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
“PU’UHONUA: place of refuge / If they came to you, they lived.”
“Dára is blood, Dáradára is covered in blood
Tápok is dust, Tápoktápok is covered in dust”
“ . . . she has to speak English at work (¿pero si me pongo a cantar Vicente Fernandez cuando limpio el toilet, y que?) . . . ”
“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.”
“and let me tell you none of them work for me this is no body this is my wind”
“Such vibrations didn’t matter, but a wandering through the subterranean stream”
“as in history. as in we wait with white men for metal doors to slide open.”
“My heart awash with the song of a thousand
silver bells — take what I know of giving.”
Edited by Diamond Forde
“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.”
“My hand spasms against my thigh whenever we’re asked to keep still during class shooter drills. The jitters, Ken calls it.”
Edited by Jennifer Soong
“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”
“Of whistling in the dark, / I began to notice the growing depths / Of the night.”
“Is this cinematic yet? / I surrender so much the words break down like links in a watch.”
“The moon is often described as dead, which is devastating / given the moon is / SOPHIE’s now.”
“liza minnelli lives in my closet! / she’s always watching this dusty copy of cats 1998 in my closet”
“No difference between the snow and sky, / The mourning veil of disillusionment / Spread over everything:”
Edited by Meghan Lamb
CW: family/generational trauma
“Long. So long that I could stand him upright and touch heaven on his shoulders. I laughed.”
“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?”
“I started including worms into sculptures . . . I thought that some could be twisted into interesting shapes, painted pink, and look pretty from a distance.”