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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 18-JAN 19

All Issues
DEC 18-JAN 19 Issue




Dim freezing quotes
(cursed roses) my eyes

or birds on the “Believe
the Dream” bird poster  Bird

shit or not  I don’t with
perfect teeth and chaos

the bouncing spilled light
to guns pointed or

how long before we stop
building monuments to white

men and artillery?
Of course the unknown dead

father sang    “Que será
       será ”

Be less relevant    Violent
 barren thorns





flown and sewn  She learnt
flags  penance

 and ah you
not me

 slow sad danced
in the city street

     And I packed
the jealous book  O yeah

under the highway  that is
the under-stair tailor as a

mistress seamster
  copying pants
out of ‘Victoria’s Secrets’

Bell you called me
‘captive and able’

My cuffs fancy  leaning
    with umbrellas
and dark pink feathers

 It’s true

 I won’t laugh again
like that   (silky)





like dolls
go barefoot

stunned you
cry  magenta

forced kissed
next to soda dispensers

‘vomit face’ wrote the doctor
bitter chocolate like stars

collide in hidden eons
same old story

  for a jalepeno
pepper eating contest

You know it’s stress browse
tassel crushed velvet throw pillows

 (in gold)
hearing ‘wound’ for ‘world’

she said I looked wan
and I said “Circles

of Hell” ha ha





 also associated with
fish and life vehicle for sauce

not the Xmas bombings known as
“12 Days of Darkness”

which like the lesser-known (?)
    1945 “Great Hunger”
are Northern
     colonial catastrophes

Here be chopped things
    Infused identity
Anise star    or pepper it

I won’t birth
   a daughter in this lifetime

     Suffice it to say as they say

 Clear the eyes
       with chrysanthemum

and how do you protest disaster?

‘You are lost and gone forever’



Hoa Nguyen

Hoa Nguyen’s books include Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008 (Wave Books, 2014), Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books, 2016) and A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure (April 2021, Wave Books). Hoa teaches poetics for Miami University’s low residency MFA program, the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College, and in a popular, long-running poetics workshop she leads from cyberspace and Toronto.


The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 18-JAN 19

All Issues