This Week, I Read Vanessa Maki: the chosen one

Image credit: Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

“once i took my first breath/i should have been told/’welcome to the hellmouth.'”

So begins Vanessa Maki’s chapbook of Buffy the Vampire Slayer-themed poems, the chosen one.

Equal parts homage to the show, and confessional poems, the book seamlessly weaves references to the show with Maki’s own experiences and voice, to become something deeper. Some of the poems are in your face, and have the same swagger that Buffy does on the show, with lines like “she’ll stomp on your pretty packaged life.” Others hit an emotional tone, such as in “please give me something,” where the speaker says:

& with this life / you eventually take a bow / you leave the earth / it
all ends at some point / whether you choose the timing of it or not /
but this time / i was forced back / brought back to what is my hell /
where i have to fight / i have to brave / i have to be the backbone

For fans of the show, this is an interesting take on a cult classic. For those who haven’t, there’s still a lot to unpack that is fresh and inviting to readers. I highly recommend it. the chosen one is available through Animal Heart Press on January 21st.


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