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FALL 2021

Issue
Fifteen

Folio: Split Tongues

Edited by Amanda Galvan Huynh

Split—as in to divide; as in separate by cutting; as in to break. Yet, split in this folio does the opposite. It mends. It heals, rebuilds, sews, weaves, reaches, witnesses, and remembers. 

 

Split tongues reclaim space in an American environment that continues to push non-English voices out. It stands and holds steady. The writings here capture the nuances of inheriting a mother tongue and hearing beyond the dominant English language in America. 

 

Revilla, Ahmed, Villaseñor, Terazawa, González, Kayzakian, Vuong, and Sheriff take languages and weave together experiences from their communities and selves. They illustrate how English, ever dominant, falls short. They reveal how to reach beyond English in order to communicate the beauty of resisting erasure in America: the stumbles of their names on English-tied tongues, the pressure to always be a translator, to return home, to answer in two tones, or to carry stories to other ears. 

 

These writers gift us with more than bilingual poems and nonfiction narratives—they bring to us the challenges and joys of bearing the weight of split tongues. They show us how to move forward and that they are not alone—they are listening.

Amanda Galvan Huynh

POETRY

Preparing Ka'uiki

“PU’UHONUA: place of refuge / If they came to you, they lived.

No'u Revilla

POETRY

My Ilocano Phrasebook Wants You To Know

Dára is blood, Dáradára is covered in blood

Tápok is dust, Tápoktápok is covered in dust

Irene Villaseñor

POETRY

Two Poems

“ . . . she has to speak English at work (¿pero si me pongo a cantar Vicente Fernandez cuando limpio el toilet, y que?) . . . 

José B. González

NONFICTION

On Getting It Wrong

“And my last name? My last name comes from a dynasty of kings. The story I know best is their role in making bánh chưng and bánh tét the official New Year’s food.

Phuong T. Vuong

POETRY

Two Poems

and let me tell you none of them work for me this is no body this is my wind

Nishat Ahmed

POETRY

Categories:

Light and Chalk

“Such vibrations didn’t matterbut a wandering through the subterranean stream”

Sophia Terazawa

POETRY

Translation

“as in history. as in we wait with white men for metal doors to slide open.

Arthur Kayzakian

POETRY

Your breasts, bare, against my memory of the Taj Mahal

My heart awash with the song of a thousand 

silver bells — take what I know of giving.

Sanam Sheriff

 

Fiction

Edited by Diamond Forde

CRAWL

“Jack went to a straight bar. It happened more than he cared to admit. It’s akin to self-harm, he mused as he swirled the straw of a better, cheaper margarita.”

Max Delsohn

Hide and Seek

“My hand spasms against my thigh whenever we’re asked to keep still during class shooter drills. The jitters, Ken calls it.”

Lucy Zhang

NORTH CAROLINA

ARTIST-IN-NONRESIDENT

 

Grounding

I am conscious, yet, I am disconnected from the excavation happening within me. I feel cold. A

kind nurse holds my hand. I don’t ever see her face.

Valeria Sosa Garnica

 

Poetry

Edited by Jennifer Soong

Two Poems

Diana want me to say / turn to sugar baby come back / Diana want me to stay turning to steel / Diana you stay turning your own way on your own time

Ian-Khara Ellasante

Two Poems

Of whistling in the dark, / I began to notice the growing depths / Of the night.

Marlon Hacla, translated by Kristine Ong Muslim

Capital & Desire

Is this cinematic yet? / I surrender so much the words break down like links in a watch.

Emma Ruth Wilson

Elegy for SOPHIE

The moon is often described as dead, which is devastating / given the moon is / SOPHIE’s now.

Aeon Ginsberg

Two Poems

liza minnelli lives in my closet! / she’s always watching this dusty copy of cats 1998 in my closet

 Venus Cohen

Two Poems

“No difference between the snow and sky, / The mourning veil of disillusionment / Spread over everything:”

Christopher Bakka

Eating Blowfish

I threw up on your head instead. / If I had made it over the levee, perhaps / No divorce for you; I wouldn’t have come to a / Strange country with a mother searching a fresh / Start.

Jack Jung

Nonfiction

Edited by Meghan Lamb

CW: family/generational trauma

Reflections

Long. So long that I could stand him upright and touch heaven on his shoulders. I laughed.

Boloere Seibidor

How Do I Know What Love Is?

“If I tell myself that my mother loves me, does that make it true? Does it make my mother’s physical and verbal mistreatment of me a part of her love, or at least co-existing with her love?”

Ginger Ko

Strange Things Are Interesting

“I started including worms into sculptures . . . I thought that some could be twisted into interesting shapes, painted pink, and look pretty from a distance.”

Lauren Wenrich

The Me Outside of Me

“I’m afraid I’ll never be loved. I’m afraid of my family. I’m afraid of my past. I’m afraid of getting raped. I’m afraid of being used. I’m afraid that everyone was right about me.”

r. fay