• Address 720 East Locust Street | Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Phone 414.263.5001
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm | Sat-Sun 12-5pm | Closed Mon
  • Hours Tue-Fri 11-8pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Closed Mon
Event Calendar
November 28 - Jan 31

Vanessa German: Defiant Show of Unity

December 13

Performance & Opening Reception: Vanessa German

film & video
December 14

Film Screening: Riverwest Film & Video by Emir Cakaroz

December 20

Formations Series for New & Improvised Music

readings & workshops
December 22

Community Reading: Midwinter Day

readings & workshops
January 6

Workshop: Verbs as Images/Images as Verbs

special events
January 26 -27

25th Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit

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. 

Selected Poems

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 that     sing me
this way     Terrycloth bathrobe

stains on the collar
She asked me about shame

I said like a stain

Off and write my drugstor
reading glasses     this is new

o Philip Whalen     I have tatty fingers
clutter container arrangement and lack

of shelf liners     My 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 pants     the scared story

Our windows need hair dryer
plastic treatment     healing less quickly now

The house drafts     My finger cuts

Thailand Not

You were eleven years old
maybe     maybe were twelve
years old standing 

The kind of forgot I have
from Thailand not the Philippines
the motorcycle troupe
(2 men     1 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 see     Stood 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

O mandala life     Blow 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 rain               October 13, 2013

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

Curly Q     Peacocking     M dots
around a feather teardrop

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

"Sorry          I won't apologize"