* new post @ North American Review blog!

Just a quick note to share a post I did for the North American Review blog.

The post, “Happiness and the Tough Stuff,” has me sharing some background about my poem “Stitched” which was published in the Summer 2016 issue of NAR (I have provided the poem below for reference).

“Stitched” will be in my second full length poetry collection, Small Fires, forthcoming in 2017 from FutureCycle Press. It’s a good example of the measure and subject matter of the collection.

Special thanks to Matt Manley who provided the awesome artwork that accompanies my blog post! Thanks also to everyone at the North American Review for this opportunity! Copies of the issue can be bought at NAR’s site.


Stitched – José Angel Araguz

Shopping after the accident,
my aunt said: See anything
you like and we can take it,
just have you mother open
her stomach there, then pointed
as my mother laughed,
and I recalled the black
smile stitched into
her side, the lines to me
not healing her, holding
her shut instead, like the door
of the hospital room
I was kept out of when
she wasn’t awake – the accident
from the other night,
how her boyfriend insisted
that he wasn’t drunk
and drove her car into
a tree, how she had felt
safe with him before,
how she really needed that,
looked to each man in her life
for the father she’d lost faith in,
for the man her father failed
to be so early on she
was a child when she left,
how her boyfriend now wouldn’t
visit, had come out of the wreck
unharmed while she kept falling
out of herself – all of this needing
to be held in, sewn up
so she would not hurt,
and me then not wanting
to want anything,
so she would not hurt.


See you Friday!


6 responses to “* new post @ North American Review blog!”

  1. these anecdotal poems are a fascinating window into the narrative of a life. the imagery is worn on the sleeve of the poem,.which is not something everyone can do.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Daniel! With this particular poem and batch of poems, I found myself working with a line that kind of tumbled into itself beat-wise, a move that affected both the formal sound/appearance of the words as well as the narrative, as you observe. Perhaps the line could be said to be tugging on the (imagery-laden) sleeve, no? I owe you an email, my friend. Soon! Abrazos, José

  2. The problem with looking to men for safety, when you need to be kept safe from them

  3. i do hope this recent venture doesn’t keep you too busy from writing something in the same vein as The Book of Flight, which was what made me start really taking notice of your work. Your aphoristic poems are very skillfully done, thoughtful but not inaccessibly oblique, you let the muse have her way but must edit her with a sensitive eye.

    1. I’m glad you liked The Book of Flight! It’s a particular favorite of mine, and there’s definitely more in that vein.

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