What Is Meant by Hope
when it sings when the rainfights with ash in the city’seyes when the throat of thesky is inflamed by overuseby confused utterancethere are certain openingsthat come into view the daymay shorten but the gapswiden & more is allowed topass through & this iswhat is meant by hopeso in this weather of quest-ion & precipitate be knownto the world & rise & fallwith the water around the bodythe life you need is yoursdespite all attempts against it
“What Is Meant by Hope” from THEORIES OF PERFORMANCE: by Jay Besemer.
Published by The Lettered Streets Press 2020.
Copyright © 2020 by Jay Besemer.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Jay Besemer is the author of the poetry collections Theories of Performance (The Lettered Streets Press, 2020), The Ways of the Monster (KIN(D) Texts and Projects/The Operating System, 2018), Crybaby City (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017), Chelate (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016) and Telephone (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013). He was a finalist for the 2017 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature and was included in the groundbreaking anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.
“Jay Besemer’s tensile lyrics palpate the many ambiguous and ambivalent spheres by which a person becomes known both to themselves and others—the public, the private, the domestic, the intimate, the bodily, the verbal.”
—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne
“Theories of Performance pulses with urgent jolts that lead us to consider the many ways in which we are always putting on a show. . . . along the way we revel in the sound poetry of the pharmaceutical industry, in the known and unknown territory that is our guts, our lungs, our feet, our brains.”
—Daniel Borzutzky, author of The Performance of Becoming Human