hobart logo

May 20, 2021 Poetry

Two Poems

Namkyu Oh

Two Poems photo


such a good boy you
fluffy little algorithm patched
with paws and droopy ears
bringing me sticks
always wanting
to play fetch
I throw a frisbee
into the woods
and today it brings
a mangy p — which
I toss again
this good boy
comes back
with a fat bushel
of porn in its mouth
have to take it out
of its canines
point to the forest
and say no — fetch
it returns  nudges fetish
with the wet of its nose
I kick the keyword
into the stream
it whimpers
whenever I do this
because it knows
this means I want
nothing but fresh mud
in the cache and
all of my tracks erased
so I let it roam free
again one last time
watch it gnaw
on anything I let go of
swallow whatever
I don’t take away
from its snout
belly swelling
with query until
the legs buckle
and when they do
the purging follows
poor boy
letting go
of its stomach
and server
through its bark
out comes
a fox’s leg
banana bread recipes
Korean psychiatrists Brooklyn
jobs at Salesforce
microdosing beginner
sparrow carcass
my name in belly acid
I don’t get high anymore
young huckleberries
male bulimia
I put it
in my arms
see if there’s a pulse
boop its nose
this function
of fur grinning dumb
tongue panting like
a blinking cursor


ķ•œ(han): the American Pronghorn

could stomp through the nyc marathon
in about 40 minutes flat which makes
no sense given what chases it today
some say this is because the Pronghorn
used to share this land with the now-extinct
american cheetah for over two million years
others say it’s because they’re still being chased
by their ghosts — generations of the doe-eyed
chewing on trauma like cud
just to trick the stomach and heart
to keep pumping and like that
with nothing it blows past me
60-plus miles an hour
not enough time to tell it
the short-faced bears of the pleistocene
are gone now  you won’t turn the corner
in those heartlands and see
saber-tooth anymore but who am I
to say anything  my great uncle fought
in korea and will still dive under
the nearest tree if the plane
above us is loud enough
grandma backhanded my face
when I said the japanese word
for onion instead of our own
the Pronghorn still fears
dire wolves and grazes
in protective herds assuming
they could always
be over the hills
those wolves died out
ten thousand years before
the japanese
and the b29’s left home
but the pronghorn
is only getting faster
at what point
do the hindquarters
stop growing   how large
do they have to swell
for us to call it
by a new name
this true-korean
never letting go
of what won’t come back
no matter how sharp
the mouth


image: Patrick Hendry