(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


JAN 2005



















Translated by NGUYEN NGOC BICH





Scoop up a chilly white moon

to know that the day is gone

and that he has also gone far, far away

a sensual lip now lost in mist

a heart slammed shut all smoke now

what’s there left to dress one’s wound

tears scintillating with moon color

and you scintillating with real yearnings

where are you in the waste of ancient seasons

do you spread your wings to catch songlines

the romantic cicadas it seems have quieted

and you too seem missing like a half-moon

like clouds like rain like river like dissipating like breaking

why imagine that it’s still poetic, dreamlike

still like magnificent visions at night



isn’t it right

that man’s love no longer has a place for you

in his mixed up, multicompartment heart

let alone a place in his life, nonexistent

isn’t it right

that we cannot open up one more desperate land

for crazy saints have outright sold all clean and pure loves in this world

men everywhere having taken their cheap pleasure

on the laughters and cries of Vietnamese women

the death of butterflies afflicted with original sin

on the S-shaped curves with you in tatters—like your virginity

your bodies crinkled like that historic blouse that orgies have torn off time and again

you have seen stiff phalluses that you cannot enjoy even in an animal sense

you have heard ruffians breathing on you in Czech and Thai brothels...

no, we cannot go on witnessing such terrible historic transformations

night butterflies that are not allowed to be human beings

bodies so wasted they look worse than abandoned insect skins

hung on the destiny of mad women

who no longer have a summer to find temporary shelter

an old street corner in death throes

listen to the pleading of a little girl’s hymen that is beyond repair:

please spare me, I am still a virginal soul.”

o imagine those tongues robbed of language to make themselves understood

eyes where there is no longer any sunlight left

left therein is only the darkness of deaths called laborers in disguise

sold as brides to Taiwanese / the triumph of phalluses

the time of gross bulls that pierce the dream of yellow-skinned girls to the very marrow

isn’t it right

when in another hundred years they still go on with these selling/buying deals?

woman trafficking / body trafficking / ancestral land trafficking

everyone, no exception / in this city only seeks pleasure under the pulling fingers of blue

and pink viagras

the HIV sick / even AIDS deaths apparently could not drum out the sex urge

for death is universal, sooner or later / whereas ‘om(1) cafes, ‘om’ beer stands, ‘om

karaoke houses, ‘om’ Honda rides, ‘om’ lottery sellers... go on living

neither gay nor heterosexual love being able to unlock the mysteries of nature

then why bother... let’s just say hello at the Y street corners of the modern world

when the messages of life seem to be, let’s live and die most unconcernedly, or

alternatively one must die in order to live

live but why the messages of life seem so hopeless


you still want me to be the last survivor in this world

so we can speak about dreams never real

about the meaning of a dewdrop / a falling leaf / a last December

even though we are unable to keep our promise to love until that very last December



what can I do, o Adam that I have loved beyond measure

you who have come and dropped into my ears courting words sweet as blades

blades that at times have cut my heart into a million pieces

you have played / licked / rubbed / exploded / psalmodied my body / as a burning of the

sun on top of the sky

we did not just brush lips, o miraculous kiss / we also exploded like hurricanes gone mad

/ as if on planet earth there is nothing in between us and Armageddon

do you know

we have peeled each other naked / as if darkness peeled off the stars / flooded each other

like the rising tide at the end of the moon cycle

that is why, only when I am next to you, can I feel alive in both literal and symbolic


and in that way

though life sometimes is cruelly despotic

and I sometimes feel that I have loved you by mistake

sometimes die of thirst because the love tree lacks watering

in a certain private space

could it be that you still masturbate thinking of me?

could it be that you are still the most male among all the males of this world

could it be that the women in those well-shut hotel rooms

at another location, under another sky

are taking my place to trace on you the dances of Nguyen Du’s Kieu

could it be that man only loves without need of offering or acquisition

it may be that no one needs a pair of shoes

that too many people have fit in

even though on more than one occasion

you have said: you are the most fitting shoes that I know.



(Translated by NGUYEN NGOC BICH, January 2005. The original version ‘Doi Giay Phu Nu Made in Vietnam’ was published in Gio Van Magazine, Number 4, November, 2004, pp 4-7.)



 · THE WRITERS POST (ISSN: 1527-5467),
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.




Editorial note: Works published in this issue may be simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge Magazine Issue 6 January 2005 (ISSN: 1540-1723).

Copyright © Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh & The Writers Post 1999-2005. Nothing in this issue may be downloaded, distributed, or reproduced without the permission of the author/ translator/ artist/  The Writers Post/ and Wordbridge magazine. Creating links to place The Writers Post or any of its pages within other framesets or in other documents is copyright violation, and is not permitted.


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