Category: Poetry

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Page 337

In response to Lâm Thị Mỹ Dạ’s Bomb Crater Sky. Dad served two tours in the war,a media circus of Ohio hippies andescapes from Saigon via helicopterLit by the fireworks on the nightly news,gilded in the blood of the conscripts,photographed by Leica. Building roads as a Seabee,cleaning the mud caked on his boots with gasolineThe…

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Human Racing

Surviving is a verbLiving is tooBreathing, smelling, touchingWords that imply movementI’ve not stopped movingSince yesterdayWhenever that was. Wish I could stop timeThe rat raceAgingDeathSexTaxes Memento mori, Latin’Remember you will die’Keep that hubris in checkWe’re all born to dieA monied deathIf you didn’t buy it,you’re the product. Can’t stop, won’t stopWe don’t even know how to…

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A Fairy Tale

One of our in-class poetry prompts was to take a translated poem and translate it in our own way. I chose Salma Khadra Jayyusi’s A Tale. I have no father-in-lawI’m sure he existsHe sleeps, fucks my mother-in-law(Hopefully she’s a nice lady and will treat me well)He showers, and is a good Christian. A good Christian…

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Masque

You buy clothes you never wearTo impress people who don’t careYou can’t speak in front of crowdsYou should get your head checkedYou have blisters on your heelsFrom shoes that refuse to be broken inYou wear makeup to even out your tanCertainly not to impress a manYour mirror reflection of selfDoesn’t match the one insideYou sing…

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Hospital Bench

Poems gush out my fingertipsWritten carefully in bloodTattooed on my skinThe original sinSapphire blueCrimson redFetch me a napkinSharpen the quillPumice the momentsLovely bops of clarity’Cause nothing elsein this damn worldmakes a lick of sense.

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Harmony Palatial

Pink colored chlorophyllSunshine blue markerConcrete easelAnother one Eurydice walkaboutUnder the jazz promenadeBeatrice says helloMeasure for measure A forest lies honestlyMirrors seek wrinklesPresidential silenceElephantine stretch

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Sentimental x Unsentimental

The stars in the skiesDripped into your eyesLike the beautiful onesHold you when you’re done. I’m in this for loveNot procreationFallen angels, righteous sinsRaptured in misdirection. Baby it’s youIt’s always been youFrom the moment I breathedYou in like a fogTrip me in the darkAnd into your arms. And another onePound me like a drumBrush the…

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twenty-four

twenty four hours in a daytwenty four years since riots serenaded the streets of L.A.that powder keg of corruptionsafety of unreality violatedblue and red combinedmade purple, unitedagainst the tyrannyof the 5-0 we lived six hours awayworking class neighborhoodsouthside ModestoI can see your face cringeall the way over herewhen I tell people where I lived. never…

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Blinded

If I could, I would give my eyes back to GodReturn to sender, address unknownTo remove from me the grief that comesWith being slightly shadowed in everyday situationsThese pinpricks of space that adjust appropriatelyTo the dark, to the light, unto the breachCan’t see the leaf on the wind, watch how it soarsTired of seeing halfway,…

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Where Do I Belong?

All my life I straight tripped on who I wasWas I Filipino, was I American?For twenty-eight years, I could not assume either role,I was never pigeonholed, but I never belonged. My accent is Nor Cal born & bredMy height is so misledI eat rice with my handsI nosh hamburgers for breakfastI sing God Bless America…

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