nakajiru

you forget how your father’s finger looks like always hidden behind the sanshin chimi, black pick that engulfs the nail to the first joint, curved and hard uncannily like gnarly claws of an oversized raven you remember after his fifth song and fourth mug of beer his...

New Spring

The wyrm always looked like a bird from far away, but a bird doesn’t turn its long neck and writhe in mid- air to arrow toward its prey, doesn’t gut a man with one stroke of a single sword-sized talon. Early in spring something made it rise from behind...

YUAN: the Origin of a Family Name

Y:      You are haunted by ‘Y’, not because it’s the first letter in your Family name, but because it’s like a horn, which the water buffalo in your Native village uses to fight against injustice or, because it’s like a twig Where a crow can come down to perch, a...

The world is a stage, and the script must change

The world is a stage, and the script must change Julie Novakova Stage center is her whole life: multiple lives squeezed into one. Juliet in love, passionate Masha, proud Titania, vengeful Medea. The stage lights shine, while dark clouds enshroud the world. Just behind...

Ocean’s Child

Ocean’s Child Sarah Ang They say my sister was born at the point where the ocean meets the sky; that she appeared nestled in an oyster, washed by the waves onto our doorstep. This, I can believe. Salt lines my sister’s hair; the ocean purrs under her tongue. On clear...

Life and Death on the Rocks

1. The day I met Life, I was sharpening my scythe She skipped to me, silver hair streaming behind her in ribbons “Who are you?” “Death,” I replied “But you can call me Grim” Blue eyes brightened raspberry lips, a smile “Nice to meet you, Grim” And she placed her hands...

Shoegaze + Suburbia

Slowly there’s a scene that celebrates itself, holds high office of shame, shoplifts grace from grocery stores and tomorrow’s tin can mess. It’s a scene standing in pride, unfazed by the murmuring strong-styled neighbourhood believed to be energized out of...

What Kills A Man

What Kills A Man Bryan Thao Worra Always small things: A round.A round.A round. Holes.Holes.HoleHoles. Fumes. Edges. Split atoms. A second. A footstep. A sip. A bite. A word. A cell. A motion. An emotion. A dream. A fool. A bit of salt. A drop. A fragment. The true...

An Archaeology of Snow Forts

An Archaeology of Snow Forts Bryan Thao Worra There’s not much left to be said Some well-washed stone hasn’t heard before. History is composed of broken walls and bad neighbors: Just ask these chips from Berlin, the Parthenon and Cathay Or these cool magma hands of...

Boatman

Boatman Mary Soon Lee Special cargo, the lieutenant told Shu. Top speed, don’t dock at towns. Ten men who can help you out on the barge. And twenty horses. Shu knew better than to tell the lieutenant the river was running rough, glutted with spring rain,...