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