Archive for December, 2014


Vacant, unblinking stare. Brown eyes, lit by a cold white sun. The light is more grey than white through the black slats of the blind. Brown eyes gaze down the length of a soft forest of shadows cast by the raised thread-trees of a faded, laurel-green terrycloth zig-zag-patterned bed-cover. A bed-cover-plain. In the distance, over the bed-cover-horizon, an ill-proportioned composition of cool-grey carpet, beige wall and window form a bed-sky. And in that sky a single speck of dust catches the grey sunlight as it floats toward the floor. It could be a flake of skin. Her skin. Part of her being. Or it could be insect excreta, or cigarette ash, sentient life en route to the bed-planet perhaps. Whatever its origin, it is agonisingly slow in its angled trajectory, its movement determined by some immeasurably small draft or other. Brown eyes stare at that speck of dust until their vision blurs and the smudge of beige carpet, louvered by the cold, slatted sunshine, and the wall and window become one great grey mess.

Alone in the land of others
An outside visitor I am to them,
Whenever a festival arrives
I miss you all the more.
From afar I know you brother
Climbing up the mountains,
The zhuyu plant is worn by all
Except for the one absent.

On the Double Ninth Festival: Thinking of My Brothers in Shandong

By Wang Wei
(Translated by Zong-qui Cai)

I sensed some kind of trouble, but nothing I could clearly define; a feeling akin to the time of menses, but as much in the head as in the hollow of my gut. A kind of tearing — a pressure in my ears of rising blood and whispered screams. Deep basal thuds I feel in my chest, coming through space as though something were being bludgeoned from my soul. I could not fathom it, but knew it to be central to my being. I thought of my twin brother. (more…)