A conversation on Marylyn Tan’s debut poetry collection, Gaze Back, plus a brief interview with the author
the hot air rising from the cooker / has tightening effect on your lovehole
20 Thai Baht = 33 Philippine Pesos = 44 Indian Rupees = x bolt of fabric = y square vuông of rice = 15,000 Vietnamese đồng = 2,600 Cambodian Riel = 2.6 Malaysian Ringgit = 9,100 Indonesian Rupiah = unquantifiable sweat
Sanggup menahan jerit, menukar peluh menjadi ringgit || [we’re] able to swallow shrieks, exchanging sweat to ringgit
slipper/sandal/house shoe/ flip flop: send your best original writing or original translation on this shared (in)significance to TLP by July 14
Sakit lelah aku tidak lain dan tidak bukan harga hidup senang aku kini || My asthma is the cost of the middle-class life I live now
៦០០០០រៀល! មើលទៅបង! បង្កងធំៗណាស់! || 60,000 KHR. Big ones! Look at them, sister!
một cây vải đổi lấy mười vuông thóc || one bolt of fabric for ten vuông of unhusked rice
Grandfather would have bought the Ilish—not wincing at the 1200 rupees per kilogram
รองเท้านักเรียนคู่นั้นยี่สิบบาทเองหรือ || These school uniform shoes are only twenty baht?
Mamsa! Sitenta’ng kilo! || Jack fish, seventy pesos a kilogram.
Not an assumption; not a name you learned to remember, not a fleshy shape or a face you already recognized
In English, you choose to be gender-neutral. In Indonesian, it’s a gift from the language.
Bạn sẽ gọi quê hương bằng một đại từ nào? Tôi sẽ gọi đó là một ám ảnh | What pronoun would you use to call your birthsoil? I would call it a haunting
A changing consciousness within Mu Dan’s poetry stirs a listening in his translator
By what divine aberration did our souls divide into two, unaware of the splitting?
夜來沉醉卸妝遲 || With night you sink drunk slow to undo/ your hair
Can I call my death “I”?
was it a gentle human hand, or black-furred / long-clawed
How the blurring of a relationship may point to a more fertile ground lying between the lines, in which multiple desires can co-exist.
An introduction to the folio, featuring 누가, 네, nhân vật, con, chanh, …, 그 (kû), 님 (nim), 형 (hyeong), tôi, em, chúng ta, một ám ảnh, I, [ ], [who?], 我 (wo), kau, aku, dia, ia, you, and a selfsame similarity
as I bear loneliness in the shrieks of iron, it carved / my residence registration on a hole-punch
This is a rectangular dream / which inevitably brings forth a rectangular waiting / a floating country can’t pillow a broken dream / and I’ve never dared say goodnight
It wasn’t the kind of place you’d notice as a casual passer-by, but one you could only find if you were looking for it.
Tonight, too, there are turning lines…/ I say I do not know, do not know.
love you because i / hate your lovers loving your peripheral love
Taking advantage of opacity, Girl E goes for it and punches indiscriminately.
As soon as they touch your saliva, the filaments dissolve. Their structure can’t sustain the contact. The sweetness is the taste of collapse.
A two-minute stare-down with their father’s deathbed occurs. As though the thing will explain itself.
into such sen / sitivity of it / such sense / could not say
Ultrasound waves / pulse between fluid, tissue, and bone一 / the embryo echoes.
Astra unwrapped her long spindly fingers and weighed his member with a chilling fascination.
I will outrun the smell of wet decay, your Mekong river in a Gatorade bottle.
After a sperm whale sucks in a squid, it will vomit out its beak.
An introduction to the Transpacific Literary Project’s pieces of Plastic through a weaving of voices and questions to come
Mythologies have their way of explaining the basic human condition: that there will always be some where or thing you wish to get to or back to.
The Hong Kong poet talks the Umbrella movement, being an outsider and an insider in Hong Kong, and how she translates the world.
Văn An had neglected ritual, not realizing that this was a land now full of ghosts left too long unmoored. That there might be consequences for forgetting to fear.
Hard to tell from your / Silence where you’re taking me. / But I’m guessing / It’s loin-deep in the place / Where they’re collapsing / Entire cosmologies into pulp and paper.
How do I tell you that I have done this before? / How to build a diorama of what I am not.
I keep the butts of my clove cigarettes in a candy tin. I pound it shut, hide it away. So it stays a secret.
I am the last of them—a woman with her own dreams, not salvaged from the cloud-based data lake that I created.
I remember exactly where I was when I found out Ren Hang killed himself.
The doll stares at its owner, eyes sparkling with cruelty. It wakes the baby up, hands her the toy block. The baby, as though possessed, crams the toy in her mouth.
The usual / drama of chiaroscuro, / how it begins / in medias res for the sake / of the viewer.
For some reason, all of Warhol’s portraits show Mao from an angle that reveals only one of the Chairman’s ears.
but really every word sounds like the sun/ sweltering in the middle of Santacruzan
Having two eyes prevents us from simplifying things, from seeing everything around us two-dimensionally. I guess you could say that seeing through two eyes is what makes us human.
The world held us / In glass circles
My child, we all become white-haired soon enough.
This was the first time he had seen so many exiled Tibetans of his own flesh and blood in a foreign land. Though they were only a few feet away, it was as if they were separated by ranges of mountains.
i have seen the line at the bottom of sky crack glimmers of clear light
Think about it: if rain accumulating above someone / resumes descent, where does it fall?
From its very beginning this story is fated to be exposed by the light.
In an increasingly divided world, translated literature brings us closer together. As the year draws to a close, we asked some of our favorite writers, editors, and translators for their recommendations.
‘These were / all the gold coins that he laid by in a life of poverty, / saved up in the vault of his mind’
Animals are strangely perceptive—in their instinct to survive, they find a home
Nobody can stop things if they want to go back to their roots.
When the tide rises, it is easy for the fish to prey on the ant, but when it ebbs, the fish becomes the ant’s prey.
All my early life was tied up in tales of nasi goreng.
That American thing · The good old good
Suppressed sexual violence in the name of revolution lay in the abyss of our consciousness.
Funny how it ends up that you’re the leftovers.
They always had us at hello, the Americans.
Pray tell me, how much
are we paying for the sermon?
One person’s ancestor is another person’s ghost—it’s all a matter of perspective.
showbiz etceteras · commercial spaces · newspapered ideas
We don’t know what we need because we don’t know who we are. We don’t know who we are because we don’t remember who we were.
People judge me by my skin. My skin’s purpose in life is to prove them wrong.
Half a century on, what does it mean to be part of ASEAN?