Uyen Hua

Three Poems

dear jean,
the entire david lynch archive and all the vertical stripes in the world
even then could not afford us such escape,

french people love to make movies/about their dreams that we americans then use/as
backdrops for our fantasies/whether voluntarily, or not

i pull the tips of my index/and middle finger towards my mouth/and away/several
times—/nothing;/nature refuses to acknowledge me

i wait in a café/and stare out the window/where i imagine my inverse self/in a café/
across the street/also waiting/and preparing for disappointment//
and as much as i try to fight it/my inverse self is me/at age nine/ in a dress i’ll wear/ for
my eightieth birthday/and then an elephant with a bad attitude/and photograph of a man
that’s talking and telling me i can’t go on/that i’ll go on/ and finally/
a croissant/dancing alone in a négligée

we circle one another/on a crowded street. i leave you a note/
telling you/to meet me/wherever it is/ you thought of me/last. you show up/
as your sixty-seven year old self/ and worse, you’re empty-handed/still wandering/and
hoping to convince me/to visit my mother/and my eleven-year old self. in my dream/
i’m fifteen years old/and working the ferris wheel/ and maybe you’re forty/
and successful/doing business in china/with all the money in the world/but it all comes
back to you/doing everything in your power/to shut down this ferris wheel in california.
in my fantasy/tumble weed/blows around/because i told it to dance, motherfucker/and the
wind’s/some guy i picked up/at a bar/to do my dirty work. they’ll call/or they won’t/
and either way/ a young woman/with a flowy skirt/jumps on a bed/in an apartment/on the
fifth floor/like a little girl. in six years/we’ll walk past/one another/and mouth the word
“bouche”; one hundred small things/in one hundred seconds

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

twenty women, making passing glances at James Woods
will recall a time their highest regards were contingent
on the hypothetical snubbing of James Woods/
today there is no time rationed aside for cherishing self-restraint
; a mere eight people show up to a conference lecture on efficiency and dignity
; the speaker shuffles in later, seeming to be completely pants-less;
; “my cause for complaint and reason for appearance- seemingly or otherwise- are
completely independent of you and one another;” and other
phrases that demand exclamation/
the doors swing open and those exiting are greeted by a homeless man dancing a jig with
a look of confusion and desperation; out of breath and sweating profusely, “please, lend
me your ears”/
and they watch, until a singing man with a violin turns the corner at the other end of the
street causing the small crowd to look over. regretfully,
“if you could, the tale of a young man, not so different from you—”/ interrupted by the
sound of a plane through the sky on its way to Vegas, a pretty simple story, actually. see,
I’m in love with this girl and she’s marrying this other guy/
as the crowd looks up to the noise, a blimp floats past, “eat at Ganesh’s”

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   

It’s like when Lydia Davis said the best day of her life was the blog you wrote about the
letter you got from your friend who met Johnny Nash and saw the Oakland torpedoes, or
You always promised yourself you’d make it big. That was the moment of my life. You
said, “this is my dream” and then others were there to help you. As it turns out, what The-
Dream felt was exactly what Rihanna was feeling. Soon after, millions knew exactly
what Rihanna meant
And remember that time that Nickelodeon show had that episode with the worst day ever
and the note in her locker was like, “Your embarrassment involves a certain self-
importance as if that consciousness means something and exempts you from
responsibility or the experience.”      Dude, it’s so like that.

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