being Needy While Underneath Binary Stars
Marie Kondo Is My Hero: A Lesson on Clothing
Add Coconut Water [American Lục Bát]
Exhaustion [But Every Time Leela Rose Kisses a Random Asian Man in The Street, A New Stanza Begins & The Amount of Words Between The Boxes Increase By 1]
Self-Portrait as The Hand Towel Which Hangs Above The Toilet
In the Bathroom After Eating Flaming Hot Cheetos
Come Clean
I Fall In Love With The Scientist Behind The Mask
Speak Quotidian to Me
One Night Withstand
Funny as Fuck
Add Pepper To Taste The Dark [American Lục Bát]
20 Things To Do Before You Leave The Restaurant Job You Hate
Google Calendar for My Imposter Syndrome
A Failed American Lục Bát Responds
Last Words [Extended Cento]

The Ritual of Mourning Has Changed
Vietnamese Bedwetting Stories
Thịt Kho
In Praise of my Threaded Eyebrows
Dicing Garlic [American Lục Bát]
My Father Explains Employment
My Mother Explains Universal Healthcare
My Cat Doesn’t Grasp Object Permanence
Marie Kondo Is My Hero: On Organizing Christmas
Ode to My Brother’s V-neck
My Sister Listens to ‘Run River North’ For the First Time
This Season is My Greenhouse
Marinate Using Fish Sauce [American Lục Bát]
I Don’t Trust the Dishwasher
Mother, One Day I Will Cook For You [American Lục Bát]