Lin Wanyu

Translated from the Taiwanese Mandarin by Yin-Shan Hsu

Fairy Tales

What bothers Little Red Riding Hood the most
is that she prefers the blue hood.
But grandma said, “little girls should only wear hoods in red.”

Sleeping Beauty is rather tired.
She wants to go on sleeping.
But despite this
someone insisted on kissing her.

Ever since that time the woodcutter found the gold and silver axe,
there's hundreds of axeheads
living under the lake.

The first little pig built a frail house.
The second little pig built a radioactive house.
The big bad wolf fell into the stove of the third little pig’s house
So now the third little pig’s house
is a haunted house.

The frog prince doesn't care much for married life with the princess.
He'd rather to turn back into the frog he used to be.
A frog who was single.

The boy who cried wolf shouted, “Wolf! Wolf!”
But this time no one believed him.
The wolf ran to its friend and said, “Oh my god. I just saw a human!”

The first prize of the tortoise and hare race
was a box of carrots.
Slowly the turtle carried the carrots from the finish line
and brought them to the rabbit asleep on the side of the road.

Multiple Choice

“We should break up.”
He said
with his sad face.
At this point, should I:
           1. Put on heavy makeup, go to the sea, then run miserably in high heels on the beach like the woman in the music video.
           2. Raise a half-glass of wine, gaze at the wineglass with tears spilling down my face as the woman did in the music video.
           3. Complain: “you stole my line.”
           4. Go to bed early, wake up a better person.
           5. Go to the library, spend the afternoon reading books by Nietzsche and Kant.
           6. Go racing and head for the overlook at Tamsui. Shed three streaks of tears while gazing at the sea. One for the right eye, two for the left.
           7. All of the above (Do it all.)
           8. None of the above (Do none of it.)

Lin Wanyu (b. 1977) is a poet and lyricist from Taiwan, and the author of four books of poetry. Her works have received numerous awards, including the 11th Taipei Literature Award, the Lin Rung-San Literary Award, the Global Times Literary Award, and the 2014 Taiwan Literary Annual poetry award. She lives in Taipei.

Yin-Shan Hsu is a translator of modern Chinese poetry. Her translations include a chapbook which accompanied Angie Pai’s exhibition, “Gravity of Thought.”

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