Paper Title
Haunting and Triangulation in the Poetry of Franny Choi

Franny Choi's first poetry collection, Floating, Brilliant, Gone (2014), challenges the idealized realism of much of Asian American literature, which, in the words of Sue-Im Lee, unfortunately "generates a coherent, stable, and classifiable notion of Asian American identity." Instead, Choi's poetry defies this idealization through an experimental approach. This approach arises out of a combination of past traumas that haunt the present (Grace Cho) with a triangulation of more than one cultural heritage together, without smoothing over differences (David Roh). The combination of haunting and triangulationresult in an experimental form that allows Choi's poems to foreground the political and historical implications of the aesthetic as a way of resisting the idealization of a realist approach to narration. The first poem in the collection, "Notes on the Existence of Ghosts," highlights some of the ways that the unspoken, but still present past haunts both now and in the future. Then, Choi's prose-poem "The Mantis Shrimp Speaks" triangulates the biological features of the coiled physical strike of the mantis shrimp with the strength of female immigrants to speak their anger. And finally, the poem "How to Win an Argument" combines both haunting and triangulation to envision a shining light, a "spark in the wind – floating / and brilliant and gone," that is born out of anger, out of "the coals of your stomach." This angry light both projects who you are out into the world, and fights against a world that does not take your own pains seriously. This light unsettles situations that might otherwise have been faced in meekness and self-sacrifice. In other words, Choi's poetry does not imagine the idealized coherence of realistic Asian American narratives, but rather suggests an experimental disruption that makes room for angry voices demanding change. Keywords - FrannyChoi, Korean American Literature, Haunting, Trianguation, Anger