Aion 1.2 (1971)
The issue also has poetry by Al Robles (a prominent Filipino American poet), Janice Mirikitani (the editor of Aion, who would go on to be a distinguished poet herself), Serafin Malay Syquia (another important Filipino poet), and a suite of poems by Lawson Inada. In 1971, Inada had a breakthrough when he published his book of poetry, Before the War, with a mainstream publisher (Morrow & Co.). The issue also has short stories by Toshio Mori, Jeffrey Chan (who would go on to co-edit Aiiieeeee! with Frank Chin and others), and S. Tagatec.
The issue includes an extensive photo essay from Vietnam as well as clippings from Ho Chi Minh -- part of a general mode of intense anti-war feeling that animated the Asian American movement in the early 1970s. I haven't annotated that more directly propagandistic anti-war material, focusing instead here on the literary works, poems and short stories, that were contributing to an emerging Asian American literary scene.
Highlights of this issue include:
- "I span the ages / of my 24 years" by Francis Oka.
- "Shades drawn tight / I crep around my room listening" by Francis Oka
- "Home" by Francis Oka (12/10/69)
- "America / I could have loved you" by Francis Oka
- "Reagan Poem" by Francis Oka (City Lights 3/16/69)
- "Sometimes, even the President of the United States..." by Francis Oka (City Lights 12/14/68)
- "He is dying..." by George Leong
- "On the President's Cambodian Press Conference" by Foo Gwah
- "Tansaku" by Janice Mirikitani
- "The Time is Now" by Janice Mirikitani
- "The Silent Minority" by Serafin (Serafin Malay Syquia)
- "Soon the white snow / will melt..." by Al Robles
- "Red's Place" by George Leong"
- "From Our Album" (Poem series) by Lawson Fusao Inada. Republished from Before the War (1971)
- "Sunrise" by Alan Lau
- "Homecoming" by Toshio Mori. Set during World War II. The story of a Japanese immigrant whose son enlists in the Army during World War II. After the war ends, he and his wife go to visit him in a military hospital in rural California, braving racism along the way.
- "Tomato Boxes" by S. Tagatec. A San Francisco street scene involving what appears to be two elderly white men cursing at the prostitutes that work in their neighborhood as well as a young man who they identify as a "queer."
- "Aunt Tsia Lies Dying" by Jeffrey Chan. A short story that reads almost like memoir. The narrator recalls his Aunt, a longtime San Francisco Chinatown resident, who had earlier been the proprietor of a tropical fish store -- the kind of place that sells goldfish to tourists. There's a strong interest in bridging the generational gap here -- between the generation that lived through World War II and the younger, activist generation with different priorities. (This story would be reprinted in the anthology Asian-American Authors )