Joshua Nguyen

Joshua Nguyen Headshot


Joshua Nguyen began writing with the Meta-Four Houston Youth Slam Team from 2008-2012 and competed in Brave New Voices. He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and was part of the UT Spitshine slam team from 2014-2016. He placed #1 in the nation in 2014, won ‘Best Writing as a Team’ in 2015, and was the 2015 CUPSI Haiku Champ. In 2016, he traveled to Washington D.C. as a member of Future Corp to organize the 2016 Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival. He was a featured poet in a commercial for the National Education Association's 'Do You Hear Us?' campaign. He has been published in Freezeray PoetryButton Poetry, The Offing and is forthcoming in Birds Thumb. In 2015, he was part of the Word Around Town Poetry Tour (WAT) in Houston, Texas. He is a tapioca connoisseur and plays an aggressive-tight strategy in poker.

Spoiler Alert (My Reaction to “The Walking Dead”, Season 6, Episode 3)

                                                     Originally published in Freezeray


In 1982, Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a bat by two white men

who blamed the Japanese for the U.S auto industry’s troubles

Vincent was Chinese-American


His wedding guests attended his funeral instead

-The New York Times

spoiler alert
my reaction to the Walking
 season 6. episode 3.
Glenn follows Nicholas. why
the hell would you follow
Nicholas? damn it Glenn,
don’t you know how much i
love you. they make wrong
turn. climb on top of a dump-
ster, hoards of zombies come
from all directions. Glenn
becomes martyr. corner in
alley. no wait, like it’s 1982 in
Detroit. at a bar with Vincent
Chin. the day before his wed-
ding. anti-immigration senti-
ments still linger. body
blamed for lack of employ-

spoiler alert
Nicholas, a useless character,
a white body, shoots himself
out of fear, ricochets onto
Glenn, his weight forces him
to fall over too, into starving
crowd that wants Glenn’s
skin. they fall. season 6.
Walking Dead. 1982. spoiler

tight shot. ease in. pale nails
rip through chest cavity. in-
testines spilling. Glenn
screams. no wait, Vincent
too. the camera focuses. wait,
i am pinned up in the school
bathroom. i want to go home.
he wanted to go home. to rest.
to see his love. the show gets
the effects right. the blood
should be darker. i get it. i
know.  it's a post-apocalyptic
world with zombies. i get it.
no one is safe. art imitate life.
it's a prime time drama. kill
off the only Asian character.
tear his masculinity. spoiler a-

we are never safe. if not now,
then. when. a barbed-wire
bat. a bulge with my face on
it. a haunted Highland Park.
two white auto-workers.
“they all look the same”. i am
on the edge of my seat. no
wait. i am face down on con-
crete. teeth chewing the curb.
skateboard grip gnawing my
neck. i get it. middle school is
rough. i get it. this is an epi-
sode. wait, it is re-run. i un-
derstand. i am not meant to
breathe. i am flesh sacrificed,
i am side act. static. funny.
only with an accent. spoiler

i get it. i am overreacting
yelling at my tv. hoping
somebody will save Glenn.
maybe Maggie. or Jesus. no.
he’s not dead yet. my hero.
he doesn’t deserve to die like
this. people who look like us.
hide. people who look like us.
hide under the dumpster.
don’t take jobs. deliver pizza.
dissolve into the ground. a-
void the carnage. hide. spoil.
rot. be dead.

wait, i am engulfed by hoards
of fists in the school bath-
room. Owen Meany tells me
to stay down. i get it. learn
from Vincent. from history.
i understand. passiveness
now. don’t be brave. look
what happened to Glenn. a
well with no chance of es-
cape. survival mechanisms.
spoiler alert. Vincent dies.
Glenn escapes. next batter
up. spoiler alert. i live.

©The Acentos Review 2017