In the Texas prison system, my name is Chino. You will not know who I am unless you are immediate family or one of my few friends.

By Hoàng Vu Tran
Essays    Reportage    Marginalia    Interviews    Poetry    Fiction    Videos    Everything   
Poetry

Question: with sharp enough clippers, can you help / any tree grow small? With sharp enough clippers, can you outlive your / kids?

Poetry

a land mistaken for a people is a people / objectified as spoils of the land

Poetry

/ Pərˈ(h)aps / preceding us, one ballad to each tongue,
oh, / ‘absəˌlōō(y)tlē /, we refrained from singing

Poetry

What I want / is to be unspooled from my navel until / not even my body can keep me. Wildened to morsels / of mortal sound, I crave only the crown of being unseen.

Poetry

What a terrible song, this hoofed wind. / What a terrible song, the begging of my body. / I am the knife. I am the knife. I am the knife.

Poetry

i say “i don’t need a man” and it’s true/ but flowers. the flowers how i love the flowers / before they drown inside out / from their own perfume.

Essays

What a royal feeling to look into that bag and imagine something new on my tongue on a day like that.

Poetry

I reenter my body as a highway, then a Monday, then a demo / of a pop song that never made it to the surface.

Poetry

when i was six, / i scooped prayer into my palms, sipped / jesus’ sweat out of a soju bottle ten / years after. the prayer screamed / under my skin

Poetry

It’s not the bullet that makes you bolt, / but the very words /
emerging from the muzzle’s restraint / the classroom in disguise

Poetry

Is every english word I pull from my mouth a child screaming / over the soft chants of ma and nanni ma?

Poetry

When the children / correctly used their chopsticks to pick up the rolled eggs and / separated the kimchi without splinters, they knew they were / loved by their food. The ashes knew it too.

Poetry

& if the speaker does not know that this language is faulty, then the speaker has been secretly muzzled

Poetry

What tense do we belong in? I prolong a period / into a comma. I want to revive we’s we’ve archived. / I would let Time drown like a sparrow in a lake

Poetry

After the rain, the June wind / wheedles the airy curtains / and creeps into the ward

Poetry

脱脂牛奶 …..………………. $1.00 / mama am i skeleton enough mama am i skeleton enough .………. 0.25 mile

Poetry

What is the legacy of the People’s Republic of China?

Poetry

In a guest laden living room to the side in a corner, / I tried to wear a coat like skin, // And in that moment, that precise moment, / I’m asked, “Are you Tibetan?”

Poetry

the manner / in which the oaks nod to me it’s funny / I swear there are no magnets / lining my boots / maybe just a few nickels

Poetry

Question: with sharp enough clippers, can you help / any tree grow small? With sharp enough clippers, can you outlive your / kids?

Poetry

It’s not the bullet that makes you bolt, / but the very words /
emerging from the muzzle’s restraint / the classroom in disguise

Poetry

Is every english word I pull from my mouth a child screaming / over the soft chants of ma and nanni ma?

Poetry

a land mistaken for a people is a people / objectified as spoils of the land

Poetry

When the children / correctly used their chopsticks to pick up the rolled eggs and / separated the kimchi without splinters, they knew they were / loved by their food. The ashes knew it too.

Poetry

/ Pərˈ(h)aps / preceding us, one ballad to each tongue,
oh, / ‘absəˌlōō(y)tlē /, we refrained from singing

Poetry

& if the speaker does not know that this language is faulty, then the speaker has been secretly muzzled

Poetry

What I want / is to be unspooled from my navel until / not even my body can keep me. Wildened to morsels / of mortal sound, I crave only the crown of being unseen.

Poetry

What tense do we belong in? I prolong a period / into a comma. I want to revive we’s we’ve archived. / I would let Time drown like a sparrow in a lake

Poetry

What a terrible song, this hoofed wind. / What a terrible song, the begging of my body. / I am the knife. I am the knife. I am the knife.

Poetry

After the rain, the June wind / wheedles the airy curtains / and creeps into the ward

Poetry

i say “i don’t need a man” and it’s true/ but flowers. the flowers how i love the flowers / before they drown inside out / from their own perfume.

Poetry

脱脂牛奶 …..………………. $1.00 / mama am i skeleton enough mama am i skeleton enough .………. 0.25 mile

Essays

What a royal feeling to look into that bag and imagine something new on my tongue on a day like that.

Poetry

What is the legacy of the People’s Republic of China?

Poetry

I reenter my body as a highway, then a Monday, then a demo / of a pop song that never made it to the surface.

Poetry

In a guest laden living room to the side in a corner, / I tried to wear a coat like skin, // And in that moment, that precise moment, / I’m asked, “Are you Tibetan?”

Poetry

when i was six, / i scooped prayer into my palms, sipped / jesus’ sweat out of a soju bottle ten / years after. the prayer screamed / under my skin

Poetry

the manner / in which the oaks nod to me it’s funny / I swear there are no magnets / lining my boots / maybe just a few nickels