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No. 88 - From our poetry archives - Angela Sundstrom - "The Beginning before the Beginning."


Photograph by Alexandra Bildsoe

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October 21st, 2019


Angela Sundstrom is a poet and writer who lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, the Best American Poetry Blog, Broad River Review, and Time out New York magazine, among others.


She has poems which have recently been published within Bookends Review as well as The Southern Review. She received her MFA from the New School, and is the founder and host of Litost, a music and reading series in Brooklyn.


Within Issue No 6 - Winter 2018-19, along with an interview with Sundstrom, we published two of her poems: "Requiem," along with "The Beginning before the Beginning," which appears below.


"Requiem," along with our interview with Sundstrom can both be read within Issue No. 6 - Winter 2018-19.


The Beginning before the Beginning

Angela Sundstrom


In the niche of a movie theater desire moves like a volt. It begins in the pelvic floor, its hot kernel stoked

into extremities.

Desire hunts in the woods, climbs the radio tower, propels forward, gives no choice. A priori;

it resides within itself. Desire is needy, demands a lack in order to operate, requires the possibility of not being fulfilled. It walks alone along the shore at night, swells with both proximity and distance, worships at the altar of the forbidden, plays in a tableau of the taboo. It’s robin’s egg blue, strung through. Desire darkens and expands, unravels and reforms of its own accord. Desire is a still life, translucent green grapes, a solitary, pale orange, the curvature of a peach, absence. Desire is a venomous muse, resplendent in not-knowing, what is almost revealed, but cannot yet be seen. The image at its conception, the moment before creation begins. It is the color of milk, the forest’s green after storm, slash of birch bark against an expansively skeletal sky, a structure begging for collapse.

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