- Refused a Visa at the U.S. Embassy
An entire morninga hundred people jammed in the small roomas if being smuggled inside a packed containerwhen a pretty ballet student entersthe bored faces and slack bodieslurch to attention
I already have a bad feelingeven before my interview with the consular officer—of all the people granted a visa so farthere's been only two malesan elderly guy with his wifeand one so short he can't see over the counter—America is afraidI mean really afraidof foreign men!Holy shit! my bearded interviewerlooks more like a Muslim terrorist than memuch morehe doesn't deliberate a secondbefore rejecting my applicationmust have recognized something in my eyeslike one large ape detecting evil intentionsin the eyes of anothermaybe a secret intention to immigrate—he's eyeballing me for the signsmaybe the great Li Bai wants to slip away to Persiano fucking international joking around, please! [End Page 180]
Stomping offI see the ballet girl was turned down, tooby a black woman consular officer at another counterbut she's one happy ducklingtaking wing with a skipping song on her lips—someone in the crowd recognizes the type"Parents trying to force her to go to America . . ." [End Page 181]
Yi Sha is a poet, fiction writer, and translator born in Chengdu, Sichuan province. At the age of two, he moved with his family to the city of Xi'an, in Shaanxi province. In addition to fiction and nonfiction, he has published over twenty books of poetry, including The Train Crosses the Yellow River, Corner of the World, Ecstasy, and, in English translation, Starve The Poet! Selected Poems.
Frank Stewart is a poet, translator, and editor who has published four books of poetry and a book of nonfiction. His edited books include The Poem Behind the Poem: Translating Asian Poetry. His translations with Michelle Yeh are included in Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu; he has also translated I, Snow Leopard by Jidi Majia. His honors include a Whiting Award and the Hawai'i Award for Literature.
Ming Di is a Chinese poet, translator, and editor based in the U.S. She has published six books of poetry in Chinese, plus a collaborative translation, River Merchant's Wife. With Neil Aitken, she cotranslated Zang Di's The Book of Cranes, and with Jennifer Stern, Liu Xia's Empty Chairs: Selected Poems, a finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. She edited and cotranslated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry and New Poetry from China 1917–2017. A recipient of Henry Luce Foundation fellowships, she is a cofounder of Poetry East West journal and the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam.