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The Palace of Contemplating Departure poems by Brynn Saito e Red Hen Press | Pasadena, CA The Palace of Contemplating Departure Copyright © 2013 by Brynn Saito All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner. Book design by Mark E. Cull Book layout by Jennifer Hawley and Skyler Schulze ISBN 978-1-59709-716-1 (tradepaper) ISBN 978-1-59709-677-5 (clothbound) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Saito, Brynn, 1981– The palace of contemplating departure : poems / by Brynn Saito. —1st ed. p. cm. I. Title. PS3619.A3987P35 2013 811’.6—dc23 2012029761 This publication was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the generosity of Red Hen Press board member M.C. Sungaila. The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund partially support Red Hen Press. First Edition Published by Red Hen Press Acknowledgments Some of these poems have appeared in the following publications, to whose editors grateful acknowledgment is made: Askew, “Waiting”; Catamaran Literary Reader, “The Exile”; The Collagist, “Tree of Life” (previously titled “17 Again”); Copper Nickel, “Winter in Denmark”; Drunken Boat, “The Palace of Contemplating Departure”; The Forest Drive (chapbook, Lettre Sauvage Press), “California Heartland”; Harpur Palate, “Trembling on the Brink of a Mesquite Tree”; Hayden’s Ferry Review, “Present In All Things”; Here is a Pen (chapbook, Achiote Press), “A Photograph is an Argument”; Hyphen Magazine, “Alma, 1942”; Mission At Tenth, “Prayer for the One Who Could Not Stop Looking,” “The Gathering Mind,” and “Autumn in the Garden With Her Ghost”; Ninth Letter, “Spring, San Francisco” (previously titled “Match”); Pleiades, “Tuesday, 2 A.M.”; Third Coast, “Shape of Fire”; Tongue, “Women and Children”; Verse Daily, “Trembling on the Brink of a Mesquite Tree”; and Waccamaw, “Mercy Me.” Poets 11, 2010: An Anthology of Poems (San Francisco Public Library), “Trembling on the Brink of a Mesquite Tree,” “Daughter,” and “Tuesday, 2 A.M.” My deepest thanks to the Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, A Gathering of the Tribes and the Key West Literary Seminar, whose gracious support contributed to the writing of the manuscript. Heartfelt gratitude to Traci Brimhall, Tina Chang, Marie Howe, Suzanne Gardinier, Valarie Kaur, Gabriel Galindo, Nicholas Jahr, Kris Brandenburger, and Cindy Shearer, whose close reading, mentorship, and guidance helped bring the book into fruition. For the sustaining friendship of Susie, Susan, Karen, Ellen, Eleanor, Lisa, Sekayi, and Laura, I’m forever grateful. To the sustaining grace and strength of Marilyn Oh, I’m beholden. And many thanks to David Mason, for believing in the manuscript, and to everyone at Red Hen Press, who helped make the book possible. Lastly, boundless love and appreciation to my family, especially my mother and father, whose stories are in these pages. This page intentionally left blank. For Leigh This page intentionally left blank. In the middle of a field with nothing to cling to a skylark sings —Basho This page intentionally left blank. ...


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