Sections of my poem “Silence” in the latest issue of Otoliths. Thank you very much, Mark Young.
excerpt from Chapter 3
There is heat. And there is the sun. You are the one, husband. You are all my ones together. All the lusts in the desert are you. All the water in the ocean. The seven seas.
The seven continents. The beauty of seven colours. Wisdom of every shade. Knowledge of every fruit.
Love, I am undone by you. I want to love you more now that you are gone.
Is that possible?
I talk to you everyday. You are with me all the time.
The degrees of geometry. The chemistry of love. The height of architecture. The sweet music of voice, of silence. Your voice.
The touch of geography. The valley and the fields. The politics of cartography.
Everything I see is you. Comes from you.
My desk has a lamp, three pens, three notebooks, one hundred pages of blank paper.
Every time I write, I think of you.
I wrote about my friend today. I wrote about my mother and my father today.
I thought of you. But I left the words to you.
My flash fiction pieces “Chronology” and “Star” have been accepted for publication in the Fall issue of Olentangy Review. Thank you to the editors Darryl and Melissa Price.
I’m glad that two of my poems have been accepted for publication in future issues of the wonderful New Zealand journal Brief. Thank you to the editor Olivia Macassey.
Freshly published. My latest collection of poetry is now available as a paperback at Amazon.com
Jill Chan’s sixth book of poetry is a selection of her best work with the theme of faith and belief. The sequence “What To Believe,” an 18-part tour de force, is filled with uncanny precision and beautiful language. It asks more than answers, seeks more than finds:
how we steal
the most empty places
just to be sure
of our honesty
from Phone Call and Other Prose Writings (2017)
To accept that one sometimes writes badly is as much a necessity as accepting that she can write.
Until one can feel okay with writing badly, to the extent that one resolves to try to write better next time, one cannot be good. It is through taking risks that one learns, and writing badly is a sometime necessary outcome of this risk taking.
To feel one is on the edge of succeeding is sometimes a nice measure of doing good work. Sometimes one even feels one’s endeavour has failed, but success may be lurking in the work itself, unknown to the insecure writer.
Something akin to bravery is coming to rest upon you but you block it off with your inexperience. Because you’re so used to failure, so used to the limits of your art.
To be surprised by your own good work is good.
To be surprised each time you do it is a measure of humility. A measure that you take enough risks, that good work is a gift you keep accepting from some benign force who is generous. And patient. Patient with your talent sometimes wavering and rightly set in humility.
Each good work is a testament to your obedience—a listening for the word in you. So many possibilities gaining favour in you. A manifestation of your faith, your endless patience and gentle prodding.
Some day, you will write better. Some day, words will come out of you like untamed devotion. Some night, you will pray and mean to be led.