Yidan Han

  Contributing Editor:
  Kyle David Anderson

Philip Schultz

Philip Schultz is the author of several collections of poetry, including Failure (Harcourt, 2007), winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His other collections include The God of Loneliness: New and Selected Poems (2010), Living in the Past (2004), and The Holy Worm of Praise (2002). He is also the author of Deep Within the Ravine (1984) and Like Wings (1978).



Peter Feng


Peter Feng was born in Chongqing, China, in 1979. He has received a Ph.D degree in literature from Nanjing University and currently teaches English at Jinan University. He has co-translated A Journey through the Chinese Empire, Intimate China, and The Web and the Rock, and co-written a book of poems Cruel Poetry (forthcoming). His study includes poetry, psychoanalysis, and contemporary philosophy.

The God of Loneliness


It's a cold Sunday February morning and I'm one of eight men waiting for the doors of Toys R Us to open in a mall on the eastern tip of Long Island. We've come for the Japanese electronic game that's so hard to find. Last week, I waited three hours for a store in Manhattan to disappoint me. The first today, bundled in six layers, I stood shivering in the dawn light reading the new Aeneid translation, which I hid when the others came, stamping boots and rubbing gloveless hands, joking about sacrificing sleep for ungrateful sons. "My boy broke two front teeth playing hockey," a man wearing shorts laughs. "This is his reward." My sons will leap into my arms, remember this morning all their lives. "The game is for my oldest boy, just back from Iraq," a man in overalls says from the back of the line. "He plays these games in his room all day. I'm not worried, he'll snap out of it, he's earned his rest." These men fix leaks, lay foundations for other men's dreams without complaint. They've been waiting in the cold since Aeneas founded Rome on rivers of blood. Virgil understood that death begins and never ends, that it's the god of loneliness. Through the window, a clerk shouts, "We've only five." The others seem not to know what to do with their hands, tuck them under their arms, or let them hang, naked and useless. Is it because our hands remember what they held, the promises they made? I know exactly when my boys will be old enough for war. Soon three of us will wait across the street at Target, because it's what men do for their sons.


二月寒冷的星期天清晨, 长岛东角,有八个人站在商场 的玩具反斗城外等着开门, 我是其中一个。 我们来这儿买一种很难买的 日本电子游戏。上周,我在 曼哈顿的一个店里等了三个小时, 失望而归。今天我是第一个, 我身上裹了六层,在曙光下发抖, 读新译的埃涅阿斯纪,有人来我就 把书藏起。跺脚的靴子与 摩擦的赤裸的双手,开玩笑说如何 为不知感恩的儿子牺牲睡眠。“我孩子 打冰球时撞掉两颗门牙,”一个 穿短裤的男人笑道,“这算是补偿。” 我的孩子将跃入我怀里,终身记得 这个清晨。“这游戏是给大儿子买的, 刚从伊拉克回来,”后面一个 穿工作裤的男人说,“他成天在屋里 玩游戏,我并不担心,他应休息, 他会振作的。”这些人都是修理工, 毫无怨言地为别人的梦想打基础。 自从埃涅阿斯在血河上建立罗马, 这些人就一直等在寒冷里。 维吉尔知道,死亡开始后 就不会停止,它是孤独之神。 一个职员隔着窗大喊:“只有五个。” 大家的手不知往哪儿放,折在胳膊下 或任它垂着,赤裸的无用的手。是因为 我们的手记得曾握住的?因为它的诺言? 我很清楚我的孩子何时成年何时入伍。 很快,我们中的三个人 将在街对面的目标折扣店排队, 这是父亲该为儿子做的。

Copyright © 2005-2020 by Poetrysky.com. All rights reserved.