Winter '21 Issue | 2021 冬季刊
Devoid of Facts
When he looked back,
a gale pushed all the heavy curtains away;
beams of light threw themselves into the vacant space.
Gleaming particles of dust.
To think that we could ever obtain freedom,
as if one day Time would release us
from its chains and fetters,
letting us run,
swiftly and wildly,
like the dog that chases the boomerang,
only finding ourselves
rushed back to where we started.
There is always a “tomorrow,”
one that sprawls beyond the itching expiration date.
Night’s wind sharpens its blade
with the limbs of towering trees.
No enemies to swallow its slash,
or spill blood with massive scars.
Is there anyone to hear the silent rage?
Rage against the smothered,
snowy feathers of a crow.
Ember is a recent graduate from the photography department at New York University.
translated by PLS
the further you move forward
the deeper I sink
is not a cradle
but the image of you
diffracted through a circular aperture
the umbrella with which I guarded you
was a bullet when blasted open
a silent arrow when closed
if your so-called ice of justice
hardens in a place
and melts in another
would you then mind returning
to finish off this bag of cold fries
I tried to stand up
kneeling on the carton
climbing over the back of the chair everyone’s watching
your voice higher than all kites and clouds
I turned around and wrapped myself up
unsure of my stance
what do you want？
toys, nuts, mushrooms
or ketchup and ballet shoes
someone was still whispering but you
all of a sudden stopped
turning the vibrance of speech into a resolute action
and came back
picking up the unfinished juice and umbrella
no explanation about abandoning and waiting
like kites and clouds
I jumped off the chair and followed you
you mended your pace
you never saw me
trembling in the cold orange juice
the storm burst the cave
— not a cradle
but the phantom
fainting in light alone
Yuan Chan, usually paints and sometimes writes poetry.
by Anna Seidel
to glistening raindrops
with the hunger of a child,
for the known taste of milk.
This stained world
drips honey in our mouths.
Our words – stolen,
with our human need
on memory a body language,
that holds our losses.
Anna Seidel founded the poetry foundation The Napkin Poetry Review. Her poetic works have been published in Mantis, Inkwell, Marble Poetry, Horizon Poetry Magazine, and Frontier Poetry.
我们的词语 — 被盗，
Anna Seidel 是诗歌平台 The Napkin Poetry Review 的创始人，其作品散见于《Mantis》、《Inkwell》、 《Marble Poetry》、《 Horizon Poetry Magazine》及《Frontier Poetry 》等处。
translated by PLS
hand, the root of the plant says
this is not my hand.
withered stumps scattered along the bank
beside a stream no longer deemed a creek
like an old friend of oil spills
growing toward a dark direction
witnessing the existence of witnesses
the root of the plant and weeds along the waters
they, master of the hand, seem indifferent
the stumps are filled with empty holes
inside which there are grey oceans
like evenly-colored silk
today there appears the sound of breathing
snoring, including but not limited to
singing across the bank
but the fisherman goes home and tells his wife
“it’s another dead still day on the bank”
to which the wife replies
“when you speak, everything is abandoning you”
reveal the truth in the diary
— the supple universe and the sea contracting simultaneously
along with a child’s breath: among the contractions
I see light stretching towards a secret direction
as if no one knows
— indeed that’s the case
“by the time you see, everything will have withered”
there is absolute happiness in solitude
this is the truth within stumps
store the grey silk in the eyes and behold!
there’s nothing else coming out of you
sink with the house
right above time
tell the master of the hand in darkness that you are determined to say farewell to speeches
or have never reached any speech
you, together with the stumps, kids, the root of the plant and the weeds along the bank
—— you’ll hear the wife telling the fisherman
don’t let the eyes return
Liang Jinming, is a freshman at Vassar College.
This Is All About Us
by Eric Low
There ought to be a word for those hours
you wake coughing, your mouth tasting of salt and blood.
The leaked half-light tells you it's too late
to forget, count sheep, go back to sleep,
but too early for coffee.
The days are turning cold,
but a text sent from Akagawa San-Chome,
reminds you that someone out there,
says she’s feeling colder.
Your father's call from hours ago echoes in your head.
He tells you he is managing on, old but no big deal,
everybody falls once in a while,
and your mother misses you.
The phone cuts us off right at the end of
“when are you coming home?”
It will be days before you reply.
Outside the window,
a couple bickers on the sidewalk entirely in Shanghainese.
She’s had it, she screams, as she turns her back to him
but does not move any farther.
Run to her, grab her from behind and never let her go;
you find yourself urging the man on.
He inches forward as if to respond,
but he just freezes there, looking almost happy,
in this one moment that is his and only his.
Even from this distance, you envy him.
Oh god, all you ever do, is envy.
Eric Low resides in Shanghai. His poems have been published in several print and online journals, like the Asia Literary Review, Mascara Review, Santa Clara Review etc. In 2009, he won Singapore’s Golden Point Award for poetry.