Floating, Brilliant, Gone by Franny Choi


Floating, Brilliant, Gone

It took a minute to get where Choi was coming from at first, but once I got it, I was floored. The back cover description puts it best:

Choi’s poems read like lucid dreams that jolt awake at the most unexpected moments.

I tried to think of something that I could say that better fit my impression of it, but I just couldn’t. This collection surprised me in not only the span of topics covered but the tone they struck.

Some of the more thought-provoking covered unexpected topics like gentrification and fetishizing Asian women, while others hit me in a more familiar and emotional way like How To Get Home Safely. Even though I didn’t love every poem, I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. Choi changes styles throughout the book to fit the message. Some poems are written in a more expected style, mostly freestyle, but others are prose poetry, my favorite of which was Packing Instruction: an introduction to drag kinging.

This collection is different from the other’s I’ve read because it kept me in that uncomfortable place. It’s beautiful and strange and hard to look away from. It’s a short 100 pages and definitely a collection I’ll be returning to. It left me feeling like I had to unpack it and give it time and come back to it and discover angles I missed the first time.

I got it on Scribd, so I know I’ll have plenty of opportunities to do just that. Click here to add to Goodreads for next National Poetry Month.

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