Cột đèn sẽ thả lưỡi nói, “mừng đã về nhà"
Sitting sadly eating a sweet potato
Author: Nguyễn Thế Hoàng Linh
Published on: 5/30/2015 7:20:37 PM

Sorrow can eat you, Linh has said, if you are not careful.  Nguyen The Hoang Linh’s poetry faces a shadowy sorrow, but refuses to be consumed in it. With a deep respect for joy, for happy howling, for the place outside of human logic, his work dances playfully around the profound.

Linh writes and shares prolifically; friends on facebook might see multiple poem postings in an hour. Though seemingly hurried, his process involves intense blocks of focus followed by a “running down the street ringing the bells of everyone’s house to come and see’”. The energy exchanged between writer and reader is a very necessary and palpable part of his process.

May you read and share with joyful sorrow.

- Kaitlin Rees


a concept

in between two cities is a cat

which is itself a different city

a city that knows how to creep up, lie down, spread out

when the cat loses it

two cities have a border no more

no more are they called two cities

or people call them but only out of habit



sitting sadly eating

sitting sadly eating a sweet potato

suddenly I feel the sadness double




that’s right

what’s right huh

hehe I dunno

hoho that’s right

that’s right

you’re the same as me

so many things just seem right




I never ever will know

sound, upheaval, a woman’s smile…

nouns grow inside us

verbs are raised to rise

adjectives overflow with leaves as far as the eye can see

I will never ever know how to ask about


like talking with ten thousand trees


having a bottle of wine

I have a bottle of wine

my sadness is not worth telling

I told it just to show

it’s not worth telling



at odds

stop seeking sense in a sentence

it has no meaning at all

for real

but though I am sincere

there also not a bit of it here



on the street in evening

on the street this evening

was a bird on its back drunk to heaven

is there any drunkenness in life

to lay me unconscious among swimming clouds



-- translated by Kaitlin Rees