Today we revisit work by 2018 The Laurence Goldstein Prize winner Jasmine V. Bailey. Bailey’s poem “This is Not a Poem About Leah, Let Alone Zilpah and Bilhah,” appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of MQR and was selected by Raymond McDaniel. It’s impossible to disregard the authority
We live in a world where millions of people grow up in one language and live and work in another, yet the stories of migrations across languages are rarely told.
I imagine a conversation between the two I’d just missed before the photo was taken, possibly right before one takes a sip, and the other takes a bite. The conversation might have been similar to one I’d had with my own mother, where I, as a teenager, asked questions expecting that—maybe this time—I would feel satisfied with her answers.
In a deep, official voice, the announcer told the fans to exit the arena and promised, “You are all safe… We are all safe.” With that, the crowd emptied out; no more basketball.
In Kinnell’s work, hell and heaven often make some sort of appearance. Neither fare particularly well.
There’s a world for me to build. I have a chance to do something, even ever so slightly, different from that which is considered known. The outpost, the biological structure, the act of construction and capacity to destruct— worldbuilding, the invocation of something just to the left of the form, becomes an illusory practice.”