Shao Wei

Language Is a Form of Walking, Even at Age of 87 and Three, in One Story
February 25, 2022 Wei Shao

Language Is a Form of Walking, Even at Age of 87


At 30, she learns to rewrite herself in a phonetic language,

translates her pictograph childhood into adulthood
in letters.

By deleting words, changing the syntax, reversing order…
sharing paper stories in the wrong syllables.

First Christmas Eve language is walking:
elder black man, homeless, says,
Hi, pretty, smile, it’s YOUR face.

She tries but fails this form. He says Man. Shakes his head, throwing
a huge black trash bag at her feet.


In Waltz steps, he leaves with
Merry Christmas!



  1. One pair of extra-large leather boots
  2. One XXL Christian Dior cashmere coat




Three, in One Story:

1. One day a poor man gets rich & buys gold rings, a gold watch, gold teeth

“Neighbors, you all are invited to my house for dinner at five”
He raised his watch & opened his mouth while
pointing at his sparkling teeth with his sparklingly ringed fingers

Yet, his feet were bare without SHOES
No walk was his

2. A man is playing chess with two friends
They are drinking wine without meat, so
one cuts his right ear, says to make a cold dish with the sliced ear
Another friend cuts his left ear
The selfish one looks at the table & sees
a piece of sesame in the table crack
“Look,” he beats the table & sesame flies into his mouth

Then he plucks two hairs from his both ears & says:
“Here are two hairs to go with your two ears”

Wan Xian would have | has | had three roads:
Victory Road to the West Three Horse Road to the East

Two Horse Road to
the northwest

The third-floor window faced a huge pagoda tree
Grandfather watched it grow, as his children grew
He gargled & watered it after each meal
worrying it might be too dry or summer, too long

Shao Wei grew up with her grandfather by the Yangtze River in China and came to the United States in 1996. She earned a MA in Creative Writing from New York University, a MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at UT Austin, Ph.D. in from UT Dallas. Her books include Pulling A Dragon’s Teeth (Pitts Press) and a memoir, Homeland (Taipei).