Agnes Vong

Agnes Vong Lai Ieng is a postgraduate student at the University of Macau, currently completing a thesis on Macao poetry. In 2006 Vong had three original poems (as well as some translations) in The Drunken Boat’s Chinese supplement. Vong was the assistant editor and a contributing poet for The University of Macau Poets’ Jubilee Anthology and a translator for a selection of Yao Feng’s poems in his recently published Faraway Song. She has just finished a collaborative project with Christopher Kelen on translations, variations and responses to the poetry of Xin Qiji. The resulting book, Spring Wind Brings the Fireworks – is in press with VAC in Chicago and expected to appear in the coming months. Vong’s own book of Macao poems is currently in preparation.



ying yang hotel

a mixture of water and milk
so the Chinese say

it sprang from a fragrant, milky bath
a white towel wrapped her black body
heat sucked up the water
sweating, gasping

a local paper, with compliments
women from afar
in red and black
smiled sweetly at his Rolex

under the blazing sun
half-naked men covered in mud
scaling bamboo, to and fro
sweating, gasping


lover of fairy tales

evening light
a valley of shadows

secrets between my footsteps and
the tangled bushes

a twig from the first branch
for the ash girl

a red apple
for the snowy white girl

a magic door
for the nosy girl

at the end of the valley
my grandmother’s grave


the composer

incense for Buddha
the only order in this pig sty

drink makes blur of reality
sickness of the heart

light burns brighter
the mountain turning grey

my final symphony
a prayer

my orchestra
carried away by a sparrow

and delivered to Buddha
burning incense for me