Thursday Feb 21

B.B.P. Hosmillo Poetry B.B.P. Hosmillo is the author of Breed Me: a sentence without a subject/ Phối giống tôi: một câu khôngchủ đề (AJAR Press, 2016) with Vietnamese translation by Hanoi-based poets Nhã Thuyên & Hải Yến. A Pushcart Prize & four-time Best of the Net nominee, his writing is anthologized in Bettering American Poetry (2016) and has recently appeared in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Palaver Journal, The Collapsar, SAND: Berlin’s English Literary Journal, Transnational Literature (Australia), & The Nottingham Review (UK), among others. His interviews can be read in Misfits Magazine & VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. He is the founder of Queer Southeast Asia: A Literary Journal of Transgressive Art and co-edits it with Cyril Wong, Hendri Yulius, J. Pilapil Jacobo, & Pang KheeTeik.

Post-Colonialism, with a Dream Boy’s Hand


I’ve become a better concept of ruin but this is what you want
to see: a snail whose spiral shell torn open in that uprising

when animals had to be inspected for unnatural matter,
still crawling in spite of its decimated house, crawling on

an uprooted cactus, then salt, then again, over the field of wreck.

There’s no substitute embodiment and there’s no other way
when you can’t leave your first impression of me, a definition

used for anything unthinkable: envenomed spines and ache, slow on,
across, through its skin. And you can hear a wren singing as I crawl

and you surely understand the song, its imitative twang,
voice of agony plucked from my very own silence.

Are you not pulling your body out from that type of silence, too?


Friends, dead now, are curious why you can’t go ahead of yourself
or just be done with me. Every so often they’d send photographs
of their body parts: ankles hooked with exotic bull horns,

bloated toes stuffed inside exported pickle bottle, hands captured
in a way it appears a destiny to hold them—if I could
be scared of how, like them, I will reach the largest

compound of heaven—and how they’d whisper
brother, hold our hands, take the harmed and harmless
for yourself —if I could stop repeating this to you.


We were there in the precarious tabernacle of workmanship since
the first night of colony, desperate, realized stars wouldn’t be a map,

selves were open mouths sorrow feeding with what had dried
in its dark land. Our stomach, the fireplace floor itself, could not call it eating.

I looked at my friends, unzipped from a wicked spell, and found nothing
unique about them: we were all patrolling the sky, like the ground

of the sky, the scattered characters praying for a typhoon to sneeze on us.
If that was not bravery, there was no bravery.

How did we learn to wish like that , Jeremiah aka “fallen” asked
and fell again, naturally, shrugged his dirty bones like a tambourine.

Since a dialect follows after and commits to death, somebody emphasized
after a series of self-talk, unhurried like a good farewell, closely

observing how the dirt of a close companion formed hills with penises,
ovaries of feelings with direction like dream children, children licking

the reddish clouds they glissaded on, children telling each other
they won’t hurt each other, how important it seemed to tell that,

how a right eye pierced with something only named when the eye bled
was the most personal way of seeing, vision with breadth, triumph.

All night fantastic thrived out of us, believed dying was life again.
What else? To re-create the world, doughty expression

of alternate bodies as depicted by a friend lullabied inside another heard
only with this: done with anger & growth here. Is it reconciliation, a com-

position when one is prepared to love his ugliest depiction? Nobody knows
just by being dirty we could forgive everybody, even ourselves.

And so, quite notably I knew I should die but never my dirt.
It is an ancient yearning bounded to wait for extinction

together with the name of a white winter man believed to have passed away
without loving me, yet still hiking my inflamed throat, recent to mourning.

Could all this be a treatise on the touch of loss? For how too proximate,
too much of me that I could only take the hallucinations, friends

in collapse, friends guilty of telling I’m arresting when I speak of nothing
and myself, this dirt and that man gone after it, all that passed through me

as the left hand of my right. My memory, a kind of hunger, holds it as a dream
boy’s hand. I tell you again: I’ve become more than your unthinkable.

the corpse

the only man you’ve had asked you once how it felt to be kissed &
kidnapped, that you didn’t know where he was taking you, if a place or
experience, that when a soft touch lead you to the word hometown
your native tongue whispered a cracked bone in your polite mind,
that hurt a mental intimacy repeatedly tasting the blood off your nose
& how it was once the only thing that knew, that talked to you, that when
you had to perform the man your body couldn’t finish a suicide rope
was already fixed in your room & your room was everyone’s room,
that you often thought your body taught the world how to be so angry
in such a way even the only person who unfurled a child’s wish for
a rib-less kite out of your throat will not be forgiven, that your mother
had to pay for her life, that you were venerable & unpretentious & then
inhibited when you said a man so real to wound was in love with you,
that you wanted it longer than you, that your heart was discovered
as the soil of a desperate land early on, that since then children were
the adults that burned other tales & other lands, that eventually clouds
& yellow parakeets & mountains fell down grayed and hypoxemic
from a giant smoke, that breathing was more out of losing sight than
having one, that when you lied the head of an innocent flower down
on your lap from the hands of your lover a wide landscape of warm
autumn seemed inevitable & brittle, that the day was about to grieve
& the days to follow already grieving & asking where has he gone?