Tri Duong

A NOISELESS, patient spider,
I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to
connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.
Tri Duong
I HOLD that when a person dies
His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise
Another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the road again.

Such is my own belief and trust;
This hand, this hand that holds the pen,
Has many a hundred times been dust
And turned, as dust, to dust again;
These eyes of mine have blinked and shown
In Thebes, in Troy, in Babylon.

All that I rightly think or do,
Or make, or spoil, or bless, or blast,
Is curse or blessing justly due
For sloth or effort in the past.
My life's a statement of the sum
Of vice indulged, or overcome.

I know that in my lives to be
My sorry heart will ache and burn,
And worship, unavailingly,
The woman whom I used to spurn,
And shake to see another have
The love I spurned, the love she gave.

And I shall know, in angry words,
In gibes, and mocks, and many a tear,
A carrion flock of homing-birds,
The gibes and scorns I uttered here.
The brave word that I failed to speak
Will brand me dastard on the cheek.

And as I wander on the roads
I shall be helped and healed and blessed;
Dear words shall cheer and be as goads
To urge to heights before unguessed.
My road shall be the road I made;
All that I gave shall be repaid.

So shall I fight, so shall I tread,
In this long war beneath the stars;
So shall a glory wreathe my head,
So shall I faint and show the scars,
Until this case, this clogging mould,
Be smithied all to kingly gold.
Tri Duong

Young palmer sun, that to these shining sands
Pourest thy pilgrim's tale, discoursing still
Thy silver passages of sacred lands,
With news of Sepulchre and Dolorous Hill,

Canst thou be he that, yester-sunset warm,
Purple with Paynim rage and wrack desire,
Dashed ravening out of a dusty lair of Storm,
Harried the west, and set the world on fire?

Hast thou perchance repented, Saracen Sun?
Wilt warm the world with peace and dove-desire?
Or wilt thou, ere this very day be done,
Blaze Saladin still, with unforgiving fire?
Tri Duong

1 A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play --
2 For May is here once more, and so is he, --
3 His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,
4 And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:
5 Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array
6 Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me
7 Of woody pathways winding endlessly
8 Along the creek, where even yesterday
9 He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook --
10 Yet called the water "warm," with never lack
11 Of joy. And so, half enviously I look
12 Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, --
13 His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail knocked back
14 Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.
Tri Duong

"Speech"—is a prank of Parliament—
"Tears"—is a trick of the nerve—
But the Heart with the heaviest freight on—
Tri Duong
Indeed indeed, I cannot tell,
Though I ponder on it well,
Which were easier to state,
All my love or all my hate.
Surely, surely, thou wilt trust me
When I say thou dost disgust me.
O, I hate thee with a hate
That would fain annihilate;
Yet sometimes against my will,
My dear friend, I love thee still.
It were treason to our love,
And a sin to God above,
One iota to abate
Of a pure impartial hate.
Tri Duong

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! -
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors -
No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever -or else swoon to death.
Tri Duong


"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.
Tri Duong

When forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter'd weed of small worth held:
Then being asked, where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days;
To say, within thine own deep sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserv'd thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
Tri Duong
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory;
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thout that are now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
Tri Duong
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Tri Duong

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Tri Duong

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
Tri Duong

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Tri Duong

Pit where the buffalo cooled his hide,
By the hot sun emptied, and blistered and dried;
Log in the plume-grass, hidden and lone;
Bund where the earth-rat's mounds are strown;
Cave in the bank where the sly stream steals;
Aloe that stabs at the belly and heels,
Jump if you dare on a steed untried--
Safer it is to go wide-go wide!
Hark, from in front where the best men ride;--
"Pull to the off, boys! Wide! Go wide!"

Tri Duong

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
Tri Duong
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Tri Duong
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.


Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Tri Duong
Everybody needs someone.
Everybody needs a friend.
To run around with in the sun,
Someone on whom you can depend.

Everybody loves to hear,
That they're important, in some way.
Or have someone to dry a tear,
And help them make it through the day.

Everybody needs someone,
Everybody needs a choice
Who lets them talk until they're done,
And listen to their inner voice.

Everybody needs someone,
They can turn to everyday.
To listen to, or just have fun,
Each and every single day.
Tri Duong

Sonnet I

Unbroken as I am, I cry from my heart,
Lo! My love and thy reflection in my tears,
My death, as in half eternity is cut,
Thy pleasure as my pain screams in thy ears.
Take away with thee thy shadow of darkness,
My heart; break it- the turmoil in my breath,
Leave me! Leave me to nurse my loneliness-
Thy betrayal fervent like an angry heath,
I lied not when I said, 'thee is all I have,
Everything I am, core of my very being.'
Good riddance of the nothingness of thy love,
Of love like a sin that washes me clean,
A battle I fight even though I can't win,
In a place where you end but there I begin.

- For the one who wasn't the one.
Tri Duong

Learn my Son, my Mother said
From the things you’ve seen
To the things you have read,
For there is so much knowledge,
In our small World,
And when you learn it my son
It will become your pearl,
As you will shine it
And you will refine it
You will then display it proudly,
You will then profess it
A then you will confess it
And you will brag of it loudly.
Learn my son, my Mother spoke
As she talked from wisdom of age
As you can learn from many things,
Or by simply turning a page.
You can learn from a tree
If you would sit and watch a seed,
You can even learn from a poor man,
Just look upon his face, and you will be he.
Learn my son, my Mother cried
As tears came to her eyes
You can learn from tears and also smiles
You can even learn from a Child,
You can even learn, from me,
When I pass through my life,
You can learn from all men’s brothers
And why some only wish to die.
So take your knowledge and store it well
Protect it from all other men
For some Men need, what other men own.
And they will steal it as surely as you stand.
And when the years go by, and you're old and gray
In your mind many things will flow,
Some men have their wealth, many Men their gold
But their will be nothing more precious;
Than what you will know.....
Tri Duong

Boyfriends Cousins Girlfriends Uncles Fathers Mothers Sisters Brothers Husbands Wives Friends Uncles
Amidst a sea of sand and blood,
the grim reaper has a residence
In his black book, all of their names
Recorded as "Pending"
He is everywhere at once,
in the form of insurgency
In Every Nook and Cranny
And all in the name of protecting your
Country Lovers Family Friends Home
Grandeur was promised, but
you were paid in blood and loss
When the old wage war,
it's the young who die
Their dignitaries laughing
all the way to the bank
Sailors Soldiers Marines Pilots Special Forces Security Contractors Rangers SEALs...
All of you are
Tri Duong

My heartbeat speeds up
I try to rid the pain
Not knowing where it's from

There is a lonely girl in the dark forest
On her rests a white gown
Her black eyes pierces through my fragile body
she sees deep within my soul
Life is taken away from me.

She chases after me
I scream for help.
No sound comes out
No one is here, no one.

I clutch a blade in my hand
I exert all my force.
I wake up.
My palms are dripping with blood.
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Tri Duong

From time to time,
we inundate in a euphoric stupor,
leaving behind it all as we traverse
through the stars, and the universe

Nothing matters anymore, when you're up there
Your family, your work, your friends, your love, your life
All that matters is the silver screen,
an anesthetic made of dreams

When it wears off,
when it's all over,
you awaken and open your eyes
and back down you go,
into reality and Earth
with the dream's demise
Tri Duong

His heart they all did desire,
His beauty they all did seek
Their wants purely fueling the fires
of hopes he would sweep them off their feet

His face generates their squeals,
His voice gives birth to emotion
Not one, more or less, did not feel
that same dire pang of devotion

"For him," they say, "I'll die!"
"For him," they declare, "I'll wait!"
With beating hearts and admiring sighs,
they dream of their first date

But alas, hard truth is cold
It cometh regardless of inconvenience
For here it is, quite big and bold,
the source to unwanted grievance

This marvel of a man,
and truth will lay waste in its wake,
Can do nothing any human can,
for he, my friends, is fake
Tri Duong

It's like it's. Almost over
Those days that we once chased are vanishing
What's on the other side of
The door that that separates us now?

I'll try to put on a smile tomorrow even though you're not around
Your words and image vanish one by one
What was it all for? What were we chasing then?
Even now I still don't understand
All I know is you let go of my hand

Now wavering, I still hear your voice
Shaking the foundations of my peace
Your reflection is shown in the water
And I still hear you calling me from afar

The sun will arise with or without you
But the sun in my heart remains eclipsed
Can I pretend not to cry?
Those words left unsaid the many regrets piled up in my chest.
That which I always wanted to make right.

It's like it's. Almost over
Those days that we once chased are vanishing
Right here now, we switched sides.
All I have left are the beloved memories
Can I pretend that I'll be ok tomorrow?
Even though I know I'll be here alone
What was it all for what were we chasing then?
Even now I still don't understand
All I know is you let go of my hand

Now wavering, I still hear your voice
Shaking the foundations of my peace
Your reflection is shown in the water
And I still hear you calling me from afar

Now wavering, I still hear your voice
Shaking the foundations of my peace
Your reflection is shown in the water
And I still hear you calling me from afar

The sun will arise with or without you
But the sun in my heart remains eclipsed
Can I pretend not to cry?
Those words left unsaid the many regrets piled up in my chest.
That which I always wanted to make right.

Right now I have to unlock those chains
I'm not gonna get another chance to say whats on my brain
Would you rather live a life full of regrets
Never saying what you wanted to
Can I pretend to stand up without you?
Tri Duong

Where's my butterfly? In this dream called life.
Where's my lullaby? to help me move on.
If you could ever see who you'd turn out to be. Would you try to change?
If you could ever be who you used to be would you go back?
So I shake it up and I make it up and I watch you destroy yourself
So you desecrate and I elevate I'm trying to help you to see.
Cause I'm still looking back and you've gone off your track
And now you're so far gone yet I had hopes to bring you back
You've officially been lost from my eyes come on and take a bow life will take you for a ride
Is it me who's wrong for staying the same or is it you for trying to play me in this game!
Life's a dream and I can't seem to sleep!
You're in the same body but yet you've turned to ashes beneath!
You've seemed to left the old you behind in oblivion.
I turn to memories when I need some relief!
And now my heart aches cause I've caught the disease!
And still baby you're the only one I can't leave behind.
So bring it all back. I'll try to figure it out.
What I've yet to believe.
Cause you've been flying high all night
And you've lost sight of the ground you don't remember where it is.
So I shake it up and I make it up and I let it undo everything
And I activate and I animate and watch you go.
Beneath the shell you wear memories rip and tear but you can't feel it cause theres nothing inside anymore.
I need to relax, relapse
I can't say I'm proud of what you've become or who you've been.
But I remembered that burning anger that raged through me again!
Life's a dream and I can't seem to sleep!
You're in the same body but yet you've turned to ashes beneath!
You've seemed to left the old you behind in oblivion.
I turn to memories when I need some relief!
And now my heart aches cause I've caught the disease!
And still baby you're the only one I can't leave behind.
It's time to get you out of here. Before you change yet again.
I gotta get you out of here. Before it takes you away again.
Inside you die but you multiply and you change your face and want me to subside!
You modify. You amplify. You multiply. Yet still you die.
Tri Duong

Lush, lush; sweet talk the toffee apple kiss
A fairground ride into the laughter of your soul
Your one kiss fixed the notion, brilliant muse
Yes lady,
Bright eyes like yours cut across a crowd
Spring rhythms rapid against logic and cold metalloid moons
The ratchet effect; the melting point of soft sensorium
Bright eyes in superior calcium, milk for tears
I drink, I drink, yes lady
Bright smile like yours
Night kisses on semi eclipse; yearn for a lust
Deliver symphony; kill a crave
Shotgun for a need, kissing slipstreams
Toccata love overdose, each note we seed
X marks the spot, bring me heat, Y chromosome splits
Love like an onyx fissure, the beauty
In each sediment layer, humans dissected by touch

We watch a world on fire; the axis tipped
The point,
Of a child's idiosyncratic motion
The ratification of an Omphalos candy rush,
Oracle nights taste like fire; a skinblip of derelict moon burns

Where we meet palm to palm; undoing the silk of biological
Senescence; pure rush, the climax
Rapture meets bliss, stimulates
Voodoo in a nexus of nights.

Yes lady I have loved you, never before like this
Reverse my treasons, deft alchemy
Of your arcane lips; unclasp the night latch
Let me in; breathe in come-closer whispers
Yes lady, see me

Defeat spruik; lineament you blend
Lint becomes your fingers tending
Caressing each raw wound; sliver of a rose
So close, so close.
This is love, pure rush: whisper me a secret
Night kisses on semi eclipse
"There is no distance between us"
Sensation speaks from each angle we address
Switchblade romance cuts the lights
Like a raptor slicing walls into midnight bliss

Hawk each hour we collapse into sleep.
Still our hearts make love; our bodies redeem
So swift the grip of each perfect dream.

Yes my lady, yes my lady
Open your eyes to me. Your kiss daggers
Necessary euphoria, cutting into me
Tattoos of nirvana.

So even now, if we dare contemplate sleep
You will never be anything less
Tri Duong

I am the newly found lover,
Using charm and wit to seduce
To manipulate and to govern.
Solemnity and chivalry
Are constituents of my gentleman's vest,
And so I smile blithely, and
My heart is aching violently.
I am the innate intellectual
Toppling titans, and conquering philosophy,
I am the all-functional.
The fissures of my brain pulse morbidly,
With thoughts and ideas to be made real,
Yet made of nothing but electricity, and so
My head is pounding violently
I am your puppet, fitting snugly in your palm
You alter my energy, my emotions mimic yours
You do with me whatever you please and I love you ever more violently
I am yours truly and completely, and you understand
I can fit inside your veins, inside your heart
and my love is raging violently.
I am the aged man,
No longer possessing virility
But I crumble what little I still can.
No more women, or problem solving for me,
Only wrinkles set deep in my flesh
Complimented by my senility,
And death is creeping violently.
Tri Duong

Laying in the dank, dark
Of night, I attempt to hark, the
Vivacious angel dreaming
Evermore with pupil`s gleaming.

Living off the dribbling pollen
Out of the lily flower fallen, with
Vehement and fervent intentions
Eschewing falsified inventions.

Lamenting crystalline jewels
Over-obsessive fools,
Verify that one last beat of heart
Every time does death do us part.
Tri Duong

Heaps of discarded achievements.
Atrophy runs rampant and unimpeded
Throughout this intricate system of spirit
Eternally degenerating the fabric of our purity

...Hemorrhaging and overtaking within.
Affinity for the dull and gruesome acts
Thoroughly perfected at the hands of man.
Evisceration of our morals and our culture

However, is this our true, our new culture?
Affluent in the fine art of absurd and obscene
Thanking no one, taking everything, taunting heaven?
Everything fades for some to flourish

Hands held high to our ritualistic scourge
Adios things once touted higher than gold
Termination is just a beginning
Emptiness is the result.
Tri Duong

I remember not, the Father of my youth,
But instead I recall an absence,
An absence of memory,
And an absence of nurture.

I remember not, His didactic touch,
If there ever was one,
Because his hands were always filthy,
And busy with the heavy load of inebriation.

I remember not, a kiss from those lips,
If even possible,
Because his lungs were always arrested by tar,
And asphyxiation seemed imminent.

I remember not, a Father figure,
But instead I recall a gap,
A gap in grey matter,
And a gap to separate our natures.
Tri Duong

Am an arrogant chauvinist
With an inflated self opinion and
A humble, pinkish skin.
Where did I go wrong?

Our Government
Is a lame work horse
That fails to move the load
Or a black pustule that oozes
A festered corruption.
Where did they go wrong?

Is the lurid crust of psoriasis,
Splitting and bleeding ignorance,
Held to the Body only by the fibrous
Tension of amino acids like "Church" and "Cult".
Where did we go wrong?

Is the gruesome, twisted legs of polio,
In place to hold the Body up,
Now merely limiting its movement
With surges of debilitating shock and parochial insights.
Where did God go wrong?

Look to the moon for comfort,
To evaporate the agony of realization
With her pale glow, and take deep breaths
In hope of catching her scent in the breeze.
She has never steered me wrong.
Tri Duong

 A brother's last breath acquiesces,
A father's death nourishes pest and soil,
Lead is planted to grow fallow land,
And the Earth… has stopped spinning.

The horizon vomits bile of flame,
Consuming all the while,
And the skeletons of family homes bleed a sad remorse
While lamenting plaster tears as brick falls to the Earth.

Steel Titans lie defeated next to the hopscotch grid,
And if they could speak they would tell a horror story
From the perspective of their one Cyclops eye,
Of how they clashed with men and swam in rivers crimson.

Sunshine looms just above the ground,
Lightly caressing asphalt as it engulfs men,
It raises blisters and surfaces blood,
And its victims drown in melted lung.

A symphony comes to mind, a ballad or ode to Hades,
As steel plays a scale on arterial tissue,
Always followed by a piercing high note,
Or sometimes a soft gurgle and a fade to a silent end.

Shadows adhere to walls with grimaces of shock and awe,
As cornea is incinerated and retina is liquefied,
People are turned to dust, from which they came,
And fungus towers above the earth,
As it all concludes in one... Swift ...Wave
Tri Duong
I need this like I need a bullet in my head,
But the truth is such: I would prefer the bullet.
A cranium full of lead.
Please, if I beg hard enough,
Promise to blend my brains, make grey matter soup
With blood for broth.
Paint the walls with my intellect and
Put a second coat of my memories.
(Is it a nice color?
Does it satiate your lurid sense of taste?)

Cut my wrists, embed the steel six inches
Below my skin, sever the tendons from bone.
Obstruct the flow of elixir, make it scatter
Off into the abyss, where life ceases to exist.
(I can feel my life freezing in the
Deathtrap pouch of flesh called a heart.)

Force feed me cyanide,
Funnel it down my throat.
Give me a suicide capsule to choke on,
While you are at it:
Drown me with mustard gas,
I want my lungs to rupture
Liberating a horrifying wave of fluids,
Spilling the rest of my life with it.
(I want to go without mercy.)
Tri Duong
Rest your eyes a bit Grandmom,

Like you used to do on those lazy

Sunday afternoons,

Before and after dinner

When sleep almost always looms.

Trek back home Grandmom,

To you ancestors and your son,

The odyssey will be worth it

Even if not fun.

Wait for me Grandmom,

I think we all hold this mutually

A thought on all of our minds.

Stay with us Grandmom

Your pride is what we need

A pedestal, exaltation,

Hewing the path of life

Until each of us are freed.

We know you have not left us

But only gone to wait

Just inside that pearly white gate,

I sit here and write this,

Accumulating everyone's thoughts,

A tear adorning my face,

Lord, let me live at this woman's pace.
Tri Duong
There is a fumbling, frantic, like a drowning victim tearing for the surface, trying to get there before the darkness.  The zipper is found and a hand reaches, gingerly, in to find man’s best friend and worst enemy.  It is retrieved and the stream is unleashed as a pinpoint torrent of lukewarm, yellow-tinted wastewater that pools and then spirals, past the puck, down the drain.  He stands in front of the urinal in that pose characteristic of all men seeking relief in public places.  Close up, as if guarding his hand in a poker game from the prying eyes of the dishonest.
            He is standing at the sink, washing his hands, staring satisfied into the grimy mirror that is reflecting his face through its filth.  There is a slight, drunken smirk upon his face.  The kind that everyone gets when they’ve had something to drink and are feeling good.
            The soap pump yields an oily, viscous, sputum that makes him wish that he had not elected to use soap.  He quickly lubricates, wanting to be rid of this anti-bacterial snot.  He plunges his hands into the too-cold water.
            Before he shuts off the stream, he decides to splash some water on his face, hoping that the arctic chill will revive him somewhat.  Once again he places his hands under the flowing water, this time cupping them so that they brim with the frothing ice water.  Staring at himself in the mirror, he looks down to his overflowing hands and plunges his head down into them.  The freezing shock forces him to catch his breath.  Again, he fills his hands and again he plunges his face into the frigid water.  And again. And again.  He feels alive.
            He stares into his new face, seeing himself more clearly.  He turns to the paper towel dispenser and wracks the slide once to no avail.  Again, nothing.  And  again.  And again.  He resolves to use his sleeves to wipe the excess water from his face.  He places his hands, with the sleeves of his too-big hoodie stretched over them, over his face.  He pushes, slowly dragging them from his forehead down to his eyes.  As his world fades to black he hears the door to the bathroom swing open and for a moment there are sounds of spirited conversation, laughter, music and the faint scent of bodies pressed together.  The door slams and there is only the world within.  There are footsteps behind him as his sleeved hands pass down his cheeks and drop off his face past his chin.  The man turns and is greeted with a fist to the face…
“Gimme what you’ve got!”
            He is buckled and bloodied at the nose and mouth.  There is that warm, metallic taste so different from the tasteless cold of the sink.  The man stands, face contorted in a grimace as though he had eaten something he didn’t like.  He shakes his head.
“One way or another you’re gonna give it to me!” A knife is produced.
            He steps back as his assailant steps forward.  He swings, but his body is still feeling the effects of his drinks.  He is slow and his attacker is not so inhibited.  His punch is ducked and the attacker thrusts home with cold, pointed steel.  It finds its mark just to the right of the navel.  The blade recoils and again plunges home.  And again. And again.  Sanguine mess.
            He falls back and braces himself against the sink.  The back of his head cracks the mirror, sending small shards of glass flying about, with a few burrowing into his scalp.  His attacker looks, for the first time, at the mark and realizes that he has nothing to offer.  There is a clatter; his attacker drops the knife.  There are rapid footsteps, his killer runs from the lavatory.  The door swings open.  The vibrant mumble of the crowd fills his ears.  The door swings closed.
            He tries to stand, but instead lurches forward several paces through a toilet stall door that had been left almost-closed by its previous occupant.  He is met with the feted odor that accompanies a toilet bowl long unwashed.  He manages to seat himself, however ungracefully, on the bowl.  He pauses to get his bearings.  He tries to stand but his legs will not respond.  His tries to call out but his chest is heavy.  His lungs have filled with his own blood.  He is drowning in what once sustained him.  Ironic asphyxiation.
            He looks to his right and his left, mouth ajar, blood on his lips, seeing that the walls are covered in the usual bathroom-stall manifestos. Gouged into the walls are the wise words of the drunk, sobered by the spasmodic pain of retching vomit.
            At first he is hot with hate.  He hates the man who punctuated his life just so. In no time at all, this hate ebbs.  Ebbs like his lifeblood that is pooling, running, and spiraling in red rivulets, across the floor.
Tri Duong
It’s forced at first. It has to be coaxed out and nurtured before it can really begin to blossom into something beautiful. That’s what they say, right? “All great relationships are based on a lie.”

It just spills out and goes from there, a whole world opens up and paints the white, cellulose walls with audible color. Sweet sounds of creation conjured by my plume fertilize the vacant space between words. This is great.

The pregnancy of the pause before the pen is put to paper is a feeling full of heaviness, brought on by the message I have to bear. This feeling of release is exciting, as the weight of the words leave my mouth. This is cartharsis.

Then of course, there is the block and the pressure mounts. Dammed back, not by the natural beaver lodge, but by a man-made monstrosity severing the jugular of a serpentine river pouring life down-stream. I close the window to stop the noises of the party next-door from damming back my creative juices. But still I can’t work out the block. Something is jammed in there, keeping me from continuing further into uncharted territory. My thoughts have been run aground and I’ve no way of pushing off into the inexorable current that will bear me along to my final punctuation. This is tragedy.

I remember! The dishes are to be done. And so they are done. My odyssey begins again in earnest, under full sail with all hands manning the oars. Thus the river flows its course and all is well. Thoughts are the under-tow, words are the fish and the frogs that color the waters with the vigor of life. The message is clear, un-mudded by the pollution of cliché, thus it refreshes. This river flows into others, creating an endlessly complex web in which river after river and stream after stream may flow and trickle on forever and for always.This is a story.
Tri Duong
Pain is such an exquisite thing
It opens brand new doors that I never knew existed
This sensation is something that shouldn’t be resisted
Nothing is better than a collapsed lung
Except for maybe
Putting your finger down the rabbit hole of your electrical outlet
Enter a brave new world
Of exploding lights and strange sounds
That would be an Ambulance

Pain can be so much fun
Think of all that can be done with a gun
Away go the kneecaps
Bam, no more sight
A broken nose
Is really a delight
It is the answer to the world’s plight
We try to stop it
When we should embrace it
And in war
Embrace it when we should be trying to stop it
Parents tell kids not to hit
What do they know
Faux pious people

Razors offer some cheep laughs
Put one in your mouth
And you’ll taste copper pennies
Wanting more
What can I find?
There! A blowtorch catches my eye
Things can get hot
Or down right blistering
A little alcohol keeps my wounds from festering

Don’t worry about the wife getting curious
I have no need to be mysterious
Because when I take my little trips
She’s the one holding the whips