Tag Archives: Shelly Bryant

A Sensitive Ear

Original and translation by Shelly Bryant They say he is autistic. When his parents first told me that this was what the specialists had determined, I was skeptical. I knew what autism was, and had even been around autistic children … Continue reading

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mono no aware

ice cream cones and a baby’s laughter yellow-edged photos and ink faded on the page snowflakes on the window and steam from a coffee mug the scent of your cologne as the alarm screams of dawn Shelly Bryant divides her … Continue reading

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Anticipating the Morning After

10 November 2016, Hong Kong anticipating the morning after the State of the Union Address to be made by the President-Elect on this morning after       the election, I listen to the parent at the next table define protectionism to his … Continue reading

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On Death and Translation

In his “Meditation XVII,” John Donne uses translation as a metaphor for death – perhaps a sentiment that hits a bit too close to the mark for many working translators. Donne writes, “All mankind is of one author, and is … Continue reading

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Strong Fences

each brick laid       a fish at Spring Festival       tonic soup after surgery       duty-free smokes from overseas       champagne at news of a promotion       scarlet eggs after the first month       a hong bao handed at a wedding       a small loan when times … Continue reading

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black and white image…

black and white image       plum blossom and afternoon sky the next morning       an explosive blush of blossoms recalling my father’s tale       of his first color TV Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, … Continue reading

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The Way

crumbling bricks and telephone wires       verdant shrubs and trees their balancing act performed       by the cobbled brookside path crooked and narrow, their angles a mirror       of backs bent under the day’s burden Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and … Continue reading

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Song of Dunhuang

translated from the Ming Dynasty poem by Yang Sheng the sound of horns pierces through plum blossoms the clouds in the distant west catch the rosy twilight white geese guard the pass on the purple autumn breeze the sun’s light … Continue reading

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9 August 2013

burnt          red on white after a National Day hike on our multiethnic          multiracial isle it is my piebald flesh    that marks me as other though draped    in the same dual tones of the flag    splayed between two Chinooks watching over … Continue reading

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Secret

whetted stropped ground honed refined elegant chic exclusive private murk mist vapor fume chafe excoriate flay skin hide Secret encoded veiled covered embraced cuddled nestled settled resolved determined keep rear back end extremity limb branch division separation Shelly Bryant divides … Continue reading

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Alien

abandoned rejected unwanted foreign selection choice alternative other Alien unknown mysterious magical enchanted outsider newcomer parvenu upstart Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, researcher, and translator. She is the author of four … Continue reading

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I’m All Ears

“I’m all ears”                         said he and listened to them laugh “Never seen a rainbow then?” “Or smelled an aromatic blend?” He was all ears                         when talk turned to the smoothness of lovers’ skin then from there to its saltiness He … Continue reading

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Frenzy

a response to Yin Ge’s acrylic on plastic sheet J-001 and J-002 a call from across the pond he’s with her, again whispering in her ear tales of your failings a flight across the sea but first a phone call … Continue reading

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When I Was

for Kelton when I was a             bridge I reached across the space between us spanning the distance             with ease when I was a             tunnel I burrowed through you finding in the depths cool secluded places             of rest when I was … Continue reading

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Hephaestus

and she came from the sea       where else? not from the heavens       on a bolt flung by my father nor from the underground       for that is terrain I know well not from the forest       in which my kindling is grown … Continue reading

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Mixed Signals

a response to Yin Ge’s acrylic on canvas Q-016 the clamshell sits on his hearth the very one in which he harbored his first flame its lips part hinting at an invitation or, perhaps telling of a great escape Shelly … Continue reading

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hope’s stain…

hope’s stain in the hollow of her vessel dregs of the slumgullion gift from the gods Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, researcher, and translator. She is the author of three volumes … Continue reading

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Transfer of Power

a response to Juel’s oil on canvas Energy Transfer of Love, 2010 that naked form, kneeling before the fearsome creature’s face she might be taken as a supplicant pleading for mercy were it not for her outspread wings covering half … Continue reading

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Xieng Khouang, Laos

mortuary vessels       scattered across the Plain of Jars the distillation of a life,       its ritual decomposition each soul upgraded,       each clay pot for another exchanged Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, researcher, … Continue reading

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When You Talk to Me

I watch the words       coming out       from your mouth interested       less in content       than in you             your handling of it             and its of you I listen to expressions       animating       your features hearing what       you don’t voice       echoes from             sublingual spaces … Continue reading

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That There May be no Misunderstandings

my wife wants me to tell you       the notion       that she bosses me       and I do what she says       is a myth that’s not how our relationship works       she says not at all we are equals             partners             interdependent             peers             comrades … Continue reading

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Network Era

a response to Wang Liang’s pair of oils on canvas Network Era – Mask No. 1 and Network Era – Mask No. 2 pages 55 and 56 two faces, one black lying across from its white doppleganger — mask and … Continue reading

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Not so Much When, but How

Unwilling to lose the morbid thread I’d read in those lines, I just had to jot down a note. It had something to do with wondering how—not so much when, but how—I would eventually die. I leaned from the bed, … Continue reading

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Currency

a response to Wang Qian’s oil on canvas Twenty Yuan “Look there. It’s the scene from the back of the twenty yuan note.” He actually said that as he rowed us downstream. I played my part perfectly, holding up two bills … Continue reading

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In the Surging Waves Pavilion, Suzhou

We were in the garden that day when the spider caught our attention, dangling from its thread against the backdrop of a whitewashed wall topped with grey roof tiles. I spent too much time trying to get a good photo … Continue reading

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