Hoa Nguyen

Meant to




Meant to cover the mouth

Silver strands now    and a cloak

Hair as long as yours    undone


Knocks from the Frigidaire    her

flee to seek

San Francisco


Eat red candy hearts


Up from sleeping      wet hair

Sister could see her sticking


You leapt    Her beauty fell

fall of her    Helle was her name


Fall into sea    irretrievable


Cape to ash to mourn?     Her

or was the torch


Did you torch?


Your running


Did you turn when

your sister fell?




Skins and seeds

chew them

Prudence Apprentice


Little crunch seeds


As the pip now

a homeless Jesus

The pierce and

piece that grows

from the bench apprentice

like streaked tulips

& grapes to put myself

to put my mouth around the

juice or purple


April 21st

sneaking into the Bull or Ox

Sliver Snake Mother

on her day of birth

(arriving blue   feet first)


She said no to travel

no to candles cake dinner

no because guns

and sons and lock down

5 PM pineapple on the table


It is the seizure symbol

the seize of “new” land

taken as symbol of a graced host


for your willfulness

for your wallpaper

for your table


cemetery decorations

My Month



My month as a kind of white lily

I’m in a room of white people


Put the flamey (family?) put it in

put a lily lignam groan


Dive & above the mouth

my white-looking sons the least whitest


a finger there    I put and want to

become a cave of viscera    am that candlewax


the lowering god   significant?


I want how variousness

to take care


The difficult being burns


(re-writing the same poem now)

Be that keeling     keening



I do not need more lyric men poets

like the word cords    I mean


bite the word cord

after the after-tissue


Nip at the breast

Keen resplendent


be the mean mother to dogs


Woman as     what the dog

She’s the one


Dead wasps shaken out of the bird-house


Easter Sunday

31 March 2013

Hawk Chased by Black Birds



You seek     the edge of the bed

and I dream where the sick one

needs a shot on the ass    a tricked shot

maybe have to set up the hypo

on the toilet seat for accidental

sitting-on of the cure


and you are late for your presentation

in which you discuss disaster aftermath


The mother in the dream shows

her new baby with mismatched

sized eyes

and I pretend not to see


the “Ghosts of Christmas Past”    fall asleep

and found your mouth in a kiss


You can keep the beer


Faint face whiskers

Black beans on toast


I said    Fuck it    fold socks


The extension cord will not

reach the light wrapped

around the pear tree in white


Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, HOA NGUYEN studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded Skanky Possum, a poetry journal and book imprint in Austin, TX where they lived for 14 years. The author of eight books and chapbooks, she currently lives in Toronto where she teaches poetics in a private workshop and at Ryerson University. Wave Books published her third full-length collection of poems, As Long As Trees Last, in September 2012.