Our Jim

By Cathy Park Hong Read the Q & A
In this world hacked from marrowed dust,
the half-breed assassin slays
men before they breed to corps,
He belts his innard song.

He travels to a sapling town where
sawyers hew logs to songs of plovers,
and mansadors tame broncs of the blackest,
lustiest blood.

Soon the town blooms to terror,
and fades before it booms.
Ghosts weed out of bodies with their sharp
imagined hands.

A hobbled miner, delirious from the sun,
feels the shadow of his innard song,
and croaks: I’m a buck nun
failure anyway.

The half-breed leaves him be,
rides to a town of tents wooled with alfalfa
and glass-needled rain shatters
the dusted tundra.

Source: Poetry (April 2010).

 Cathy Park Hong

Biography

Cathy Park Hong is the author of Translating Mo'um, (Hanging Loose Press, 2002); Dance Dance Revolution (W.W. Norton, 2007), winner of the Barnard New Women Poets Prize; and Engine Empire (W.W. Norton, 2012). She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the NEA, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her writing on politics and her reviews have appeared in the Village Voice, the Guardian, Salon, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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