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Hoa Nguyen


Poetry Archive
  Hoa Nguyen
Hoa Nguyen
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. A gathering of her early, uncollected poems, Red Juice, will be released by Wave Books in September 2014.

Notes On Operation Hades



Hoa Nguyen
Renamed: Trail Dust
Code name: Operation Ranch Hand
Call name: Hades

1961 to 1971
Approximately 20 million gallons or
an average of 5,355 gallons per day
for 3,735 days



"Rainbow Herbicides"

Agent Pink (testing stages)
Agent White (2nd most used)
Agent Green (Green stripe on barrel)
Agent Orange (most widely)
Agent Purple (similar to Orange)
Agent Blue (crop destruction)



Applied aerially
dense coastline sprayed from boats

Mixed with jet fuel (diesel)

Monsanto Corporation
Dow Chemical


Sing Me That



Sing me thatsing me
this wayTerrycloth bathrobe

stains on the collar
She asked me about shame

I said like a stain

Off and write my drugstor
reading glassesthis is new

o Philip WhalenI have tatty fingers
clutter container arrangement and lack

of shelf linersMy kitchen cabinets
won't close(show poorly organized spices)

I spell dying in the bone yard
The light in November dies

A hand from the dead on your leg
stabbed jean pantsthe scared story

Our windows need hair dryer
plastic treatmenthealing less quickly now

The house draftsMy finger cuts


Thailand Not



You were eleven years old
maybemaybe were twelve
years old standing

The kind of forgot I have
from Thailand not the Philippines
the motorcycle troupe
(2 men1 woman)
in the travelling circus

Mekong Delta waterways
She didn't have the equivalent
of a half-of-a-penny

Snuck out at night to try
to seeStood by tent opening
Hearing the names

Shadows of motorbikes
stirring the walls

I can't remember about the moon


Toilet Paisley



Said no one in North America ever:
"My toilet worked really well today!"

I piss & shit into drinking water
Flush

O mandala lifeBlow the eye-
coverings with breath

Mandala flower I'd like to lick

When is urgency urged for its own
urgent this

Stylized flowers(that looks like "flows")
and the patchy maple dropsdingy

Maybe being-ness is a grey day
Toronto rainOctober 13, 2013

How am I a man? (I feel manly often)
How am I to go? ("apple gravy")

Curly QPeacockingM dots
around a feather teardrop

My apocalypse fear:
Move onto a deep aquifer
Learn to skin and hide

"SorryI won't apologize"


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