Yidan Han

  Contributing Editor:
  Kyle David Anderson

Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is the winner of the 2001 James Laughlin Award for his second collection of prose poems, Miracles & Mortifications (White Pine Press, 2001). His other books include the book of short stories I'm a Man (2003); the chapbook Love Poems for the Millennium (1998); the poetry collections Pretty Happy! (1997) and Eduardo & “I,” and two novels, What Happened and Loserville. He is the founder and editor of The Prose Poem: An International Journal and the editor of The Best of The Prose Poem: An International Journal. He received a fellowship in 1999 from the National Endowment for the Arts. He teaches creative writing at Providence College.



Weimin Du


Born in Cheng Hai, Guang Dong, China in 1979. He joined Han Shan Poetry Association when he studied at Han Shan Normal University. His poems appeared in Prose Poetry and September. He lives in Shantou, Guandong.

Pretty Happy!


I have no siblings who've killed themselves, a few breakdowns here and there, my son sometimes talking back to me, but, in general, I'm pretty happy. And if the basement leaks, and fuses fart out when the coffee machine comes on, and if the pastor beats us up with the same old parables, and raccoons overturn the garbage cans and ham it up at 2 o'clock in the morning while some punk is cutting the wires on my car stereo, I can still say, I'm pretty happy. Pretty happy! Pretty happy! I whisper to my wife at midnight, waking to another night noise, reaching for the baseball bat I keep hidden under our bed.


我没有已经自杀成仁的同胞,其中的某些四处崩溃, 我的儿子有时跟我顶嘴,但一般,我是绝对地开心。 而且假如地下室渗漏,当咖啡机运作时保险丝突然 烧坏,假如牧师用同一个老寓言触动我们,或者浣 熊掀翻垃圾桶,更加凌晨两点当流民剪断我汽车立 体声系统的电线时,我依然会说,我是绝对地快乐! 绝对快乐!绝对快乐!我在半夜对我妻子悄悄私语, 因为夜里另一个嘈杂声而醒来,伸出手触到我一直 藏在床底下的棒球棒。

Just Listen


I sit by the window and watch a great mythological bird go down in flames. In fact, it's a kite the neighborhood troublemaker has set on fire. Twenty-one and still living at home, deciding when to cut through a screen and chop us into little pieces. "He wouldn't hurt a fly," his mother would say, as they packed our parts into black antiseptic body bags. I explain this possibility to the garbage men. I'm trying to make friends with them, unable to understand why they leave our empty cans in the middle of the driveway, then laugh as they walk away. One says, "Another name for moving air is wind, and shade is just a very large shadow" —perhaps a nice way to make me feel less eclipsed. It's not working, it's not working. I'm scared for children yet to be abducted, scared for the pregnant woman raped at knife point on the New Jersey Turnpike, scared for what violence does to one's life, how it squats inside the hollow heart like a dead cricket. My son and his friends found a dead cricket, coffined it in a plastic Easter egg and buried it in the backyard. It was a kind of time capsule, they explained—a surprise for some future boy archeologist, someone much happier than us, who will live during a time when trees don't look so depressed, and birds and dogs don't chatter and growl like the chorus in an undiscovered Greek tragedy.


我坐在窗边看到一只神话般的鸟从光芒里飞落下来。 事实上,它只不过是邻居捣乱者刚刚放在火焰上的。 二十一岁了仍然呆在家里,决定着何时刺穿屏幕, 并把我们剁成碎片。“他不会伤害一只苍蝇”,他母 亲会这样说,当他们把我们的零件装进黑色的消过 毒的背包里。我跟这个垃圾一样的男人解释这种可 能性。我正试图与他们结交朋友,无法理解他们为 什么把我们的空罐头丢在车道中央,当他们走开时 笑起来。其中一个说:“流动的空气另一个名称是 风,而黑暗只不过是一个硕大无比的阴影”——这可 能是让我稍感舒适的绝妙途径。它还没有正在起作 用,它还没有正在起作用。我对儿童遭受诱拐深感 恐惧,对孕妇在新泽西州因为刀尖的威胁而遭受强 奸感到恐惧,对那些施加于生命的强暴深感恐惧, 它是如何地像一只死蟋蟀蜇伏在空洞洞的心脏里。 我儿子和他的朋友发现一只死蟋蟀,并把它装进一 个塑料复活节彩蛋里,并安葬在后院。它是一种时 光太空舱,他们解释——一群未来的男孩考古学家的 惊奇,其中某些比我们还要更开心,他们会生活在 树木看上去不那么沮丧的一段时期,而且鸟儿与狗 不再喋喋不休与怨语连天像尚未被发现的古希腊悲 剧的合唱队。

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