translated by PLS
no longer able to hold up, the hours
breaking from each other
between iron walls
their words moan like
an abyss of great mass
water churning out water, fantasy replacing emptiness
the first letter is almost there
all day you sit idle over here
and i remain supine over there
willingly walking into a tomb
praying for an unprecedented ending
a death knell actually becomes a taboo
i have finally come to an answer
lest it be doomed forever
disassembling and crumbling inside itself
Kako Sho is a PHD student in Hokkaido University.
abecedarian for my 心*
by Emily Liu
alive. and nothing else should matter
but dissatisfactions open like paper
cuts. how can all things feel
dissolving. how has the long
evening already crumbled into
february. it can’t be only me
gingerly touching my cheeks,
hair, arms. reassurances that
i remain. am here. am alive.
just need a moment or a while.
kiting, this year’s winds not kind.
learning how to kiss the bruises.
mornings with green, ginger tea;
new wounds and old newly torn
open; apply leaves as a
poultice. afternoons with
questions: why i don’t
rest—why the sun sets—why
sundays depress. hazy
thief of a day. lights dull bright
until past the quiet hours.
viscous dreams in hibernation,
winter a jar of peanut butter.
心 pulse so faint, so slow
yet i am alive. for the moon passes
zenith and my 心, patient, pulses.
Emily Liu is a San Diego native teaching English in Taiwan. Her poetry has appeared in Red Ogre Review.
我的 heart 之启蒙
Emily Liu 来自圣地亚哥，现在台湾教英文。其诗作曾发表于《Red Ogre Review》。
science of spring
translated by PLS
birds know that isolation is a very un-spring thing
plants know that with a desire to grow the vines can lift up a rock, instead of blossoming
the rock would crumble in a few years, the hardness won’t matter. birds know that in fact
we have squandered the most optimistic and healthy rainwater of the year
on nourishing weeds and fake news. plants know that the land
hasn’t grown more fertile because of this, it has become narrow minded, and depressed, it
is the only land that wants to climb up on the globe, it pines to become a highland
thus plants and birds are prone to oxygen deficiency during orogenesis. last night
a moth orchid was dying of hunger and weariness, in order to elude the surveillance of the land
we had to talk about an honest and pure thing in a different language: death is approaching—
she has been a nobody, and has been too scared to drink the water flowing backwards to the highland. she is agitated at night
—and for this she hasn’t forgotten to apologise. in the secret future, she will always be seen as the mother of fruits
once she becomes a flower, she will be seeded in you forever, all the way to your heart. you once told me:
flowers won’t be flowers, and grass won’t be grass, until the day the land learns how to apologise to the spring
Li Mang has won Youth Literary Awards (2023) and Guanghua Poetry Prize (2022), some of his works can be found in Fleurs de Lettres, Xu Ci, Poetry Monthly and so on.
by Hazel Ma
The afternoon witnesses silence
tainted by fear; the park bonds with
the schools, the churches, the supermarkets
through sirens and police
Unattended garbage is blown
from sewer holes to rooftops to the feet of a bench
where people have fled. Pigeons wander
in this dim atmosphere. The air of
coolness countering angst
A usual weekday for a group of students
to do their sketches. They make little tombs that
mourn about the incident’s suddenness
like vegetation sprawled to death
in the blink of a night
They don’t want to be used to it
Hazel Ma is a first-year masters student at NYU’s XE Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement department.
Hazel Ma 是纽约大学在读研究生。
year of fate
translated by PLS
“would the sound remain in the tape?”
ya qiu, waterfowls swooping up and down in your diary,
wavering inquietude, wavering
the parking apron where dew is starting to settle. is it the right path？
many things tend to rush to affirm, the fruits on the tree
ill with rain, secretly cracked open by sunlight.
i wonder, i have been trying to conquer the days and nights, so many
jelly beans re-poured into the pocket, no less than a disappointing
ya qiu, the potted plants you once fed, are spewing
insomniac mammoth. space regressed to imaginary numbers, are
all rainforests barbaric?
the conveyer belt accelerating, steadfast carriages crunching the full moon
but the teeth haven’t got the permission. for a while,
there are red fire hydrants arrayed in the aisle
i couldn’t carry myself, or be as happy as before.
ya qiu, all these zigzags have rendered you and i…but the sound,
can it really stay here?
Lv Zhouhang, who pities one that stands in the dewy wind all night.
by Erin Jamieson
I paint your bedroom
color of dying sunflowers
like the ones you left
at my mother’s grave
hoping through death
we could forget
when sunsets blistered
our stained living room
& we danced, barefoot &
blistered & in love & lost
beyond words as our bills
collected & you applied to
far away jobs & I typed away
to dreams we watched dissolve
with misty collisions of force
When I am finished
I stand back, noting
flecks of uneven
passion you might miss
if you didn’t know
Erin Jamieson holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio. Her writing has been published in over eighty literary magazines, and her fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of a forthcoming poetry collection (Clothesline, NiftyLit)
Erin Jamieson 曾在80余家文学刊物上发表过，其小说曾获“小推车文学奖”提名。她的最新诗集《Clothesline》即将由NiftyLit出版。
song of wind
translated by PLS
i’ve seen wind, it’s a touchable force against a wish
the grasses are about to bloom no matter how withered they are, you don’t need to hide
once as autumnal as a broken shadow in the tea, i will float up from the bottom
oh, the lake keeps sculpting, chasing the pathetic balance between you and me
is there really such a painting, in which nothing happens yet it is still appreciated
empty hall with the only door shut, open the window let the sound of rain burn
the moth carrying fine powder fading out of the signature, thus you stop writing
i also want to swirl like her, die in a cobweb like her yet be painted by you
both running away, jumping from one old den to the other
don’t create unreal stability in the cave, and then ripple
like appoggiatura, heart beating the strings but how to swing the strengthless clock
with its most absolute flow and vocabulary of eloquence, face to face
i reappear unintentionally in this blast of wind, timid as a skirt
plentiful promises glowing as before in the newly woven romance
unprovoked convections rubbing flirtingly in the air, there are some people
who can simulate sly wings without any worry, and plummet
Chen Cong is a student in philosophy.
red hooded sister
translated by PLS
lettuce, lettuce, please loosen your long hair
and let me scale it as a ladder
riding your black hair to enter your temple of black
lettuce, lettuce, you said what you love about the moon is the danger in it
brambles slit the knights’ eyes blind, their faces
captured by true owls to carpet their nest
the world is the umbrageous lacquered bowl on your table
bloody fingers in the abysmal soup
the dawn and sorcerers are still asleep in the forest but will eventually wake
your curse was once broken, and you are now stitching it up
the story is like severed limbs and fragmented bones
every version has fresh love and cruelty
fairytales are formed this way, you grew up this way
your hair, longer and longer
devouring your room
the new betrayal stems from your own body
lettuce, lettuce, walk out of your castle
or lay down your long hair first
i’ve walked that quiet lane
and locked grandma’s door
cute lies and tragic songs
i’ve sung alone in the abdomen deep as an abyss
but no legendary fiction has been written this way
i’ve walked past you too many times
not sorcerer, nor prince
we are all caressed by the pitch-black moon
put your long hair down
let me scale it as a ladder
on your black hair
we walk out of the night
hurl a fire, rid of that temple of black
if you are still not sure about
returning the residual hair or ash to the wind
then please take my red hood first
Yuan Chan is a writer and translator. Her works have been published in Chinese language publications such as The Stars Poetry, Hong Kong Literature, and Singapore Literature.
There is a vengeance in the snow that my ancestors forgot to melt
now it is my turn to tell you how to burn ice
by Shalini Singh
Glass brittle people pray to a stone watched by guards guns in towers that pinnacle
in a bulletproof vest of a soldier, a steel heart pumps solid. single hair on his chin and three on his pubes signaling the non-eligibilities a year late and- now all the pelters have grown up graduating into killers, murderers, terrorists, and slayers. Some, sophomores in sadism.
At night, I slowly watch the snowfall in the light of the lampshade cry “ghost” when it flickers
five times too slowly. I call the murky gods rooted high to give not my feet black snow beneath to break bones in a spatter sputter cry. To freeze my eyelids not when the black snow buries seven feet faster than my hands can whip frostbite in late January when no crusty birds want to die.
Blood cannot mix with snow and the patterns are not pretty awash in ugly. The truce of the bodies fly’s solitary in conjunction and a retrograde. You must not ask your father. Or his father about mothers and their mothers for they might never recover.
Raining as it should, your face is tear-masked charcoal eyes burning fever of a hundred and a four. Soon, a cemetery in kind.
Crows have been fasting in an abandoned toolshed in a monastery filled with filthy monks
that raped women who prayed at their feet and raped their gods and the courts denied reparations.
Now, everyone that was denied everything in foresight is blind with spite. They all walk with crows that shine like gutter oil and oiled battered onions pucker in deep fry, together they cry in unison and the cries are heard in ears chartered in all corners.
The filth is old, heard, old.
Crows existed even before. Before there were some of us and most did not care.
They did not care for the gold on the trees was hanging by the threads of a fortune teller’s whiskers
as he drank whiskey and later in the light, the village was awakened by the cries of the women who were raped
by monks, filthy. Monks that wore string cheese white which finished red. Red would be black.
If you had to wait, the black was crestfallen into surrender and the hands would paint into the
handheld heart of a small body wreathing in a county jail. The jailer says he knows of a god that
can kill rapists in their sleep. The warden grieves that suicide is not an option. That options can run into tragedies if not pleasured by a knife and a baton or bougie loin kinky comrades.
Shalini Singh’s work has been published or is forthcoming in The Nation, Outlook India, Poetically, The Spectacle, Tofu Ink Arts Press amongst others.
玻璃易碎人们祈祷 对着有警卫守护的一块石头 塔里的枪在一名士兵
的防弹衣中达到巅峰， 一颗钢铁的心顽固地跳动着。 他脸上的那根毛和阴部的三根毛暗示着缺乏资格性
晚一年以及 如今所有的掷弹者都已长大成人并逐渐出落成杀手、谋杀者、恐怖主义者和凶手。 有些人，则成了二流的施虐狂。
夜里，我慢慢看着雪 在灯罩的光中下下来 当它闪的速度慢五拍时
我会发出惊叫。 我呼唤着高处昏暗的神 不要拿我的脚下方的黑雪来折断骨头 在四处飞溅的叫声中。不 在黑雪以比我双手挥舞的速度快七尺的节奏填埋时凝住我的眼皮 一月末的冻疮 没有一只带壳的鸟愿意死去。
血不能与雪相融，最终的图案并不美丽 在丑陋中被淹没。身体连词里飞蝇的孤独与退步者的休战。 你不准向你父亲提问。或者他的父亲关于 母亲以及他们的母亲因为他们可能从未缓过来。
你本该下雨的脸，被泪水淹没 灰色的眼燃着一九零四的烧。 很快，墓地以牙还牙。
乌鸦们在被废弃的工具棚里斋戒在 到处都是强奸在其脚下祷告的女人以及 强奸他们的神明的和尚的寺庙里 在拒绝赔偿的法庭里。
他们不在乎 因为树上的金块与 占卜者之须挂在一起
Shalini Singh 的作品曾经或即将发表于《The Nation》、《Outlook India》、《Poetically》、《The Spectacle》及《Tofu Ink Arts Press》等处。
translated by PLS
the airy nails that hammer me
aren’t nailing me into the ground
on the smooth and shiny crust of the earth
the sun keeps a perpetual distance from me
and it reminds me with shadows:
there is always uncrushable shadow, shameless, resistant
you can only detest it, yet you can’t touch it
rusty nails, by contrast
are far more reliable
once in the flesh, they are unremovable
from time to time, at four in the morning
the glowing of bent nails can be seen
we are all weeping
for even moonlight is hurting us
Heather is an editor currently living in Beijing.
science of love
translated by PLS
one day, things will be blunt in the regression of languages
we will use an entire day to capture the kiss between butterfly and rose with panicking blu-ray lens
ordering their reflections to kiss each other too. at dusk we build a three storey greenhouse
stuff it with a house, piano, tree fern, fountain pen and tropical fruit tree
“as poets will we still send each other poems?” you asked
sister, by then the lines will be as ancient as the tiles, if we wanted to talk
we’d need to wipe off the old stains around our mouths in struggle, yet we often fall into another sentence:
there needs to be light. this is the only sentence that travels through the glass wall
which instigates protests from different species: tiger, cicada, ghost, ape
and in the sound of flutes, reaches you in accuracy. when you start speaking to me
you use your first sentence to illustrate the necessity of translation: there needs to be love.
from that, after days of silence, it seems as if we return to tears, between the opening and closing of words
a bird asks the first question to its cohabitant: why?
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