(Banana leaf blower)as read by Vi Khi Nao

Quail egg white
eyes unraveled

Yellow heart
pile of gravel

The body
the body

Chest open
barrel full
of arrows

To walk away

Adult man
pours milk
into beer mug


When you look
to smell fresh

Kneel beside
a glass case
filled with wet grass

Sit with how
it is heavy
to come

Beside the lake

Incense burning

A clean call
from a country
where death is
a wedding gift

Dragging knife
along dotted line

Time yourself

from FAKE HAIKU (1)

as read by Teresa Nguyen

Our dense growth does not overlap
You hand me a custard apple
Engraved, my initials glimmer

You dear wild
Sweet bull’s heart
My softest watch

Asleep on a broadleaf
Flowering several eyelashes to catch
A hammock strung between two bridges

from FAKE HAIKU (2)

as read by Soleil Ho

Intimacy fails
At the absence of my body
You touch your own body & become butter

I recognize myself in the oncoming season
A clipped cattail at dawn
Nonspecific melon cubes

Do not clasp the stem while the flowers are still yellow
A new double high found between cracks in pavement
A harvest nested in each bite


as read by Angie Chau

As she drove, my mother spoke her grocery list to me so I could write it down: nước mắm, thịt heo, rau muống, tương ớt gà… It was her way of teaching me the difference between xương (bone), sườn (pork ribs) & xuân (springtime). My uncle asked which language my thoughts form in, was it one or the other. What does it mean to have a way to say one thing in one language but not another? How do I convey exactly how red? The word for garden is the same as to rise up but it is a different song.


as read by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud

a bird bathing outside the chapel

                 caught in an act of self immolation

         not a gun but a glass

             a pen so small in the hand of the page

whose knuckles wrap around

     a minute casually — lifting

             a sprig of thyme

               broken between hooves of water
— an hour a sliver

         — in caslon & jasmine tea

             — I’m reading a version of my mother’s narrative

predating her own

     — told from a younger

first person’s point of view
               in one world the first number is unlucky

in another part of the world one must marry on an odd numbered day

                 — who became so obsessed

         printing flowers all over our dinner plates?

— who manicured them neatly

     on the tips of our 10 lives? — who cropped the

elongated cuff
                 away from the red sky — the fury

     a drawn curtain

             — wine cooked down to an island shade of blue

a slight mist of a stick on a string

               blowing the well-water its reminder of safety


as read by Julie Thi Underhill

In my dream last night my father & I were together, walking along a vast winding public garden made of concrete, the walls endlessly lined with lush red bougainvillea. He was smoking cigarettes (which he quit cold turkey as soon as my mother became pregnant with me). He was young & old at the same time. He laughed out loud. He told me I could do whatever I wanted to do in love as long as there is love. We drove in a car like we did when I was young, my feet up on the dashboard & the sun hitting my knees. The shadow of trees moved fast as we passed them on the highway. He was smiling the whole time he drove, looking out into the distance ahead of him. I wonder if this was a vision of my father without trauma. I wonder if this was a version of him that is possible for me to experience.


as read by Dao Strom

We push through what lies [——] In front of us [——] Tremble [——] As erasure of thirst [—
—] Salt cures need [——] Only the tipping of the bowl ever so [——] Slightly to see what hap-
pens when a tilt [——] When she said soda [——] My teeth hurt [——] Maybe so sweet it falls
[——] Through fire [——] Alone tying your shoes [——] This is home [——] This is yours [—
—] This is where my children will run away [——] Too & ignite [——] An incantation in my
name [——] Pushing through [——] Sage in all corners [——] Noodles getting cold in a bowl
so big [——] Never overflow only run [——] Dry [——] Here [——] Absorbing [——] Absolv-
ing [——] Which bell would be smallest [——] Most delicate to swallow [——] Walk away [—
—] Held between fingers legs lip [——] Pedestrian solitude comes with a pairing [——] Like
long silk pants [——] Worn by girls to school [——] Clean [——] Caught in the wheels of bicy-
cles [——] Crossing train tracks [——] Not foreshadowing the flag wasting [——] Upon a
shadow of a wave [——] A held bet [——] A piece of gold string [——] Sewn in the hem of
you [——] One way to treat thirst [——] Swim in soil which plants the root [——] Turn away
from the past that hurt [——] You nurture [——] Repel [——] The drop of you [——] Rain on
a rose

Stacey Tran

Stacey Tran is a writer based in Portland, OR, where she was born and raised by Vietnamese immigrant parents. She is the author of the chapbook, Fake Haiku (Wendy's Subway, 2017). Tran's writing has been published recently in diaCRITICS, Jubilat and Pinwheel. She is the founder/host of Tender Table, a storytelling series about food, family, identity, a platform for voices of women of color and gender non-conforming people of color living in the Pacific Northwest. Tran has collaborated with Roland Dahwen Wu and Jonathan Raissi on a 30-minute film, Haft-Seen, a collective visual poem and love letter to the artists' immigrant parents. Her first full-length book, Soap for the Dogs, will be published by Gramma in 2018. A hybrid of memoir, fake formalisms, and abstract recipes recalled by memory, Soap for the Dogs is dedicated to Tran's parents.

Photography by Christine Dong


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