Looking back at 9/11 and the Fall 2011 issue of the Asian American Literary Review
when does / a door become / a door , as it opens / or when it closes , / revealing an entirety – its face / or a fixed movement / of its hinges , is that smiling / or saying goodbye , / moonlight / or memory.
For eleven / years I lied about where I’m from, / ashamed by the music of endings, // that deep hollow bell. How much of my yearly / tax is spent to bomb the dirt / that birthed me?, is a question // I never wanted to consider.
‘Children are playing soldier. / Fetuses ripped from wombs dangle / in nearby trees. Yet he opened his mouth / and a flood of love melodies poured out.’
but this is boring. let’s talk / about something else. people are only lines / written with water it’s not that serious. i just want to drink / my coffee. i just want to think about roses i misheard / the words as a laugh, beautiful like a song of roses
At this point I will disobey and say / you are free to go if you choose. Choice is a complicated part of describing / Palestinian heroes or terrorists.
Christine Hyung-Oak Lee talks about her new memoir, the restorative power of writing, the doubling that haunts her life, and why Slaughterhouse-Five is a permanent part of her mind.
‘First memory of English: my father orders spaghetti from a waitress. / Foreign flowers blossom in his mouth and I’m spellbound in Urdu. // On Friday afternoons, cars spill across a bleached suburb. / Not far from the mosque, look! Crooked lines of devout Urdu.’
There are no refractions today / by the pepper flakes— in the glass. // The snails slept by the snap pea hooks / and cradles— I salted them. // Sometimes I drank / from a vapored gas— / I made ellipses with my glass.
‘A family as triangle. Drifting lines. This [mother- father-child] triangle will never be reassembled.’
‘No others no-place/what to do but hoard the remaining solaces’
The novelist talks about his favorite samurai movies, the violence of imperialism, and his struggle to remember Japan
An interview with Akhil Sharma, author of Family Life, on how to write a novel that has no plot, literary modernism’s influence, and remembering India
Remembering Agha Shahid Ali, 12 years after his passing
Notes for a hypothetical interview with the author re: Taipei, living in the present, memory, moral responsibility, technology, zen, etc.
Fellow sci-fi writer Vandana Singh quizzes the award-winning, short-fiction master on his axiomatic approaches, paradigm shifts, and whether he would ever own a digient.