What To Believe – poems – Jill Chan

What sleeping earth,
waking to the sound of morning,

has ever thought
about beginning? – {from} What to Believe, by Jill Chan

Just hours ago, I gathered my notes for my review of this book, What To Believe, by this person, Jill Chan. I’ve been an acolyte of her work since approximately 2004. Her restorative inquiries. Her flowering finalities. Her use of white space as glitter in the void. I remember receiving her first book, The Smell of Oranges, when I was at my poorest. How its scripture gave memory a place to miss. Recently, she graciously accepted my invitation to publish some poems of hers in volume first of {isacoustic*}. She wrote to me after submitting and suggested that I check out the poets Rogelio Guedea, Fisayo Adeyeye, and Maria Cinanni. I don’t know what to say. In this last hour, I’ve learned of Jill’s death. We’ve been a couple days, now, without her. Our losses race toward god. In her poem, Negatives, Jill says ‘Only adoration, / a fan of beauty, winds up alone / jealous of everything.’ Please, all- read her poems. Not because she is gone, but because reading is the language of the after. Read her poems, then be alone, then read them to a friend.

We wake to a further dream-

and sleep in its map,
our ears its mouth. – Jill Chan


What To Believe, Jill Chan (2017)


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