i care so much abot the whord i cant reed / it marks mye bak wen i pass / witha riben in mye hare / undre the principld skye / ther is no vulnerabilitie / onlie wut protrudes / & thees lyons leckynge mye woond / expecktynge 2 finde / a woond / ther is historie inn this / wood
From feeld by Jos Charles (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2018).
Copyright © 2018 by Jos Charles.
Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions. milkweed.org
Jos Charles is a trans poet, editor, and author of Safe Space. She is the recipient of the 2016 Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship through the Poetry Foundation and the 2015 Monique Wittig Writer’s Scholarship. She received an MFA from the University of Arizona and currently resides in Long Beach, California.
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
A NEW YORKER BEST POETRY BOOK OF 2018
A VULTURE BEST POETRY BOOK OF 2018
A LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF 2018
Selected by Fady Joudah as a winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series, Jos Charles’s revolutionary second collection of poetry, feeld, is a lyrical unraveling of the circuitry of gender and speech, defiantly making space for bodies that have been historically denied their own vocabulary.
“i care so much abot the whord i cant reed.” In feeld, Charles stakes her claim on the language available to speak about trans experience, reckoning with the narratives that have come before by reclaiming the language of the past. In Charles’s electrifying transliteration of English—Chaucerian in affect, but revolutionary in effect—what is old is made new again. "gendre is not the tran organe / gendre is yes a hemorage.” “did u kno not a monthe goes bye / a tran i kno doesnt dye.” The world of feeld is our own, but off-kilter, distinctly queer—making visible what was formerly and forcefully hidden: trauma, liberation, strength, and joy.
Urgent and vital, feeld composes a new narrative of what it means to live inside a marked body.