THE WRITERS POST - Volume 9 Double Issue Jan 2007 Jul 2007 - Mai Van Phan





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


JAN 2007

JUL 2007



                  MAI VAN PHAN



                 three poems by  MAI VAN PHAN

                            translated by Do Xuan Oanh




Stare me


Tiny rain makes grass glossy. Tender grass spreads to the foot of waves. Things follow one another to change color, like dominos fall in the game. Grass leaves suck each peal of bell since early. Resound in the pair of gloves, scarf and the woolen hat.


your eyes for the moon to shine


Moon spreads smoothly on wide land. Land surface stays innocent under moon’s pressure. Like weals of riding whip on the shoulder, whipping hard on my back. Wind.

Wind suddenly brings the mane off

the sound of my hooves beats into far away.


your eyes stagnate the color of creamy milk


The cup of hot milk and spoon remain quiet. Smoke whiffs the season of prime rice. A whiff of autumn pond, water hyacinth, bird nest, straw heap, water vase…A sound of bird cooing, steamed meat, hedge, grain of coal…


Drink water

Lips touch the cup mouth

and my body drops into space.





The bee that flies in the room

is made of plastic or wood ? 

its variegated body full of unfinished cut traces  

true, it has flown

the sound of flapping wings mild, ingenious.


Must not believe in a bee

I verify by small motions :

            532 pages always full in the old book

            I cut fingernails, unclog the pipe

            try to report, try to sign, try to destroy documents…


But it seems

all animals in the house 

are manufactured from refuse :

            the tricolor cat born from a batch of rag ?

            the fish swimming in the tank made from beer tin can ?

            the nightingale singing in the cage is a broken kettle ?

            the dog thrusting its head in my arm a roll of old newspaper ?

            the ant herd patiently carrying bait a heap of sawdust ?



The immortal mouth


The mouth drifting over there surely is from a dead person

now on high

now touching land surface.


Has the bone of the mouth now melted into dust ?

Is it still dirty yellow 

or tarnished black in terra-cotta coffin ?


But the mouth keeps moving gently and lively

now press tightly

now smile generous.


I put into the mouth phonics

like clicking search for an web site

As a result I feel dizzy

            I got lost in an ambush ?

            Is the software infected by virus ?

            Or the grain of coal just fell into an ice slab ?



The mouth emits no sound

only appears a dumb film sequence 

I had dubbed into it the sound of sticks and canes,

the sound of order, draft order…

the sound of a person

and even the sound of unison…


The mouth keeps drifting

Suffice it that someone issues an idea.



                                     MAI VAN PHAN




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).


Translation copyright © Mai Van Phan & The Writers Post. 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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