diasporic memory

we act like that won't happen to us
like our lands haven't too been ravished
because we gave that up
for the safety
of
our family.
we rejoice at nightmarkets
festivals that dot the landscape
like stars in the sky

but we forget
that fireworks quickly turned into fires
thunders
and when we deny the violence that happens abroad

we inch our way further from home.

we're american
canadian
something new

but the people who make our clothes
but the people who grow our food

they   look   just   like
   us.
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a foreigner

i am a foreigner
 only, i don't know from which land
 i am foreign to.
 here, in a nation called "Canada"
 i am not treated as a citizen. though, i was born
here
and qualify by the rules.

i am treated as an outsider
 within my own people,
 gossip passed in front of me,
 like a bottle of wine
 around a young child.
contents forbidden.

and when i go back 'home'
 i cannot read the signs in my language,
 only in English.
 i need a translator
 to speak to my elders.

and, though i try to find a home in the name of
 "wanderer"
 i do not really go wandering.
 if anything, i am searching,
 purposefully looking with intent,
 but the results are not easy
and as i dig, and dig, and dig,
the deeper i go, &
the wider the hole.
the wider the hole.
the wider the hole.

no train to china

i'll never give up my history
to assimilate into a culture
that has forgotten its name
a culture whose web
of ancestry.com videos
tries to sell back family history
that was lost
because it was more convenient
not to have to carry ID.
the stories of my people
involve telling white people
with white tongues
how to fill out white papers.
a white stamp on our head
tax certificate: a white lie.
the least wanted:
the most documented
and white i white my story,
50, 100, 150 years later
white letters turn brown
in well-whited archives
listed addresses in the white pages
never white delivered
to village homes
in red china.

still,lost
grandfather's secrets murmur
beneath white
blankets on gold mountain,
under a fresh layer of
white noise.

This poem was inspired by the ACCESS community television broadcast series Uncovering Gold, which discusses Chinese-Canadian migration through a multimedia format. Part 1 can be found here: http://youtu.be/eP5dakbuXG8.

high society

“the master’s tools will never
dismantle
the master’s house
but we are not mere tools
so let us not speak of our troubles
yours
and mine
inside this castle..}
{this fortress
is fortified
by hands
crumbled under bricks
and lay against crushed clay mortar
as if moths between jars
and concrete;
metal hats
fit not our crowns
and royal jelly
dissolves our teeth.

our conversation
never meant was contained to be:
the word,when  &
the creator spoke silence
into nothingness

we are (and always halve been) -ness  and -ness
and -ness  and -ness,
less than a whole
but always together
more

———————
The beginning of the quote is the title of an essay on anti-racist, pro-queer feminism by Audre Lorde. The essay can be found here: http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/margins-to-centre/2006-March/000794.html