Muriel Leung

Happiness Theorem

The plan is to erect a delicious sounding word connoting both joy and pleasure in its ringing. It relies on fashioning first an unstable box that contains within it a goose egg and some troubled verses. The relationship between these disparate objects is symbiotic in that all rely equally on the other in order to survive if to survive means to make meaning. This is a commendable skill in the schematic rendering of fear operations in the world. To survive at present is no longer birthright but a learned process one acquires through rigorous schooling. Uncertainty opens the attic door to pirating ghosts. Uncertainty lines the bed with metallic devices spliced into brain activity. In its earlier forms uncertainty was a marked derivative of joy making. Time wears on. The connection grows prickly. Joy, more interested in transmogrification in its penchant for contortions and peculiarities, suggests a natural inclination towards uncertainty. The issue is not their likeness but where their tails split. At some point uncertainty subjugates joy and for that reason joy's genetic composition is eternally altered. One does not inherit joy in the same way as their parent. This is to say we all must wear happiness like a disorder we cannot shake.


Muriel Leung is a multimedia poet and former teaching artist from Queens, NY. Her poetry can be found or is forthcoming in inter|rupture, NOO Journal, Coconut, Ghost Proposal, TENDERLOIN, Nepantla, Bone Bouquet, and others. She is a recipient of a Kundiman fellowship and is a regular contributor to The Blood-Jet Writing Hour poetry podcast. Currently, she is a MFA candidate in poetry at Louisiana State University where she also serves as the Assistant Editor of New Delta Review.