Dim Sum

Weathered faces beam across the table

as steam rises from bamboo baskets

which hold the treasures of Ha Gao,

Ha Churn, and that weird gray stuff

that looks like cut up brains.

(It’s actually cow intestines.)

 

Tea spills over cups as liquor

rides a rush through myveins.

They laugh at the dropped food

from shaky chopsticks,

they laugh at the As

that should have been A plusses.

 

Peanuts dipped in sesame sauce

is redundant, like dipping my black curly hair

into my chinky eyes.

They are made of the same damn thing.

 

Full blooded cousins tell me I don’t belong,

I never have, with my lack of an accent,

my lack of demurring, my lack

my lack

my lack

my lack.

I’ll tell you what I fucking lack.

That “oh whatever you want to do,

is fine, honey” that springs

to their lips as soon as

confrontation hits.

 

That “I’m really good at math

but I can’t pronounce my R’s,

ha ha ha”

 

That hate for the mutts,

of those people who had the balls

to escape from the misogynistic culture

by marrying into another, slightly less

shitty culture.

 

That Asian culture,

where a man brings home the bacon

and the women tries everything

available to her to stay

stupid

and

pretty.

 

I’ll take my curly off jet black hair,

my big tits and my handful ass,

my lack of accent and lack of self-hate,

my light wood eyes…

I’ll stay pretty,

but I won’t be stupid.

Garbage

His glare is pronounced

under prominent brows.

They arch like cats

as they stretch their backs.

The hair on my neck points

towards Polaris.

 

What have I done,

that was so very wrong?

 

Cotton dyed plaid bunches

around flabby biceps

as he pictures bending and breaking

a neck, an arm, a leg, a finger.

Since the moment I was born,

disposable garbage.

 

But garbage can’t earn a diploma,

garbage can’t tell you you’re wrong,

garbage can’t have a mind of it’s own,

a will that doesn’t bend to your fists

or your words

or your hate.

 

But garbage can fight back,

can’t I, Daddy?

Ars Poetica

Somedays I can’t speak.
The words shrivel up in my throat
and my lips shut tight.
But they are there.
Racing through my synapses,
playing tag behind my eyes.

I see letters, jumbled and
heart wrenchingly lonely.
They need to be solid,
not just volleyed breaths.
But am I solid?
Am I worth more than a glance?

Thoughts are beautiful,
but I’m not.
Words can sing,
I sound like a drowning cat.
Letters fly and tumble like acrobats.
I’d rather not.

But there’s no denying
that sense of peace that
your fingers register,
and it travels to your brain,
as your eyes fasten their sights
on the tip of lead touching paper.

The scritch-scratch of loops
and cursives on something pristine.
The way the wind rustles and
crinkles a leaflet.
I won’t stop indulging
in my favorite vice.

Sad Girl’s Love Song (Sylvia Plath Imitation)

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead,

I lift swollen lids and nothing is right, again.

(I wish I made you up inside my head.)

 

The stars are marching in formation, blue and red,

And lovely blackness waltzes in,

I shut my eyes, and all the world drops dead.

 

I love how you bewitched me into bed,

And sung me awe-struck, kissed me back to sane.

(I wish I made you up inside my head.)

 

Seraphs fall from the sky, heaven’s light wanes.

Exodus of hateful foolish men.

I shut my eyes, and all the world drops, dead.

 

I know you’ll return, like you said.

I grow cold and whisper your name.

(I wish I made you up, inside my head.)

 

 

I couldn’t have loved any in your stead.

When spring comes, we’ll begin again.

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead,

(I think I made you up inside my head.)

It Starts like That

He stands by the counter,

coffee cascading into the mug

he holds with a white knuckled grip.

It starts small like that.

 

A drop rebels from the waterfall,

splashes up and over the lip of its predestined

pool, lands on the skin of his finger.

It starts quiet like that.

 

A hiss, the world has betrayed him,

symbolized by that insignificant little drop—

that insignificant little daughter.

It starts, insignificant, like that.

 

Turning, furious, pupils dilate

(fight! fight! never flight!)

the mug crashes against the wall.

It starts with a crash, like that.

 

He thunders like a stormcloud,

shrouding the room in bright white

rage. Stares at the brown splatter

he’s made.

The roaring dulls, then escalates to

a lion defending his territory.

Claws were never sheathed.

Hatred never veiled.

Fists tighten and smash into immovable objects.

He is an unstoppable force.

 

When will you learn?

It doesn’t start like that.

It just never

stopped.

Medicated

My mind was full of things and sounds untold,
for months I hid myself away from light.
“She’s young, not bright, a foolish bird, but bold.”
My hands will block my hopeful eyes from sight.

I long to hear the golden bells in song.
The night has lasted long and hopeless dark
has conquered sight, made speech a hiss, so wrong.
The tune has come to still, a dead mute lark.

To touch, to grieve, this pain it lasts too long.
Like anguished screams this dark surrounds us all.
“Just stop, sit down, relax, rip that glass bong.”
My eyes are red but now I don’t feel small.

Man, all I need is more cool ranch cheese chips.
But first, lemme just take a few more rips.

Generation Write

I write because I was born into a generation that was taught to perform from an early age. We were taught that if we didn’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all (unless it was “constructive”, then you were to refer to something called “tact.”) We were taught that our opinions mattered and that every individual deserved the right to free speech. We were taught that someone, somewhere would benefit from our insights and our god given opinions. We were taught that everyone should be treated with the same amount of dignity.

            We learned from a young age that out instructors were liars. We learned that based on physical attributes, people will respond to you in different ways. We learned that our generation was always going to be labelled as “attention-seeking” by the very same people who encouraged this behavior when we were younger. We learned that nobody really cared about what we think. We learned that once we started developing our own opinions and perspectives rather than spewing out the exact same things as the generation before us, we were considered “entitled.” But most importantly, we learned that equality can only be found in fiction.

            I write because I need to. I was taught to express myself, yet I was shunned for doing so. By writing, I fulfill this need for self-expression while avoiding the instant rejection that comes with speaking your opinion out loud.

Socio-political concerns aside, the personal reason why I write is quite simple. I am an emotionally stunted person and can only seem to process emotionally charged situations by writing about them. Otherwise, I would need a lot of therapy. However, therapy fails to compare to the calm that surrounds my constant state of panic once I put a pen to paper. Watching the ink bleed out of the pen and onto an unblemished sheet of white lulls my mind to a soundless place where anything can happen or be written about. There is no one to offend when you’re alone with your writing, no matter how controversial or touchy your topics may be.

            By writing, I attempt to understand the world and all its fallacies. I attempt to understand myself and how I feel about things that confuse me instead of walking around without an ounce of self-knowledge. Writing allows me to compartmentalize things that would otherwise baffle and disturb me. Seeing my words form on paper is just as therapeutic as screaming at the top of my lungs or punching a hole into a blameless wall; just much less violent and it produces less sound.

            Writing allows me to slightly lessen the sense of betrayal that comes with realizing I was misled into believing I was special in a sea of people who were taught the exact same thing.