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


JAN 2006














                    MAI VAN PHAN



       three poems by  MAI VAN PHAN

                             translated by Do Xuan Oanh




Top-notch watchfulness 


my mind wanted to guide the mouse creeping out from narrow sewer

to courteously crawl into garbage bucket and lie dead tidily

garbage truck would bring the mice away to bury

Forever the city would have no mice.


Another way of thinking :


Scoop water in Hai Phong port

Water turned itself clean

Itself bottled and rolled into restaurants, hotels…

Poor people come there to collect money.


I was consecrated phenomenon

photo published on cover page

entertained until dead drunk.


You or five or seven girls helped me home ?

Caught a glimpse of somebody cycling in narrow alley

Or tens of thousands actors performing amid the square ?


Never exert oneself to speak about confidence and hope

when crossing narrow door slit

sea wind was shooting in each arrow pleasantly fresh.  



Aware would survive


The house of hamlet chief had a road

pierce into its front door.

Open fortune-telling book to consult

there might be disaster.


The book also said

in item Mole

page 267 third line from down up…

hinting those who flirt and court…


A mole on left eye of the girl collecting electricity fees was identified

being caught in the act last night

hugging and kissing hamlet chief in the dog meat pub…

“Minutes were made into 5 copies

of equal juridical value”.


Old man owner of dog meat pub knew too many things

questioned by other people

forced to give statement during five hours

back to gateway got violent scold from the wife

Silver haired and still stupid !


The old man felt bitter at the nose

choked with anger to the neck

but thinking it over

found it too true

stealthily drank a few cups of alcohol

went out to the yard looking at sunshine.


Next time aware only keep in mind

What for speak out.



Rhythm of autumn return


Autumn dropped thousands and thousands of ferry boats

Breathing rhythmical the dipping water sound

An invisible rower leaned on my shoulder

Both river banks trembled thumping


Rain drop broke from dream in summer

Leaf of grass rose to welcome each gulp shilly-shally

Dead leaves decayed, soul rushed to the top

Heaven returned to eye hollow in melting dew.


It certainly was so close from here to that shore

But why did it flutter throughout autumn

Who fainted to beauty of flower infatuated 

Making that ferry boat return for searching.





The Writers Post
the magazine of literature

& literature-in-translation,

founded 1999, based in the US.




Editorial note: Works published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).

Copyright © Mai Van Phan 2006. Nothing in this magazine 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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