Issue 1.1 

Summer 2021
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Vi Khi Nao

Sleep

Clocking in

159 hours of

overtime

in a month

averaging

5.3 hours of

excess work

each day on

8 hours worth

of daily labor

The laborer

Miwa Sado

is placing her

small nippon

head on the

train track

of Japanese

work culture

waiting for

the sleeper of

karōshi

to escort

her heart

failure to

Tokyo

where labor

laws have fallen

asleep

Not forced

at all to clock in

159 hours

of overtime

to slaughter

overtime

Not forced

to endure years

of chronic sleep

deprivation

Not forced

to jump out

of a building

Silence is diligent

Exhaustion is diligent

Death is diligent

Suicide is diligent

Not sleeping is diligent

What is the opposite

of diligence?

An eager

tongue that

would devastate

the following

demographic:

Slothful

raw tuna

taking a nap on

a bed of sushi rice

on a Friday afternoon

Sluggish

eels

taking forty winks

with wasabi & its

indolent workmate

soy sauce

Inactive

calamari

vegging out with

its unrelated

lethargic relatives:

cucumbers

& avocados

Premium Friday is

not Medium Monday

Premium is not

Premium

The last Friday of

the month for

unrequired leisure

is the equivalent

of asking

if two extra

rice seeds

would nourish

the human

body for

a year

Vi Khi Nao’s work includes poetry, fiction, film, play, and cross-genre collaboration. She is the author of the novel, Fish in Exile , the story collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of the 2016 FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize) and of four poetry collections: Human Tetris, Sheep Machine, Umbilical Hospital, and The Old Philosopher (winner of the 2014 Nightboat Prize). Her poetry collection, A Bell Curve Is a Pregnant Straight Line, and her short stories collection, The Vegas Dilemma, are forthcoming from 11:11 Press summer and fall 2021 respectively. She was the Fall 2019 fellow at the Black Mountain Institute. 

https://www.vikhinao.com 

Vi's Book Recommendations

Ghost Of: Diana Khoi Nguyen

Instrument: Dao Strom 

Savage Pageant: Jessica Q Stark

A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure: Hoa Nguyen

Soap for the Dogs: Stacey Tran