Kate Hao – “In Which Every Poem that I Write Becomes a Poem About My Body”



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Performing for Washington University at the 2016 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

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47 thoughts on “Kate Hao – “In Which Every Poem that I Write Becomes a Poem About My Body”

  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    kate hao – in which every poem that i write becomes a poem about my body

    everyday when i wake up, i find my body sleeping next to me
    i can never get out of bed without waking it too, which is a shame because my body always seems to be dreaming
    sometimes, as i get dressed
    i ask what it dreams about
    my body never replies,
    only rolls out of bed and heads straight for the shower
    where it will use all the hot water

    you see, my body is selfish
    and only knows how to take and never gives
    it comes into the kitchen every morning and it drinks my milk
    it treks mud on the carpet, it never knocks; always enters unwelcomed

    my body takes up more space than it deserves
    and knows it
    wherever i go, it likes to keep me in a shadow
    i'm not sure anyone has ever seen me in plain sight

    lately, my body has started telling me nighttime stories that give me nightmares about loneliness
    i think, maybe my body is getting desperate
    that it just wants me to love its everything

    when i write, my body comes up next to me and takes off all its clothes
    naked, it never learned how to dance, only how to hide
    so it finds a hiding spot in my mouth,
    unhinges my jaw with both hands and steps inside
    it treks mud on my tongue

    i swallow, and my body always goes down the wrong way
    gets lodged in my windpipe
    doesn't let me breathe without reminding me of its presence
    so of course, every poem that i write
    stinks of my body breath
    of course, all my words sound like attempts to outrun what had already caught me

    afterwards, my body crawls out of my throat,
    dripping,
    as it gets dressed, it asked me if i feel any better
    i think, maybe, if i say yes,
    it will leave me, at last

    but my body has always stayed
    call it 'loyal',
    if nothing else

    Reply
  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    This was amazing, the piece aligned words that spoke with such raw emotion, but I also wonder where you got your shirt, cause I would like one

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I think one of the reasons this is an incredible poem is because of how many ways it can be interpreted. But personally. To me I think it's about mental detachment during depression. For the longest time I've felt so distant from the 'drivers seat' of my life. My eyesight feels more like a movie instead of in my control. Like my body isnt quite mine. So many times I've begged to die and for my heart to just stop beating. But my selfish body and doesn't seem to want to let go of its abusive relationship with life. Yeah. I can relate.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I don't know what she exactly meant – her own self-hate or someone abusing her… but I love it because there is so much pain in every single word and it's beautiful at the same time

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    is " her body" actually her rapist / bf???

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I think this poem is about her being so sensitive and thinking that so many people hated her (&her body) that she began to hate it too (her body).
    But i may be wrong. ?

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    What's up with the snapping and mm I've seen it on other videos

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I made a Spanish version in my channel in case you want To check it out! Love it

    Reply
  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I love slam poetry because you always know when the poet means it, when they put in the right emotion. you could tell she means every word of this & its absolutely beautiful. I wish I could write as good poetry.

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I think this poem (at least for me) is about how her body is actually her demon and that it has completely taken over her being the dominant hence her body is her demon? What do you think?

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    I interpreted this poem completely different to what everyone else is thinking. I'm thinking that 'her body' is her boyfriend that actually rapes her. is it just me????

    Reply
  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    Is this about depersonalisation?? Dodie Clark recently made a video on that topic where I first heard about it, so I'm just wondering. Lovely poem 🙂

    Reply
  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    this sounds like it could be about depression and dissasociation but also there was a part that sounded a lot like purging so eating disorder ? probably

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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    For me I feel like it's about feeling as if your body doesn't belong to you and that it is almost against you. beautifully written. You can see each word reflecting in her performance and how her body language mimics her relationship with her body

    Reply

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