"I sometimes have this dream of leaving the temple to return home. I dream my fingers have grown back and the swelling on my face has subsided. I dream that I have with me a dozen baskets of my best white lotuses and travel to the floating market of my youth. As I approach the women I would free all of my lotuses into the water and watch them float through the market like a white river. It would be then that I had finally returned home. Set free and pure. Then I would wake up into the black night and realize it was simply a dream, one of many that will never be fulfilled."
"It is not too late."
"It is late. It is later than you realize"
- from "Ba Mua" (3 Seasons)
Its skin prickly, its meat thick.
If you want to test it, then drive in your stake,
Don't fondle the surface, or sap will stain your hand."
- Ho Xuan Huong, Queen of Nom Poetry
Listen to Vietnamese Folk Poetry
Where is that land, worth fighting for, worth dying for, loving and dreaming for?
Where is that land stronger than our Western fathers, who defeated the brunt of genocidal ambition, and lived to tell the tale?
We both walk into a building. There is old, thick carpeting. I smell musk and old, lingering dust. Chinatown, very mildew-filled atmosphere with dusty, we walk into a building. A set of stairs leads us left. We walk into a room with many bleachers looking towards a stage. We walk up the steps and we find our seats. It’s theatre seating. I notice two young men who are now much older. When I met them they were elementary school kids and now they are adults. They grew up with me in our apartment complex, upstairs. We notice that there is a kind of Taoist ceremony happening in front of the stage. There seems to be somebody in the right corner of the stage, appearing as a schoolteacher or Taoist priest, accompanied by a luthier. The luthier is fixing three Koto instruments on stage. I take note of the three Koto instruments; they are very old and large. When I went up to them, I realized they were very cheap. They were just effigies for a ritual, paying homage to something unknown. I found myself walking out of the auditorium into another neighbourhood.
I quickly realized my husband was no longer with me. I found myself in a workshop. There were construction workers, male and female in overalls, squatting on the ground, hammering and working on things. I noticed one guy was the site manager. I wanted to impress him. I started working on something. He said, “you know, we pay $25/hour here.” I said, “I could take on this job.” He said, “You’ll work ten hours here.” The whole time I was thinking about my husband, wondering where I was. As the sequence progressed and I kept working harder, lifting wood planks and wires, I was doing really well. It came time to leave. I picked up my shoes, bags and coat. I walked towards the door. The manager looks at me, chuckling. “You wish your husband was here right now,” he said. “More than you know.” I said. There you were, gazing at me with loving eyes. He’s right behind me. I was totally taken back, embracing you tightly. I rested my head on his chest and said, “My love, you saved my life.” He responded, “I’m here to walk you home.” My heart pulse became more regular. I smile.
"To look for work, means that you will be benefited by some unaccountable occurrence." (iDream)
________“Look...to the horizon!”
“Give me your gun.”
The creature defies the boundaries of human sight
A rarity unspoken.
“Something to tell the grandkids about!”
“Don’t say a word.”
- excerpt from "To The Horizon"