The following is an excerpt from my recently completed novel, Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside. The first chapter was awarded 1st Place in Medium.com’s 2012 Fiction Writing Contest. At the moment, I’m trying to find a home for it. If you like what you read here, please pass it on!Read More
They roamed the streets of her hometown, knocking their sticks along to lay a path in that endless shade. What they could not see with their eyes the cards showed them by touch. Lu Jun was little when her mother made them show her her future. They rambled on for awhile, illshapen words boiling down …Read More
When last I looked upon her face, A smile did greet me. But gazing up towards her eyes, A sadness I could see. This hard cover, a keen disguise, Protects us from her qi. But with abundant aperture, She accommodates me. While Australasia sits down low, And joins her on her knee Euros, Yanks and …Read More
Keith, already suspicious of John, is doubly suspicious now that John missed their dinner appointment. On a rainy Friday, he wonders about John’s motives for being in China, as he implements a fresh idea into the classroom: a poetry exercise, where the students go outside, and use English to write a poem about what they …Read More
Our hero is John, who is wandering through life without purpose. This wandering led him to a humanities degree, then to unemployment, and finally, to the great refuge of unemployed humanities majors: ESL in China. Though Wuhan later becomes an existential swamp for John, here at the beginning, everything is new and exciting. This is …Read More
Jack finished his last class and coming out the door he lit his first cigarette of the day. At his apartment door, Jack crushed his fourth cigarette and took the fifth inside. He checked his phone messages. Then he stepped back out and lit number six and headed to McDonald’s.Read More
“You need to understand,” Walter said, lighting a cigarette. “Chinese love is real love.” “And American love isn’t?” Nick said. “Western love,” Walter said, “is not real love. Not in the Chinese sense. It’s not. Their love is deeper, truer.” “Yeah,” Nick said, “I can see what you mean.” He could too. One night at …Read More
… He died an old man in a cold Chinese hospital an entire hemisphere removed from everyone and everything he had ever known. Surrounded by strangers, he couldn’t even have read his own obituary.Read More
I had an English class once where this girl interrupted me to ask what I thought of Japan, and without waiting for an answer, proceeded to tell me that Japan had killed many Chinese people, that they hated China, they were jealous of China. Then she went into Korea. Korea “stole our culture”. You’d think imitation the sincerest form of flattery, but not this girl.
I didn’t know what to say. On one hand, listening to this recorded message, it dawned on me that I was 12,000 miles away from everyone and everything I had ever known…and that according to some people, this, this, blind allegiance, blatant censorship, and self-checking all in the name of “harmony”…this is the next superpower.
On the other hand, she was speaking. I take what I can get.Read More
“How can someone who exists on the fringes of a society understand that society?” Jack said. “You’re a laowai, a wai guo ren, an outsider. You can’t understand pigs without shoveling pig shit, you shouldn’t even fucking eat bacon. How can you be an expert on death without taking the occasional life?”Read More
…that look came upon his face. It stuck there as he went over and bashed the usurper right in the eye with a Lego block.
A black look grotesque enough on a five year old’s face, when seen on the face of a sixty-four year old man…I think Matt noticed too. Or maybe he was just hitting his stride. He took Xia Yu’s hands and started dancing with her.
He was fired a month later.Read More
“Freshman?” Jack said. “The first I taught freshman English, all the girls came up to me after class and asked if they could come home and fuck me.”
…and we never had another group dinner.Read More