Swallowing Thorns

Sun Tzu-ping
Translated from the Taiwanese Mandarin by Nicholas Wong

1.Unfamiliar namesAre a kind of preceptsI swallow thorns every dayAnd keep ovulating. At night, I am stridden over on an aisleMy ears, free-spiritedMy body fed up with loitering in streetsSilence is a new soundI practice listening by staying in lineAn electronic note pauses on the third barA phantom train is arrivingThe train conductor broadcasts something nostalgicIn the cold air, magnetic gold floatsThe devil lurking at the corner of my eye makes a wish:Let the pain blossom in the throatLike all loves on the verge of extinction2.After the food has found its swallowerPlease explain the body's phantoms one by one:A time factory manufactures clean movie setsA devil seduces the wrong commandsA bleeding hand touches the piano keys against the ruleSummer summons for a forest in light drizzlesBefore all these:Sunlight has patrolled our eyesLanguage has experienced many munificent leapsTo end an evil plot in hidingSince then:The morning blue caresses fatigued windowsThe secrets that took place in the darkFinally close their eyesTo adopt an infantile hush

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photo of Sun Tzu-ping

Born in 1976 in Taiwan, Sun Tzu-ping graduated from the Graduate Institute of Creative Writing and English Literature at National Dong Hwa University. He is currently an editor at the Liberty Times. Chinese titles by Sun include Knowing Shadows (essays), Sentimentalist (poetry) and Male Bodies (novel), among others.

photo of Nicholas Wong

Nicholas Wong is the author of Crevasse (Kaya Press, 2015), the winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Besiege Me (Noemi Press, 2021). His translation has recently appeared or will appear in Ninth Letter, The Georgia Review, Washington Square Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Cincinnati Review, Poetry Northwest, and Black Warrior Review.

cover of the Colorado Review Summer 2021

Summer 2021

Fort Collins, Colorado

The Center for Literary Publishing
Colorado State University

Stephanie G’Schwind

Poetry Editors
Donald Revell
Sasha Steensen
Camille T. Dungy
Matthew Cooperman

Associate Poetry Editor
Felicia Zamora

Launched in 1956 (with the first issue featuring work by Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, E. E. Cummings, Henry Miller, Bertolt Brecht, and Mark van Doren), Colorado Review is a national literary journal featuring contemporary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and book reviews. Each issue is approximately 200 pages. Published three times a year, CR has a circulation of approximately 1,100, is carried by university and public libraries across the country, and is distributed by Kent News to independent bookstores. The journal receives over 9,000 manuscript submissions each academic year.

Colorado Review is committed to the publication of contemporary creative writing. We are equally interested in work by both new and established writers. CR does not publish genre fiction, nor do we subscribe to a particular literary philosophy or school of poetry or fiction.

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