Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Eunuch's Daughter

"In my deceased father’s room I sat down on the carved rosewood bed. Hunched between the parted panels of the yellow mosquito net, I sat amidst my father’s belongings—the bed, its embroidered mat, the porcelain pillow, the tea, the rice liquor, the areca-nuts and betel leaves and a tiny pot of lime. They were here for him when he returned in spirit.

     For many years now I had replenished them every morning so that when he arrived nothing was missing, nothing was stale. He could read his favorite books. He could write, as was his passion, in his annals. He would find again his ironwood scepter, jade shrubs, his chess men in green and white jade, chopsticks made of
kim-giao white wood that turned black against any sort of poison. They were arranged there under glass."

2013 December Issue

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Fable

"Up the road was a crowd of natives standing in wait for a tramway. Away from them stood a small group of Europeans, each donning a large straw hat. He sat down under an Indian almond tree, and the coolness of the shade brought back her visage, a half profile by a reading lamp now daguerreotyped against his mind. I fell in love with the silk, the textile. I wore the sleeves and looked at my reflection in the mirror and, yes, their elegance encouraged me to imagine myself in such a silk dress. How can I describe its hue? Neither white nor yellow. Help me describe it. Unless we can imagine the yellow of ripened wheat, buffed to a shine. And it is self-radiating. Perhaps the weaver knows. Perhaps she has the magic. Remember, Gaston, you are in the Far East. Where magic abounds."

CHA: An Asian Literary Journal
Theme: Ancient Asia

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One Wish

"I stood looking at him like watching someone sleep and then turned and walked out of the hut. Rain smelled of wet ashes and coals and the charred smell was in the air and followed me through the forest and I kept walking in the pitch dark until I came to the bomb craters where we had buried our comrades. I stood over the rim of a crater, looking down into the black pit, until my drenched body and my head went numb."

October 2013 Issue

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

In a Far Country

"I gaze at her wrinkled face as she tosses her head back, fanning her face with her hand. Why a Vietnamese adopted child? Did it let her hold on to the memory of her lost son? I like Mrs. Rossi. A retired high school principal. A sweet old lady. I admire her determination to find her son’s remains. More so, I admire her faith. Painful faith. Yet it never dies in her after twenty years."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Run River Run

“Late at night she’d go bathing in the river. He’d lie awake, listening to the gentle sound of water she poured on her body, away from the lantern light, where water was chest high, cool and cloaked in blackness. When she came up, lowering her head to enter the domed cabin, she was a dark figure save the whiteness of her towel-wrapped head. He’d keep still and find sleep hard to come by in the scent of her body soap.”

Yellow Medicine Review 2013 Fall Issue
Short Story

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Drifter, The Hooker, and The Girl Photographer

 “I want to know every story behind a photograph, every story behind a drawing. I love to hear them. And the stories untold in your drawings.”

“Yeah,” I say, taking her in with my gaze. Then turning away I start the car. I’m sure when I finally draw this girl, I won’t forget to dot the corner of her left eye with a tiny mole.

Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine
Fall 2013 Issue

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Remains of Her Son

"I live and work in a roadside inn in the deep south of the Mekong Delta. During the war this was the territory of IV Corps, which saw many savage fights. Although the battles may have long been forgotten, some places cannot forget."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Red-Devil Tattoo

"The prisoner pulled up his shirt with one hand. He looked composed. Winged ants and fire ants ran wildly across his legs as if they smelled something palatable. Sarge stepped back, and the prisoner’s gaze followed him, studying Sarge’s little red devil. He flashed his grin, the same devil grin on Sarge’s arm."