h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s

 

 

.........
KAREN AN-HWEI LEE



.............
MAKURA NO SOSHI, DIARY OF A PEACH-BOMB


  

A woman enters, pulling a chair.
Center stage.  
The woman exits stage right.   

Voiceover.  Everything starts on paper.  Flaming sheaf of lamentations. 
Songs of dynasties in cantatas, a recitatif, an aria.  A chair is stranded on a
pleasure boat at sea -- no, a river bend, fog rolling in darkness. 

Spotlight.    
Rage is a ripe peach

with a bomb inside.  Rolls innocently to the chair, then explodes.  Tick-tock, 
says the peach.  Time is of the essence.  A peach-bomb exists in each one of
us.  Boom, says the peach-bomb.

Peach flesh.
Peach shrapnel on a chair. 

Stage right.  Enter the woman.  How to heal a peach after it explodes, the
ticking clock.  Bake a peach melba, add macaroon crumbs.  I do not eat peach
melba
, says the chair. Brew peach-flavored tea by boiling the morsels.

Address the chair dryly as an alter ego, doppelganger, or estranged spouse.  
Ask for grace.  Let us make peace instead.  Orchard blossoms liven the air.
Peaches infuse your skin. No longer rage but forgiveness.  Douse the flames
of vengeance or else our fate burns together.

On second thought -- why not use the chair as firewood?
Sound of an ax chopping, off-stage.

Spotlight dims.   







...........
POST-LOVE


  

cuts / a peach pit / stone / in your throat / post-fruit / post-pulp / post-earlobes / hard

truths / slashing / post-racial / out of mouths / of women / asian daughters / a man woos

/ your yin soul / yang desires / race / class status / asian billboards / asian cheomsang /

this wily man / exists / for post-season / not a love-marriage / spit out a stone / pass it

now / blind gall / do not hold / trauma / asphyxiation / post-grave / obstruction /

mesomorphs / asian peach tree / momo noki in Japanese / flock of hungry grackles /

post-blizzard / post-tongues / about race / post-posts / every road / windows rolled down

/ wailing / post / when you depart / post-regret / will not care / this is / a nine-banded

armadillo / arumajiro


armored / post-love







...........
ON TRISTEZA LIGHT IN SANTA ANA

  

On a crazed world of raining glass --
                  there is no marriage
                  there is no fiscal crisis
                  there is no estranged fiddler 
splitting pear-shaped lutes in a luthier’s workshop
on the other side of the globe
                          in a Maolan karst forest.

On the sides of el camino, orange trees --
                  there is no outsider to a love triangle
                  there is no unrequited moon  
                  there is no sour root-stock   
wilting in the blight of tristeza,
                  aphid-borne virus --

No tristesse on a miércoles evening
when we spy an estrella in the sky
                  of blue gas-flame.
Santa Ana, a new year of no oranges,
                  no one weeping in groves
                  no one setting up camp with fruit-pickers
                  no one praising tristeza.






BIO: Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of Phyla of Joy (Tupelo Press, 2012), Ardor (Tupelo Press, 2008) and In Medias Res (Sarabande Books, 2004), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award.  Her book of literary criticism, Anglophone Literatures in the Asian Diaspora: Literary Transnationalism and Translingual Migrations (Cambria, 2013), was selected for the Cambria Sinophone World Series. She earned an M.F.A. from Brown University and  Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, she lives and teaches in greater Los Angeles, where she is a novice harpist.






 

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