Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hello, Portland (part 2 of 2)

[PART 1]


Yue Fei was real man whose story reads like a hero of myth. The Yellow River floods. His mother takes him in her arms and climbs into a large clay jar. His father holds onto the the lips of jar and swims to guide it through the water. He is washed one way and mother and son another way away and away.

They are washed onto land and taken in by one of the disbanded 108 outlaws of the marsh. He teaches the growing Yue Fei that all behavior is tactics strategy and the use of tools and weapons.

Yue Fei enters a martial arts contest and kills the emperor’s son. He is forgiven when one of the judges reveals that the emperor’s son used weapons and poisons banned from the contest. The judge is killed later, in imperial plot.

One emperor has been kidnapped by the nomads and a young addlebrain assumes the throne. A bandit from the old Water Margin offers Yue Fei the leadership of pirates and outlaws to fight the Jurchens. Yue Fei, cannot break the law. At the same time he can’t reject the bandit’s patriotism. He becomes blood brothers with the bandit and as a brother, returns the gifts of gold and silver to the bandit to pay for his return to the marsh. This gesture proves Yue Fei’s use of tactics and strategy as behavior to Yue Fei’s mother.

Yue Fei is approached by a representative of the emperor to take charge of the army and drive the nomads on horseback out of China.

Mother Yue does not like the choice between bandits and the cowardly and traitorous government. She tattoos her son’s loyalty to the family of China, but not the emperor.

Yue Fei leads the army, beats the Jurchens in the mountains, on the plains, and on the water and is jailed by a traitorous Prime Minister for treason and killed.

Why does Qian Cai write the descendants from the 3 Kingdoms and the Water Margin drop by to pay homage to Mother Yue before mounting up and violating the emperor’s order banning the burning of incense at Yue Fei’s tomb?

The answer: Confucius. The germ, the start, the beginning of everything is the family. China is not the government. China is individual loyalty to the family.

Individuals disown the family for one reason or another. Kwan Kung, the 2nd brother from 3 Kingdoms, was beaten and locked up by his parents, and left. He got mad, broke out of his confinement, ran away, saved a girl from a marriage she didn’t want by killing her father and the man she was to marry, and runs some more. His face changes color. His individuality blossoms into a physical being no longer recognizable to his hated parents. Soong Gong, the leader of the outlaws of the Water Margin has his father publicly disown him, to save the lives of his family.

China is the Family Not the Nat’l Gov

China is the family. China is your family as long as you keep the children’s stories and the heroic tradition. It doesn’t matter where you live. Timbuktu, Helsinki, or Athens Greece or Athens, Georgia. You are Chinese if you keep the children’s story and the heroic tradition. If you live in a thriving Chinatown that was organized by a family and family associations that kept the culture, like Oakland, California you might not know the children’s stories and the heroic tradition, but the Chinatown does and protects your Chinese identity.

Chinatowns that don’t respect the family and Chinese culture turn into service centers for tourists, lose the their Chinese identities, wither and die, like Portland’s Chinatown.

You are not Chinese if you’ve lost the children’s story and the heroic tradition.

AT A BOOK FESTIVAL in Portland, a long drive up I-5 from L.A. with Sam at five years old, I’m hawking my first book DONALD DUK. A sweating man asks me, "Aren't you ashamed to be a Chinese man telling women about real Chinese culture?" He's the white editor of a California, Bay Area literary review. He has put his favorite Chinese American writer, on the cover. I seem to have been followed by the same question. If not the same man.

"No," I answer.

"Aren't you ashamed of the unspeakable cruelty you Chinese men inflicted on Fa Mulan?"

"What unspeakable cruelty…” I chill and coldly spill, “White Man?" Sam, my little Sam, looks on in horror.

"Carving her back!" White editor says through clenched teeth.

"Aren't you ashamed to be a white man instructing me on Fa Mulan?" [Fa Mulan as opposed to Far Muklan, the Cantonese pronunciation, is respected as the embodiment of the equality of the sexes in war and peace. She was a Northerner. Her birthdate, home and details of her life beyond THE BALLAD OF MULAN are unknown.] Clenched teeth faces clenched teeth. “It's obvious that you've never read the children's poem or the play that tells her story.” My eyes go beady to face his beady eyes. “All you’ve read is racist cant.” I say.

“Then where did Maxine Hong Kingston get the tattooed Mulan of THE WOMAN WARRIOR?” He sweats. I don’t. I’m cool.

“She stripped the tattoos off the back of only warrior famous for being tattooed, Ngawk Fei, a man.” He opens his mouth and I say, “Yue Fei, in Mandarin."

"There are many versions of Fa Mulan!"

“There are as many versions of Fa Mulan as there are of George Washington.” His jaw drops at the mention of the “Father of his country.” I say into his open mouth, “There is only one BALLAD OF MULAN.”

“George Washington was a real man in history.”

“And so was Mulan.” A rustle of clothes, shifting limbs, creaking furniture, clearing throats.

“Ah! The natives are restless!” I said, “You’ve heard the night before George went to fight for British in the French and Indian War, his mother called him into the kitchen, and said, ‘Son, I want to carve your back with a message to prevent Indians from mutilating your body if you’re captured.’ If a little remodeling and repair is in order for Mulan, it can’t hurt George Washington.”


“No maybe about it, your favorite author makes clear she’s talking about the same Mulan the Chinese know. She quotes lines from the BALLAD OF MULAN before blaming her parents for stripping the tattoos off Yue Fei, putting them on the girl’s skin.”

“You dare to defend Chinese culture that’s founded on cruelty to women?” He bounces from foot to foot and opens and closes his fists.

“It takes no daring to defend Chinese culture against your racist stupidity. Mulan’s parents knew their Confucius says, and would not mark her skin with a tattoo. For Confucius said, ‘The skin and hair are gifts from the parents.’”

“Confucius,” he says with a sneer.

“The tattoo is the mark of a criminal. And it is because the tattoo is the mark of a criminal, that Yue Fei’s mother tattoos his back with Loyalty to the ‘gawk’ the country. That’s his crime. She didn’t tattoo loyal to the ‘gwun’ the ‘lord’ or emperor. ”


“Why haven’t any of you asked if THE BALLAD OF MULAN is not about a girl being cruelly tattooed, what is it about? I’ll tell you, anyway, because I’m Chinese. It’s the first poem in history of the world to state the equality of men and women, in war and peace.”

[MUKLAN SEE Cantonese is matched by a line in English , for scansion. If the translation matches the Chinese, both can be chanted in Chinese rhythm, or lagged into a round of one language up and the other down, and a round in reverse.]

Jick jick fook jick jick,
Sniff sniff sigh sniffle sniffle,

Muklan dong woo jick
Muklan sniffles like her loom.

But mun gay chur jing.
Don't ask for the shuttle's shift.

Woay mun nur tahn sick.
Do ask why a girl cries herself sick.

Mun nur haw saw geee.
Ask her does she pine.

Mun nur haw saw yick.
Ask her does she yearn.

Nur yick mo saw seee.
No, this girl does not pine.

Nur yick mo saw yick.
No, this girl does not yearn.

Jawk yeah gin gwun tit.
Last night I saw the battle rolls .

Hahk hawn die bin bing.
For the Khan's great army.

Gwun shur sup yee gurn,
The Roll Book runs twelve rolls.

Gurn gurn yow yeah ming.
Roll after roll there's my father's name.

Ah Yeah mo die yee.
Father has no grown sons.

Muklan mo jerng hing.
Muklan no older brother.

Yurn wooay see ngawn mah.
Leave me buy a saddle and horse,

Choong chee tai yeah jing.
And ride in father's place.

Doong see my joon mah,
East Market: buy a good horse.

Sie seee my ngawn jin.
West Market: buy a saddle and blanket.

Nom see my bay taow.
South Market: buy bridle and reins.

Buck see my cherng biin.
North Market buy a long whip.

Jew tiern yeah lerng her.
Dawn: away from dad and mom.

Mo sook Wong Haw biiin.
Sunset: camp by the Yellow River.

But mun yeah lerng woon nur sing.
Don't ask her to hear her parents call her name.

Don mun Wong Haw lau sur ming tien tien.
Do ask her to listen to the Yellow River gush and gush.

Don chee Wong Haw her.
Dawn: leave the Yellow River.

Mo gee Huk Sahn tau.
Sunset: the peaks of the Black Mountains.

But mun yeah lerng woon nur sing.
Don't ask he to hear her parents calling her name.

Don mun yin sahn
Do ask her to hear the Tarter horses

woo kay sing chow chow.
on Swallow Mountain whinney and blow chuff chuff.

Mon lay foo yoong gay.
Thousands of miles of war, battles all the way.

Gwan Sahn doe yerk fay.
Across borders and mountains like birds we fly.

Sawk hay churn gum tawk.
The tight northern air drums the watch.

Hawn gong jew tit yee.
Winter dawn glints off the chain mail.

Jerng Gwun bok gin seee.
My generals of a hundred battles are dead.

Jawng see sup nien gwai.
My soldiers’re spent from ten years at war.

Gwai loy gin Tien Ji.
On the road home: an audience with the Emperor.

Tien Ji jaw ming tong.
The Son of Heaven sits in the Hall of Light.

Chok fun sup yee juern.
Your army's valor fills twelve books.

Serng tee bok tien gerng
Prizes amounting to a hundred thousand cash are awarded.

Hahk hawn mun saw yook.
Now what does the girl want?

Muklan but yoong serng shur long.
Muklan has no use for any position in court.

Yern teee tien lay jook.
"Loan me the famous Thousand Le Camel,

Soong yee won goo herng
To take me home."

Yeah lerng mun ner loy.
Father and Mother hear she's coming.

Chut gawk serng foo jerng.
They meet her outside the gates and walk her onto the estate.

Ah Jiey mun mooey loy.
Big Sister hears she's coming.

Dong wee lay hoong jong
By the door, she rouges her face.

Siew Die mun Jieah loy.
Little Brother hears sister's coming.

Maw doh fawk fawk herng jur yerng.
Grind the knife sharp sharp to go for a pig and sheep.

Hoy ngaw doong gawk moon.
Open my east chamber door.

Jaw ngaw sai gon chong.
Sit on my west chamber bed.

Churt ngaw gin see ho.
Off with the battledress of recent times.

Jerk ngaw gow see serng.
On with the gowns of old times.

Dong chong lay wun bun.
By the window: do the hair in cloudy tresses.

Dur geng tit fah wong.
By the mirror powder myself flowery yellow.

Chut moon hawn faw boon.
Out the door see my ally.

Faw boon chee ging wong.
My ally is agog.

Toong hung sup yee nien.
Back to back in twelve years of war.

But ji Muklan see nur long.
He didn't know Muklan was a girl.

Hoong toe gerk hawk sawk.
The he rabbit tucks his in his feet to sits.

Chee toe ngon muhi lay
The she rabbit dims her shiney eyes.

Lerng toe bong day jow.
Two rabbits hopping side by side.

Ngawn lung biin ngaw see hoong chee.
Who can see which is the he and which the she?

At every stop, in California, every bookstore, every school, on the road, there were racists waiting for me with accusations of victimizing the “Woman Warrior” and being a Chinese man. Nobody was interested in the author of DONALD DUK. Not one question about the book. Not even, “What’s it about?” No questions about the real Mulan.

They were against Chinese men. It was the feminist thing to do. They knew Kingston’s cruelly tattooed Mulan as the American victim.

The real, the Chinese Mulan espoused, and lived, equality of the sexes, in 550, before the term feminism came into being. The term came into being around 1789 with Mary Wolstonecraft’s [Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)] publication of A VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN in answer to Tom Paine’s THE RIGHTS OF MAN. Paine’s writing had influenced the American Revolution, the French Revolution. England declared him a traitor. To enter the discussion of “rights” as an equal smelled of law if not, the law. In the wake of Wolstonecraft’s 1789 publication, women’s writing flourished in England. George Eliot, the author of ADAM BEDE (1859) and SILAS MARNER (1861), Charlotte Brontë, author of JANE EYRE (1847), and Wolstonecraft’s daughter, Mary Shelley, the author of FRANKENSTEIN or THE MODERN PROMETHEUS (1818).

Kingston was listed as an expert of Chinese folk culture in one encyclopedia of American Literature, after the other. She fooled at least four American universities into awarding her honorary degrees. In 1986 she finally confessed, that she racistly changed the facts of THE BALLAD OF MULAN for feminist purposes, in an interview with Kay Bonetti:

“Oh, yes, the myths I change. I change them a lot, and I’ve been criticized for that by traditionalists…”

“Traditionalists” her Orwellian Newspeak for “Ugh! Chinese!”

“because they …”

“the Chinese”

“don’t understand that I have no intention of recording myths. I mean, I’m not an archivist”

Her Orwellian Newspeak for “Ugh Chinese!”

“I want to give you an example of the myths that I’ve changed. When the woman warrior has the words carved on her back, that’s actually a man’s story. It’s about a man named Yüech Fei who had a vow carved his back by his mother. Now, I took that and gave that to a woman. I gave a man’s myth to a woman because it’s part of the feminist war that’s going on in THE WOMAN WARRIOR, to take the men’s stories away from them and give the strength of that story to a woman. I see that as an aggressive storytelling act, and it’s also part of my own freedom to play with myth. and I do feel that myths have to be changed and played with all the time, or they die.”

She sounds like Ford talking about Mercury the car, not Mercury the myth.

“The problem with doing all that is the way to inform people and at the same time play around with them”

The people or the myths?

“I think at that point I decided not to tell anybody the original stories, and then tell them how I played around with them because I just wanted to get on with the story, and I just figured, well, let the scholars…

the, ugh! Chinese!

“figure it out later…”

She doesn’t sound like Ford, the John who saw the whole story. We know THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE and agree with the editor who burns his notes and says. “I’ve learned that when the legend becomes the fact, print the legend.” But we’ve seen what Jimmy Stewart saw after shooting his little pistol and we saw what John Wayne saw. John Ford was out RASHOMONing Kurosawa’s great movie RASHOMON. He was giving a tip of his hat to Kurosawa by playing with the form and style based on RASHOMON. Lee Marvin, the Liberty Valance of the piece is Toshiro Mifune, the electrifying bandit throwing sparks and spit from RASHOMON.

“but they’ve actually attacked me for not sticking with the story.”

Strangely Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune cancelled each other out in HELL IN THE PACIFIC the movie with just them on the screen. Alone on an island in WWII they represent their nations, fight, become friends, one side’s men arrive. The rest is irrelevant. They didn’t resemble each other. They didn’t obviously act like each other. The casting marqueed up looked inspired. But in scene after scene they were mirror images of each other. It was like watching a one man show, a long one-man show, rather then the performance of two men.

Mulan Leaves her Mark on China

Know nothings disguised as scientists, calling themselves “Sociologists” defend Kingston’s lies by pointing to the “folk process” that magically transforms the original Mulan into the Kingston’s victim. The real folk process of the Chinese heroine can be followed in Chinese children’s books from the publication of THE BALLLAD OF MULAN in 550 AD to Chinese Soong Ching Ling [Soong Ching Ling AKA Mme. Sun Yatsen(1893-1981) WOMAN IN WORLD HISTORY, by Israel Epstein. 1995. New World Press. 24 Baiwanzhuang Road, Beijing, China.], China’s first feminist, and the wife Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founder of modern China at the beginning of the 20th Century. A flick through the pages of Chinese folklore shows that Mulan did not degenerate, but grew as her reputation for sexual equality lent luster, to the reps of other female champions of China.

Two 10th century women generals with territories of their own, along the same Yellow River that’s in the BALLAD, had grown up with THE BALLAD OF MULAN. Liang Hongyu [Liang Hongyu was the wife of Han Shizong (1087-1151) an admired military man nicknamed “Able to defeat ten thousands.” In history, she was a military prostitute. In fiction she was a drummer girl working in a whorehouse. In battle she occupied the high ground and drummed signals as to the movements of the enemy, to her husband on the ground.], (Leong Hung Yuk, in Cantonese) nicknamed the “Little Drummer Girl,” and Mu Guiying [Mu Guiying- is celebrated in the Peking opera MU GUIYING TAKES COMMAND, performed by Mei Lanfang, famous for performing women’s roles.], (Mook Gwaying) a bandit leader in Shandong become the strategist and commander of the Yang Family armies, were allies of the tattooed warrior, Yue Fei. After Yue Fei’s death, it was Mu Guiying’s strategy that covered the border.

THE BALLAD OF MULAN had inspired, the undoubtedly real Liang Hongyu, and Mu Guiying. Their stories are sketchily told in GENERAL YUE FEI, and detailed in the fictions, operas, comic books and movies based on their lives. For English language readers, Canfonian of Singapore has LIANG HONGYU, and YANG FAMILY GENERALS, with the story of Mu Guiying available in two volume sets of comic book novels.

Soong Ching Ling, took the name of Rosamonde, while attending Weslayan College for Women in Macon, Georgia. Did that name come from a popular lieder or art song(*) of the moment, or did she put together Rosamonde from “Far” the character for “Flower” that can mean “Rose,” [“Rose” in Chinese is “muy far”] as a translation of Far Mulan?

She was attracted to the ideals of Dr. Sun Yatsen, a man 28 years her senior, and married him. In 1923, he photographed her in the cockpit of the first plane designed and built in China. A biplane he had painted with “Rosamonde” on the nose. She wore a pilot’s goggled cap. The illusion that she was a flier, in the picture snapped by Dr. Sun, inspired Chinese women to fly. Their pictures were taken.

Chinese newspapers likened Soong Ching Ling to Mu Guiying and Far Mulan for resisting the Japanese, and fighting for equal rights for women, in China’s first constitution.

Dr. Sun Yatsen is considered the “George Washington of China,” through he preferred the “Abraham Lincoln of China.” (I think Lincoln is on the right, of the blue stamp the US issued in 1961 commemorating 50 years of the Republic of China. Dr. Sun is on the left.) Soong Ching Ling, was his young, brilliant and beautiful wife. She was also one of the famous Soong sisters. The oldest sister, Soong Ai Ling married H.H. Kung, Generalissimo Chiang’s crooked financier, and loved money. Soong Mei Ling [Soong Meiling- (ca 1897–October 23 ,2003 ) Her pro-Chiang version of the facts of the rivalry that existed between the sisters is told in THE SOONG DYNASTY, by Sterling Seagrave. (1985) Harper & Row. New York], the youngest, married power hungry Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, and loved power. Soong Ching Ling, Mme. Sun, loved China. Dr. Sun and Soong Ching Ling are revered by both Nationalist and Communist Chinese.

From the Revolution of 1911 till the end of WWII, China was involved in war. A civil war, in China that recalled Far Mulan. A war to kick the Japanese invaders out of China, that recalled Far Mulan. Then World War II. Mulan was alive through all the wars, in children’s books, on matchbox covers, medicine labels, her story was told in paintings on vases, cookie tins, fans and comic books. The pocket sized, comic book, was created to be hidden.

Then came the year, 1932. Japan took over Hong Kong and asked Mei Lanfang [Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) born to an opera family. His father and grandfather performed women’s roles. Lanfang was the third and most famous performer of women’s roles, including Mu Guiying, in MU GUIYING TAKES COMMAND.], the unusually large eyed, Peking opera star, to perform for the Japanese army. In 1930 Mei Lanfang had introduced New York, Hollywood, and western theatre personalities George Bernard Shaw, Paul Robeson, Konstantin Stanislavsky, Sergei Eisenstein to Peking opera. And the westerners went wide-eyed, ooohed and had their pictures [PEKING OPERA and MEI LANFANG. A Guide to China’s Traditional Theatre And the Art of Its Great Master, by Wu Azuguang, Huang Zuolin and Mei Shaowu. (“With Selections from Mei Lanfang’s Own Writings” ) Contains photos of 1930’s tour of the west. (1981) New World Press. Beijing, China.] taken with the man who introduced Peking opera to western senses and sensibilities.

Mei Lanfang, famous for his performances of women’s roles, thanked the Japanese but begged off, because he was growing a mustache. He shut down his company, and took up painting and perfected his calligraphy to support his unemployed musicians and performers. He wrote a script MULAN JOINS THE ARMY [MULAN JOINS THE ARMY, by Mei Lanfang- This opera is one of the works in The Collection of Chinese Plays,compiled by the Committee for Research and Development of the Revitalization of Chinese Plays, under the Political Warfare Division of the Department of Defense (of China).] “An Opera adapted from the Fifth Century poem.” He used the plot and lines from THE BALLAD OF MULAN as his structure and festooned the structure with his words and observations designed redirect the Chinese impulse to war away from your Chinese neighbor, and toward the invading Japanese.

His “synopsis” closes with:

“His daughter Mulan could not bear to see her father go into battle in his condition. She decided to sacrifice herself and go in his stead. Dressed as a male, she resolutely bid her family farewell and reported to the garrison, ready to face the enemy. Mulan, who learned martial tactics and skills from her father, became highly valued by the commanding general. When engaged in battle she would be the one who led the charge towards the enemy. To everyone in the division, from officers to the rank and file, she was known as a hero and a patriot—not a fragile female. After the army’s triumphant return Mulan shed her soldier’s uniform and resumed her identity.”

With apologies to Ming playwright Xu Wen and WWII’s Mei Lanfang.


Jick jick fook jick jick,

Sniff sniff sigh sniffle sniffle,

Muklan dong woo jick

Muklan sniffles like her loom.

But mun gay chur jing.

Don't ask for the shuttle's shift

Woay mun nur tahn sick.

Do ask why a girl cries herself sick.

Mun nur haw saw geee.

Ask her does she pine.

Mun nur haw saw yick.

Ask her does she yearn.

Nur yick mo saw seee.

No, this girl does not pine.

Nur yick mo saw yick.

No, this girl does not yearn.

Jawk yeah gin gwun tit.

Last night I saw the battle rolls .

Hahk hawn die bin bing.

For the Khan's great army.

Gwun shur sup yee gurn,

The Roll Book runs twelve rolls.

Gurn gurn yow yeah ming.

Roll after roll there's my father's name.

MULAN absent mindedly improvises kung fu

Ah Yeah mo die yee.

Father has no grown sons.
(She stops. Her eyes pie wide.)
Father has no grown sons!
Muklan mo jerng hing.

Muklan no older brother.
(With mounting horror and delight)
Mulan has no older brotherrr!

MULAN works out with kung fu

THE STORYTELLER as POP, sees MULAN. He watches.

I’ve seen better baton twirling.

Yurn wooay see ngawn mah


Leave me buy a saddle and horse,

Choong chee tai yeah jing.

And ride in father's place.

If the girl wants to go in my place, she’ll have to beat me!

MULAN and POP approach each other. They fight.

I’m rusty. I was never that good at the staff. The sword is my weapon. If you want a fair fight, you’ll fight me with my weapon. Swords. Wooden swords. Wood hurts less steel.

STAGE MULAN goes to rack and chooses a wooden sword.

You used say “Wood kills less that steel”

I don’t wanta think about half-death. ALL OR NOTHING.

MULAN takes her weapon and takes a position

All or nothing!

It’s a good day to die. Let the good times roll.

They fight again and again Mulan wins.

POP collapses opens his mouth lays out his tongue and pants and wheezes What Mulan saw in the she in the shape and colors of the tubules of the skin of his tongue can’t be told in a children’s poem. What she saw was the tongue of a sick man. He’s on the ground struggling for breath. He coughs to kick start sticky pistons in his lungs to pumping sludge out of the deeps.

MULAN falls on her face and apologizes to POP

Forgive me please….

That’s not the way a man bows… Help Help me up and I’ll show how a man bows before his commander.

POP gets to his feet.

MULAN stays flat and facedown

Stand at attention and watch. You ride up to the commander’s tent, identified by a flag with his name on it. You dismount, see to the keeping of your horse in the same place you left it after you come back.

MULAN stays flat on the ground apologizing and weeping.

You enter the commander’s tent confident firm. Get up! You dust yourself off. This is a courtesy, letting everyone in the Commander’s tent know a man has just entered. And giving you a chance to learn exactly where everyone and everything is in the tent and get the cut of the commander. GET UP! Damn you! GET UP! The commander should recognize talent and know what to do with it.

MULAN flattens herself and jams her facedown more

GET UP! You’re a man! You’re not a girl! Get up. Get up, I’m showing you how a soldier answers his orders to appear before his commander report for duty!

Mulan thinks

(whispers) Father is going to commit suicide!

Ah-Bah, No!

She begins to weep and flattens herself on the floor.

Get up! when I’m teaching you something! You’re the man of this family. Get up!

MULAN gets up.

After dusting yourself off and arranging your clothes after your long ride. You acknowledge no one, with a nod or glance. Your eyes look straight into the commanders, then you drop to one knee, like this.

DAD drops to one knee, lowers his eyes, and offers his covered right hand

Eyes down, you look ahead over your upper eyelid. Your left hand covers your fighting hand and you offer them to the commander, at the level with your eyes and lower your head, like this.

POP covers his fighting hand and offers it to her.

You’re not to plant your eyes into his for a clash. You will glance a look over the back of your left hand covering your fighting hand, like this. You are a man, you want the commander to know. How much of your eye shows over your fighting hand is up to you. You don’t want to show a full half of your eye. You do not show a smile on your face. A good commander will recognize the value of a face that displays no expression and no hostility. You say the words I BOW TO YOU, COMMANDER silently.

POP on one knee bows, slightly. Then lowers himself..

Save our family. Save the country. Come back safely.

MULAN reads her father’s bow as being offered to her. She moves to him but POP prostrates himself

Save our family. Save the country…Come home safely.

MULAN tearfully gets on her horse like a man and goes shopping.

Doong see my joon mah,

East Market: buy a good horse.

Sie seee my ngawn jin

West Market: buy a saddle and blanket.

Nom see my bay taow.

South Market: buy bridle and reins.

Buck see my cherng biin

North Market buy a long whip.

Jew tiern yeah lerng her.

Dawn: away from dad and mom.

Mo sook Wong Haw biiin.

Sunset: camp by the Yellow River.

But mun yeah lerng woon nur sing.

Don't ask her to hear her parents call her name.

Between the first publication of the BALLAD and Mei Lanfang’s MULAN JOINS THE ARMY is 378 years. Mulan hasn’t required a lift or a prosthesis or remade past. The past is the past. She’s Far Mulan, a heroine that defines herself. That’s why she’s a hero. She’s not a product. From the past she has taught and inspired girls that call themselves Chinese.

Sam was five when I came to Portland the first time and the racist teachers sneered at my comic book collection and said, “Doesn’t turn me on.” Suddenly he’s twenty-one, and I’m still getting the same questions, I’m still called the same names by another generation stupid whites, and the children of the children of yellow-hating yellows. They see it as a matter of honor that they refuse to teach their children a Chinese children’s story while they’re young. “Start the car, Sam. I’ll be right behind you!”

In 1995 Sir T.L. Yang [Ti Liang Yang ( DOB:June 30, 1929, Shanghai) Chief Justice from 1988- 19996. In 1996 Yang was a candidate for Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Tung Chee Hwa was chosen to rule Hong Kong by a Peking committee of 400. Yang came on second with 42 out of the 400 votes cast. He teaches English at the University of Hong Kong.] the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, completed his 30 year translation of Qian Cao’s GENERAL YUE FEI [GENERAL YUE FEI. A novel by Qian Cai of the Qing Dynasty. Translated by T.L. Yang. Joint Publishing (HK) Co. LTD, 9 Queen Victoria Street, Hong Kong. (1995) (pages 247-248)] into English, and published it. He began the first English translation of the popular Qing dynasty Chinese novel, coincident with the release of Kingston’s WOMAN WARRIOR. Was his translation a reaction to Kingston’s falsification of Mulan with the tattoos of the10th century hero?

This novel was first published in the Manchu Qing, when the Manchu were oppressing the Chinese, and the British waged a Christian race war against the Manchu Qing, and brought the opium wars were to life. Both, the Manchu Qing and the Brits made the Chinese pay and pay and pay. From that time comes the novel with whole story of Yue Fei and his tattooing.


“My son, you go out and set up incense sticks and candles and put them on the incense table in the middle of the hall. I have a personal reason for doing this.”

“Yes,” said Yue Fei, and he went out, obtained the incense and candles, went to the central hall, placed the table in the middle, and placed a pair of candle sticks and an incense burner on it. Having arranged everything in its proper place, he entered to inform his mother that the incense table was ready and he invited his mother to go out.

Lady Yue came out with his (sic) daughter-in-law. There they burned incense and lighted the candles in front of the scared family shrine. They paid obeisance to Heaven and Earth and to the ancestors, and the Lady commanded her son to kneel whilst the daughter-in-law was told to prepare the ink.

Kneeling down Yue Fei asked, “What command does Mother have for me?”

The Lady said, “I, your mother, saw that you did not accept the recruitment of the rebellious thief, and that you willingly endure poverty and are not tempted by wealth and status, this is of course extremely good. But I fear that after my death, there may be some unworthy creature who will come to entice you. And if you should momentarily lose your principles and do something disloyal, will you not have destroyed in one day your fragrant reputation gained in half a lifetime?

For this reason, I have prayed to Heaven and Earth and to our ancestors, because I want to tattoo on your back the four characters ‘Utmost’, ‘Loyalty’, ‘Serve’ and ‘Nation’. I only hope you will be a loyal official, so that after your mother’s death, people going to and fro will say, ‘What a good lady, she has trained her son to achieve fame by serving his nation with the utmost loyalty, and so his reputation will continue its fragrance for a hundred generations’. I shall then smile even in my grave under the nine springs.”

Yue Fei however suggested, “The sage said, ‘One does not harm his body, hair and skin because all these he has received from his parents’. I shall of course accept and obey your solemn instruction. Please refrain from tattooing me!”

“Balderdash!” said the Lady.

“If you should do something unworthy and are brought before the court under arrest, and if you should be beaten and knocked about, are you still to say to the official, ‘Having received the body, hair and skin from my parents I do not dare cause them any injury?’”

This scene deserves staging to appreciate the relation of Yue Fei, his wife and his mother. But what of the knives? Did the old woman carve her son’s flesh with knives like Mulan’s parents in Kingston’s WOMAN WARRIOR? The scene becomes greater:

“What Mother says has reason. Please tattoo the characters” – thus speaking, he half-undressed himself. The Lady picked up the brush and wrote out on his spine the four characters for: serving the nation with the utmost loyalty.” The se picked up a sewing needle and gave his back a prick. She saw that the lord Yue’s flesh ‘gave a jump’ and she asked, “My son, does it hurt?”

Yue Fei said, “Mother, you have not even began to tattoo me, so way do you ask me if it hurts or not?”

With tears in her eyes the Lady said, “My son, you fear that my hand will go ‘soft’ so you say it does not hurt.”

Mother Yue pricks his skin with a needle. Carving the flesh with knives is Kingston’s invention.

In 1997, on September 29th President Bill Clinton [Bill Clinton, (DOB: Aug. 19, 1946) the forty-second President of The United States, served from 1993 to 2001.], rewrote Chinese history, culture, and the facts of heroes by blessing Kingston with his Humanities Medal. Clinton praised Kingston's talent for revealing "a world we've never seen but instantly recognize as authentic." Through her work, he said, she had "brought the Asian-American experience to life for millions of readers and inspired a new generation of writers to make their own unique voices and experiences heard."

His signature made contempt for Chinese and the Chinese children’s story, an American policy, and Kingston’s creation, the pitiful tattooed Mulan, the official American version of Chinese history

Which brings us to this place in this city to talk to the Chinese not controlled by Sociology-Asian American Studies.


Your interest is AAWriting. The medium of AAwriting should be AAmagazines. But there are no AAMags. Are the AAwriters real or fakes writing to please their white masters?

I ask you consider forming an AAMag on AAlifestyles and what’s on the minds of yellows in yellow news, yellow newsbiz, as a mag you can encourage yellow music, yellow dance, yellow thought, yellow graphic and sculptural art to consider the arts and thought of the people that first settled here and became us.

Your ideas on AAwriting must have produced a critic or critics you respect. They can commission David Hwang and me to meet through your critics and an interview. Not face to face. I don’t tolerate the proximity of Ornamental Orientals. Tolerance and understanding is a critic’s job. My job is writing. Writing is fighting.

Your magazine will need money to run and last three years. That money to include a commission and expenses for as many name writers as there are issues of the mag.

Amy Tan let’s loose on Pool’s Black Widow Jeanette Lee! One way or the other, I’m salacious enough to be interested in what she might say.


The name writers and the people they visit are come-on’s to get the mag into yellow reader’s hands. I wouldn’t mind spending a week with Jeanette Lee the Korean Black Widow and champion of the women’s 9 ball pool, if Amy Tan turns you down. She was the lone Yellow ten years ago. Today there are Asian women competing in the American 9Ball from China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan.

Ah-Leon, a sculptor from Taiwan and shows regularly in the US. An AAWriter or artist or I visits him for a week. See how he sets a show or works at a studio. How he makes his fired clay look like other materials. His "Bridge" looks like wood and rusty nails. His short wooden Japanese table, topped with a teacup and a tray of sushi and chopsticks, all made of fired clay, and his teapots with tree branches growing out of its clay show the artist is a thinker. At least he has a sense of humor I’ve never seen expressed before.

Another name writer – say Ben Fong Torres, former editor of ROLLING STONE and an observer of behind the scenes in the media for the S.F. Chronicle. You’ve heard of him, right? The Oakland boy who fancies himself knowledgeable about music goes to Lincoln School in Oakland, Ca and spends a week with the teacher of Chinese opera with a company of CA’s kids performing Peking opera, and a talented black student who’s taken the student company to China.

Send your staff writers to the city the name writer lights in, and measure its temperature for Asians and Asian things. Their articles give your magazine news value. The fictions that you feature. One serialized novel. Two shorts. Started off by the name writer’s look at another yellow artist. Gus Lee looks at fellow San Franciscan Margaret Cho appearing in Denver.


A real AAMag would reveal the story of the white racist yellow N.Y. editor soliciting Chinese to write unflattering portrayals of Chinese-American institutions like the tongs, who didn’t care about facts or the real. The editor only cared about “good writing.” This editor’s name is protected by the white publishing fraternity. Yes, the frat is corrupt and protects this white racist. Would they protect an editor at a New York house who let a book through that said George Washington shot Abraham Lincoln at the Booth Theatre?

This Ornamental Oriental’s name has grown as the fake has grown in American publishing. Yes, I was one of the writers the editor approached. I declined the honor of being an Ornamental Oriental.

An AA mag would look at the accepted white racist behavior that characterizes the Ornamental Oriental editor, and note the strange lack of Yellow critics and the rise in the number AAwriters being accepted by whites. What does AALit without AALit critics mean?

A year ago Lt. Ehren Watada’s court martial for disobeying a military order to deploy to Iraq, was declared a mistrial by the Army. The Army hasn’t yet set a trial date. In fact, the Army’s done nothing since. He’s left in limbo, at Ft. Lewis, near Tacoma, a city seen as definitively Japanese American by Japan’s Kafu Nagai, between the Yellows of Portland and Seattle. What have they done, or what are they doing on his behalf? They must be doing something. I would know if AA’s had a real magazine.

Momo Yashima, of L.A. is doing something. She comes from an activist family of artists led by her father Taro and Mitsu Yashima, and has put together the resisters the JACL has devoted thirty years to saying never existed till they appeared, more Japanese and more American than the openly white racist JACL. The resisters are still active and activists for the same civil rights they won after being freed from prison. They were treated better in the Federal pen than at the “Relocation Centers.” That says something. To an AA that says a lot.

She and the resisters give voice to JA works and govt docs of the period, and her brother Mako appears from a computer hard drive singing SONG OF CHEYENNE, a song sung to the melody of a Hawaiian work song, written in jail by 263 resisters awaiting what’s being touted as the largest criminal trial in Wyoming history. All this in a 90 minute presentation: A DIVIDED COMMUNITY. She has taken A DIVIDED COMMUNITY from place to place in the last two years and have you heard about it? The reason you haven’t heard about what’s happening in AA is there is no AAMag.

An AAMag would publish the script to A DIVIDED COMMUNITY and would do a story and interview with Momo Yashima about the show, her family, Mako, art and activism, and the importance of keeping the memory of the resisters alive, as long as there's a JA left.

What else could an AAMag do that a white mag couldn’t?

How about a piece designed to get Yellow artists into activist's gear. An AAMag could run an ad soliciting JA artists to speak for the JA people and create a work of art to the Heart Mt Fair Play Committee. The JA’s enjoy their civil rights thanks to the resisters against the JACL. Yes, Portland’s famous JACL leader, Min Yasui resisted a military order and stood against the JACL. Now he is remembered as the JACL’s resister and a traitor of the resistance by the resisters.
A mag could run a campaign to raise money for the art work, and to find an JA artist to sculpt, paint, make a permanent artwork representing the draft resisters and their dependence on Heart Mountain's organized resistance, for guidance. This artwork to be contributed by a JA individual or group or the newspaper to an art museum, or an individual who will donate it to a museum or school or....

An AA mag would solicit names of JA artists. Any media. Any form. Interview the artists in the mag. And do articles on the artists in contention for the commission. Why they want to do the project or why they don't want to be considered for it. Articles on who's going to judge the choice of artist? A panel of JA's. Stories on the judges. The JA newspapers haven’t done any of this. Does that mean JA has died in the JA artists that remain?

And literary critics of course – Asian-American lit critics or whites who know Asian-lit and Ameri-European lit.

The lit crit should look at vanity publications and self-publication. Dr. Clifford Uyeda, the who lent the JACL the dignity of a JA champion of Tokyo Rose, and convinced new JACL members that the JACL was sincere in their redress campaign, has self-published an autobiography. His writing style is a century of difference from his spoken style, as recorded and transcribed in my BORN IN THE USA. William Hohri, the leader of National Committee for Japanese American Redress who sued the govt for $200,000 plus for twenty causes, that forced congress to pass redress for a mere $20,000 mooting the lawsuit. He has published “The Lim Report” and a book of interviews with Frank Emi, Yosh Kuromiya, Mits Koshiyama of the draft resistance organized by the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee.

I received a copy of Yukio Kawaratani’s, self-published RELUCTANT SAMURAI in the mail. He has not a bad word to say about the JACL, but he sent his book to me, the “Chinaman” as Yuji Ichioka, the late UCLA defender of the JACL called me. He mistakenly thought it was a term of derision. Was Yuji Ichioka consulted before the JACL hired a Chinese scholar of their own to research the camps and the JACL?

A JAcritic should examine why Kawaratani sent his book to me.

Yukio Kawaratani was 13 interned at Tule Lake, and had three brothers serving in the army. His mother, Yukio and the three brothers decided to stay in the US in 1943 when the gov required all internees to answer every question of the Leave Clearance Registration Form, including Questions 27 & 28.

His father had been a prisoner in a Justice Dept camp and released to Tule Lake. “He no longer trusted the United States government and felt that the entire family would be better off living together in Japan. Imagine his anger and disappointment when he learned that Mama, at the urging of Takashi and Hide, decided not to with him! She went against the wishes of her husband for the sake of his children. Now, he, Tadao and Skip would be alone in war torn Japan.”

You might have noticed that there has never been a Japanese-American critic (or a CAcritic) in the sixty years since camp. Why are AA’s scared of criticizing their own? The obvious answer glaring us in face: the managers of camp, Christianity disguised as science, Sociology and the JACL edited and white supervised camp newspapers, that everybody knew were fronts for white supremacy.

The JAs were mad dogs and had to put in the pound. The obedient Chinese wore buttons and voluntarily kept to the kennel. All the Yellows were dogs. The CA’s of San Francisco were the first to turn belly up and offer themselves as Ornaments to white supremacy. The 120,000 mainland JA’s went into camp and 120, 313 came out in 1945. The JACL’s Mike Masaoka made a promise as a Jr. G-Man to the US that the Japs would quickly and cheerfully go extinct. They didn’t go that quickly but with JACL induced ignorance, they went cheerfully. The JA pop went under 100,000 and into the realm of racial extinction a few years ago. Then down to 92,000 five years ago. Today the JA pop is 90,000, even including the padding of Hawaii.

A JA critic would show the world that the JA’s knew who they were and knew the names of their heroes and traitors.

I’d like to see Asian music critics discuss the tilt of AAartists to jazz, and the lack of Cantonese and Peking opera while the clubs singing the arias… But first the AAcritics have to learn the opera the whites taught them to ignore. Most have never heard much less attended an opera, and are too old to learn. The music critics have to be cultivated when they’re young like the company of students learning the opera cold in Oakland. If the current young black star can be convinced to set aside singing long enough to explain his attraction to the opera, he or another member of the company might be the critic the AAMag needs.

Does AsianAmerica know about the Luck Ngai Music Club on Weller St. in Seattle? It has gone from a group of retired opera professionals and amateurs presenting three or four, five hour long, fully costumed productions of opera a year, to zero full productions and a club of homesick individuals singing an aria for nostalgia’s sake.

A magazine piece might attract an Asian musician to the opera. What’s the difference between a tourist piece and an Asian-American piece on the same subject?

An editor. A magazine is not a democracy. Newspapers and magazines are run by “Stylebooks” that dictate that “Chinaman” is a pejorative term not to be used unless it occurs in a quote between quotation marks and that “Chinese-American” is the term acceptable in this magazine, newspaper…. Violation of the Stylebook will result in firing. I would hope the Stylebook of an AAMag would be different, very different absolutely different from the white racist Stylebooks currently in use by the white racist magazines and newspapers.



Realistically, there’s no reason whites can’t be critics in an Asian American mag as long as they know the Asian children’s story to match their American side. It is knowledge after all. The critics job is to make the work of the writer clear to reader.

If knowledge of Chinese children stories is all that anybody need have to pass for Chinese, what’s to stop whites from writing Chinese works? Nothing.

Being yellow didn’t stop us from learning the white children’s stories. There are Yellows that know JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, THE UGLY DUCKLING as sanctifying their childhood as American. There’s nothing stopping whites from learning ours, except white religion, white tradition, the white prejudice of Bill Moyers, and President Bill Clinton’s Humanities medal to Kingston for making our story Ornamental Orientalia.

Timothy Mo had to be born and raised in the streets of Hong Kong to achieve the knowledge to write SOUR SWEET and THE MONKEY KING. Two remarkable books. AAS wrongfully neglects his works because he’s white. He is the reverse of us. Whites reject us as “American” writers because we’re Yellow. And the AA’s ignore him because he’s white. AAcritics are needed to stand between the writers and the readers of every book.

The rules of Christian Sociology and AAS don’t apply to the real world reading a book. Taking the measure of what a book says and it’s style book by book, author by author seems too scarey for any AAEnglish student, so there are no AAcritics. Meantime the whites wind up and loose another Ornamental Oriental every five years.


THE TWIN GIRLS, Leah and Fontaine, about twelve years old, and Brook their younger brother, spread out their sleeping bags in my large front room, climbed in and asked Uncle Frank for a story. A story they couldn't hear, from anyone else but me. One of my stories.

They often spent the night at my place while their mother was out working. In the mornings we would walk downhill to Grant Street and mingle with the crowd of Chinese and Italians and people living in fantasy worlds of their own creation, past Adler Alley Lawrence Ferlinghetti's [Lawremce Ferlinghetti (1919- ) Born in Yonkers, New York. The owner of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. City Lights was the gathering place of the “Beat Generation.” Ferlinghetti is himself a poet, whose most popular work is A CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND (ca 1950)], City Lights Bookstore, had the City rename for Jack Kerouac. [Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) Born a French-Canadian, Lowell, Masscuhsetts he made his name with the 1957 publication of his novel ON THE ROAD]

Does Ferlinghetti know what Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg [Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) Born in Paterson, Jew Jersey. Ginsberg with the publication of HOWL! By Ferlinghetti’s City Lights, assumes the poetic top of the Beat Generation with Kerouac “stream of consciousness” prose.] leeringly thought of Chinese boys in Chinatown? Does he know what they said to Chinese boys in Chinatown? I do.

Step into San Francisco, cross the street and you're alive, a thousand miles, a thousand worlds away. Peter Maccharini, a beret and a whitening mustache, and always well dressed in a jacket, was a jewelry maker, with a shop on Grant, a block down from the shop of S. Paul Gee, a more vociferous and outlandish jewelry maker. There was Niño Bernardo, the midwestern American devotee of the flamenco guitar of Sabicas [Sabicas (1912—1990) Born Augustin Castellon) in Pamplona, Spain. Sabicas was a flamenco guitarist who left Spain in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, with dancer Carmen Amaya to South America. Many musicians fled Spain, like classical guitarists, Andres Segovia, and Celedonio Romero, cellist Pablo Casals, refused to perform in Spain under the dictator Francisco Franco. Once Franco died and Spain was semi-democratic again, they returned to their homeland. Sabicas returned to Spain in 1967.]. Always expected to take over New York or make his name in Spain, but always living somewhere in North Beach, and always playing somewhere on Grant or Columbus Avenue. David Jones [David Jones (1941) aka David Serva, now known as David Jenkins because “Jones” in the language of where he had moved was a bad word. He is back in the San Francisco Bay Area and still playing Flamenco.], of Berkeley, seemed the spirit of Flamenco everything- guitar, singing, dancing- in San Francisco, and then he went to Spain and became a Spaniard, and left a hole in San Francisco. Freddie Mejia [Anteola Mejia (1940- ) is married and playing and teaching in Santa Cruz, California.] the Filipino with a Spanish sounding name, was a player, who partnered with David Jones, every now and then. He's an extraordinary guitarist, he can play solo or with anybody, and he's a guitar repairman and maker extraordinaire, but only when he feels like it. There he is, with a new beautiful girlfriend. He gets by on her dreams and her money. Maybe this time…

There were the people who defined the street by their presence that I had no reason to talk to, but I would miss them, if they weren't here every day. And there were the people I talked to and the people that knew me by sight and I knew them to see them. We showed passing recognition in our eyes. We had no need to talk, or jump into each other’s business.

The kids' mother would come by, or most often, she would phone and meet us at Malvina's coffee house, where she sat alert and erect would chatter away about the crowd, and the changes happening to the neighborhood. The twins, and Brook would have a quick chocolate, and zip! they'd be gone. And I'd spend a long time waking up over a cappuccino. Or I'd walk with the kids to Chinatown, through a crowd of whites and into a crowd of yellows and meet their mom for a Chinese lunch. In San Francisco there was always a crowd. What happens tomorrow, happens.
Except for now. There was just us. My apartment was the top apartment, at the top the hill and it was late. Above the crowds. Too late for the crowds. And they asked for a story they hadn't heard before. And they wanted the story to be a scary story.


And nowwwoo…

time forrr…


ONCE UPON A TIME, there were three little children. One was named Leah. And two was named Fontaine. And the third was named Brook.

Late one day, their mother called them into the bedroom, where she was brushing her hair. She said, "Brook, Fontaine, Leah. Your daddy and mommy are going out dancing tonight. But before we go, would like you to go down to the grocery store and buy us some peanuts.

"And make sure you get home before it gets dark outside, because tonight is the night, the Big Chicken comes out!"

"And whatever you do, do not take the shortcut home, through the graveyard, because that is where the Big Chicken lives."

Leah, Fontaine, and Brook went down to the grocery store, found the aisle with the peanuts and got into a big argument. Mommy did not say what kind of peanuts to buy. And there were peanuts in bags, peanuts in sacks cans, peanuts in jars. Salted peanuts. Unsalted peanuts. Peanuts in the shell and peanuts out of the shell. There were roasted peanuts, salt roasted peanuts, honey roasted peanuts, and boiled peanuts. There were even raw peanuts.

There were Texas peanuts, and California peanuts. There were Georgia peanuts and Carolina peanuts and Florida peanuts. Peanuts from Mexico even peanuts from Africa. Fancy peanuts and cocktail peanuts and peanuts mixed with other nuts.

Finally they decided to buy a can of salted cocktail peanuts. And when they got outside the store, it was dark!

"Let's take the shortcut home through the graveyard," said Brook.

"But the big chicken lives there," said Leah.

"Ay yay yay yah," said Fontaine.

"Don't be scared. There's no big chicken," said Brook.

So, Leah, and Fontaine and Brook went walking in the graveyard. The moon was up, and they could see their shadows stretch from their feet and slip over the grass and the headstones and the graves in front of them, as they walked down one hill and up another.

Then they saw this big shadow come up behind them and cover their shadows. And they heard, "Buck-Buck! Buck-Buck!"

"What'd you say, Brook?" Leah asked.

"I didn't say anything. It must have been Fontaine," Brook said.

"I…I…I didn't hear anything," Fontaine said.

And Brook, Fontaine, and Leah looked in front of them and still couldn't see their shadows. And they heard, a little louder, "BUCK-BUCK! BUCK-BUCK!"

"Did you hear that, Fontaine?" Brook said.

"I…I…I" Fontaine said chattering his teeth.

"Turn around and see what it is," Leah said.

"I'm not turning around!" Fontaine said.

"Brook? Would…would you turn around? And see if there's anything behind us?"

And Brook slowly turned around and took a look over his shoulder. And he saw the BIG CHICKEN! It had toes as big as Cadillac's. It's legs were as large as telephone poles! Its body was as big as a McDonald's. It's head was as large as a UPS truck. And it had an EYE as big around as a manhole cover! And Brook said, "Run!"

And they ran. Ran up the hills and down the hills. Ran out of the graveyard and into the street. Ran down the street and into their house. They put the cocktail peanuts in the kitchen and ran up the stairs, into the bedroom. They hid under Leah's bed. And waited. And listened.

They heard the Big Chicken walk into the house. "BUCK-BUCK!"

They heard the Big Chicken walk into the kitchen. "BUCK-BUCK!"

The Big Chicken ate the peanuts. "Buck-buck."

The Big Chicken ate everything in the refrigerator. Then the Big Chicken ate the refrigerator! The Big Chicken ate the cupboards, the stove, the sink. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate up all the furniture in the living room.

They heard the Big Chicken climbing the stairs. "Buck-buck!"

They heard the Big Chicken walk into Mom and Dad’s room. It ate up Dad’s golf clubs. “Buck-Buck.” It ate all Mom’s shoes. “Buck-Buck.” It ate their big bed! “Buck-Buck.”

They heard the Big Chicken walk into the bathroom. "Buck-Buck!"

It ate up the toilet! "Buck-Buck!" It ate up the shower, and the tub, and the sink. "Buck-Buck!" It ate up the medicine chest. "Buck-Buck!"

Then they heard the Big Chicken walk the into Leah's room. "Buck-Buck!" It looked at the Leah's dolls. "Buck-Buck!" And ate them up. It looked at the Leah' chest of drawers. "Buck-Buck!" And ate that. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken saw Leah’s bed! "Buck-Buck!" It came closer, and looked.

"Uhhhh!" Leah said.

"Shhh!" Brook said.

The Big Chicken ate the bed quilt. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the blankets. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the sheets. "Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the mattress! "Buck-buck! Buck-Buck!"

The Big Chicken ate the box springs! "Buck-buck." There were the kids under the bed. "Buck-buck!" The Big Chicken looked at Brook! "Buck-Buck!" The Big Chicken looked at Fontaine! "Buck-Buck!" The Big Chicken…Boo!


(*) -Le manoir de Rosamonde
published 1894

by Henri Duparc (1848-1933) ,

De sa dent soudaine et vorace,
Comme un chien l'amour m'a mordu...
En suivant mon sang répandu,
Va, tu pourras suivre ma trace...

Prends un cheval de bonne race,
Pars, et suis mon chemin ardu,
Fondrière ou sentier perdu,
Si la course ne te harasse!

En passant par où j'ai passé,
Tu verras que seul et blessé
J'ai parcouru ce triste monde.

Et qu'ainsi je m'en fus mourir
Bien loin, bien loin, sans découvrir
Le bleu manoir de Rosamonde.

Rosamonde's Manor-House

(translated by Peter Low)

Love, like a dog, has bitten me
with its sudden, voracious teeth...
Come, the trail of spilt blood
will enable you to follow my tracks.

Take a horse of good pedigree
and set off on the arduous route I took,
through swamps and overgrown paths,
if that's not too exhausting a ride for you!

As you pass where I passed,
you will see that I travelled
alone and wounded through this sad world,

and thus went off to my death
far, far away, without ever finding
Rosemonde's blue manor-house.


INTERVIEW WITH MAXINE HONG KINGSTON. 1986. By Kay B Bonetti. PP 33-46 in CONVERSATIONS WITH MAXINE HONG KINGSTON. Edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin. University Press of Mississippi. Jackson. (1998)

STORIES FROM CHINESE MYHTHOLOGY Translated and edited from Yuan Ke’s Newly Edited Mythical Stores and Translation of a Hundred Selected Myths by Ke Wen-ii & Hou Mei-xue. Nankai U Press.

CREATION OF THE GODS. Translated by Gu Zhizhong. New World Press. Beijing (1992)

TAI KUNGS SECRET TEACHINGS, in THE SEVEN MILITARY CLASSICS OF ANCIENT CHINA, translation and commentary by Ralph D. Sawyher with Mei-chun Sawyer. Westview Press . Boulder (1993)

THREE KINGDOMS A Historical Novel. Attributed to Luo Guanzhong. Translated from the Chinese with Afterword and Notes by Moss Roberts. Foreign Languages Press/U of California Press. Beijing/Berkeley. (1994)

THREE KINGDOMS China’s Epic Drama by Lo Kuan-chung. Translated and edited by Moss Roberts. Pantheon Books. New York. (1976)

ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS. San Guo Yan Yi. Luo Guan Zhong. Translated by C.H. Brewitt-Taylor. Kelly & Walsh. Shanghai (1925) Graham Brash. Singapore (1985)

OUTLAWS OF THE MARSH by Shi Nai’an and Luo Guanzhong. Translated by Sidney Sahpiro. Foreign Languages Press Beijing. (1980)

WATER MARGIN. Written by Shih Nai-an. Translated by J.H. Jackson. Commercial Press Ltd. Shanghai. (1937)

JOURNEY TO THE WEST, by Wu Cheng’en. Translated by W. J. F. Jenner. Foreign Language Press. Beijing. (1982)

JOURNEY TO THE WEST, translated and edited by Anthony C. Yu. U of Chicago Press. Chicago. 1980

GENERAL YUE FEI. A novel by Qian Cai of the Qing Dynasty. Translated by T. L. Yang. Joint Publishing (H.K.) Co., Ltd. (1995)

Comic book companies that have printings of all titles and more

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Thomson P.O. Box 16
Singapore 9157


CHINESE RESTAURANTS, Director-Narrator Chuek Kwan. 15 half hour episodes. TISSA FILMS, Toronto, Canada Tel: +1.416.804.1527 Fax +1.416.231.7532 E-mail:

Frank Chin , by John Goshert. Boise: Boise State University Western Writers Series, 2002.

"Frank Chin Is Not a Part of This Class! Thinking at the Limits of Asian American Literature." By John Goshert. Jouvert 4.3 (May 2000): unpaginated article (39 paragraphs).

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