I had found the perfect way to stop grinding my teeth and tearing my hair out over my client’s recalcitrance toward the fourteen calls I had made to her in two weeks. She had still not brought me the document …Read More
In the isolated rural South, the arrival of a stranger often elicits both fear and excitement. That is why, nearly fifty years later, I remember so clearly the day an unknown woman in a sensible shirtwaist dress drove down our …Read More
Before they took Hong Kong in the nineteenth century, the British described it as a “barren rock with hardly a house upon it.” Now it is a place of tremendous height and stone, worthy of Sisyphus’s fruitless toil. The colonial …Read More
There was a story in the village of Bjni that went like this: When Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, there were two types of people—Armenian A, who sold his Soviet state-subsidized goat, spent all his money, and …Read More
The first twenty minutes in line outside the bathhouse sound like thunder. The Broncos have just played—maybe won—at Mile High Stadium, and if it weren’t for a block of four-story apartment buildings we ’d be looking down on the city …Read More
When the sun goes down you move
horizontal you become everything
in the world at once rather than waking
like vertical where you obsess over
ascend or descend or whatever rain
at the edge of the building spit forth
From a talk presented at the Library of Congress on 3 August 2019, as part of the Asian American Literature Festival
“An intimate lecture.” That was how Lawrence-Minh Davis, one of the intrepid, visionary curators of this festival, …Read More
As a child I wanted to know why God put me in this body that repelled so many people on sight. Why people felt at liberty to pick me apart and wipe off …Read More
Among the Losses
My lamentations have shaken loose locusts.
They whir in the burned-out nave of my body.
In the shower, whole decades wash from my body.
A girl’s hairless limbs emerge naked from the spray.