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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I have two poems in the new Cordite,

an Australian poetry webzine. Guest-edited by Pam Brown, its theme is The End.

One of mine:




Wall Wisdom

Since all prices are essentially cutthroat,
I steal or beg, which is also stealing.
Paying for a short ride, I cross country.
I forge checks, credit cards and barcodes,
Swap price tags, chat, eye and flirt
With the cashier to distract her. In love,
I also steal, beg and lubricate my
Grossness with measured ejaculations.
Paying for one life, I try to live several.

No Goldman Sachs, I’m just a nickel thief,
And like George Soros, I toss back a dime
After each sweaty killing. Leash led
By providence, I embody his plan.
I’ve been imprisoned, but that’s
Because God wanted me to chill.
Sometimes it’s good to go to jail.
Poking him, I accept his spanking.

Like a monastery, jail’s a place to
Burp up and chew over your maker.
A man isn’t man until he’s cornered,
Thrashed then caged, preferably
On the most slanderous charges,
Just so he can grasp, finally, fate’s
Funkiest form of mercy. It’d be good
To have this wall wisdom, though,
Without being enclosed by walls.

It’s also good for a man to beg,
With his eyes bathetic and paws
Cupped together in supplication for
Something that will only come too late
To be more than a sick skit of desire.
Futility is the meaning of prayer.
After much praying, the fool wakes.
Locked together, like this, we rock,
Singly or in pairs, mostly singly,
Until we’re let out, also singly.






.

1 comment:

LJansen said...

"Just so he can grasp, finally, fate’s
Funkiest form of mercy."

Good to know there is mercy, funky though it may be.

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.