Nicholas Wong: Orientalism
& Nono (Uncorrected Proof)


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We grieved for Kim Jong Il. We had to
believe the country was a mute that had lots
of words to offer. We worked with cows,

ate them, then tree barks and human calves.
We peeled the muscles but kept the hearts
alive. In a country that had lots of humans

to offer, I married young. On honeymoon,
my wife and I stuck to one TV channel.
We had only one TV channel

about boundaries, where they ended and how,
in a way, the outside world also ended. One day,
we swam to China, where words swung

between siren  |  serenade, sorrow  |  surreal.
The water was deep, muddy, swirling.
My wife couldn’t make it. I went

quiet like the border of this country that
offered itself as a maybe in a box, or maybe
a jade. Either way, lexemes were truncated—

a plunk of “dis-” from the neck of “quiet”
or “play.” Either way, I guillotined my past below
my neck, fermented it. I bartered my kimchi

away for a second name: Sam Song. And a second wife,
though I miss the submissiveness of my first,
our proper poverty. A scar can archive

and achieve burning to crust in time
for a laugh. I’m happy now in this stillness
that shifts, they say, just the matter of time.

Nono (Uncorrected Proof)

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“double illegitimacy; a colloquial term coined in 2012 to refer to newborns
in Hong Kong with both parents of illegal status within the city.”

Me is no/ sperm       no egg/ me is out
rage of both/   me is hiccup               betwin
lunguage and deficit/               Diu means

fuck/ Diu to me five star flag               me tongue can
not say ‘th’       in the in them in nothing

in theatre       me hand has no/ other hand but me
other hand to touch    diu/ in theatre               me is movie
ticket stub/    stubborn popcorn

seed unpopped/ papa               do you know me

Chinese name has many                         meaning/ mean double
no       double fly/ like butter
fly lover in theatre               mean two woman four hand

arrive at happy               ending/ why mama begin
begging like other mama before this
building/             mama is need is noisy               mama yell

hum with other nono/ other                 banner no milk no school

no bed in sea               of baby eye/               black
but tiny like sea of sesame       dust of/ten mistake


FICTION: Lisa Beebe, Karl Harshbarger, Lauren Johnson, J. Robert Lennon

NONFICTION: Matthew Gavin Frank, Deborah Thompson

POETRY: Melissa Barrett, Thea Brown, Lauren Camp, Sampurna Chattarji, MRB Chelko, Patrick Culliton, John Gallaher, Ricky Garni, Meghan Lee, Kristen Orser, slp, Meghan Privitello, Megan Pugh, Amelia Salisbury, Matt Shears, Raena Shirali, Dolsy Smith, Avni Vyas, Elizabeth Whittlesey, Nicholas Wong

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