Bad Survivalist: Tam Nguyen’s attempted poem “2020’s Impressions”

Heavy Feather Review

Halfway through the year of 2020


About the flood season in 1978:

My father’s boat was traveling to the drylands in the far South to collect some edible grass for the starving cows at home. The river was narrow enough for the melaleuca arms to remind him of guerrillas’ sneaky talks and gunfire.

It was a few years after the fall of Kien Phong’s provincial Department of Administration in 1975. Local kids were smashing up whatever destroyable, not knowing the Viet Cong were sound asleep inside the already shattered building. It was the Independence Day with some kids pricing their hardship, some weary soldiers dreaming upon fragmentations.

In fact, hardship can be delusional. My father saw some toads jumping on nameless coffins hanging above the water and mistook them for ghosts. He named his first son “Giang” after “river” for the sake of sanity.


About bowing:

My friend’s…

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