Friday, February 29, 2008

election-flavored poetry

black, white, whatever
by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

a humble memo to the candidates for the presidency of the united states of america:

dear campaign-trail-stomping, advertisement-fundraising, perfect-hair-having,
mudslinging-with-a-smile-so-as-to-not-make-it-look-like-mudslinging candidates for
the presidency of the united states of america in 2008, the year of our lord,

i, kelly zen-yie tsai, current resident of kings county, brooklyn, and previously of
precinct 47 on chicago’s south side would like to make a request for myself and
others like myself to be enumerated in all further speeches, debates, and
miscellaneous communications with the american public at large.

now, this could be in reference to our nation of ben and jerry’s chunky monkey ice
cream eaters or our nation of women under five foot one and a half with slightly
napoleonic tendencies, this could be in reference to our nation of salt ‘n pepa’s
blacks magic fans or those who have not yet learned to skateboard, this could be in
reference to our nation of janice dickinson modeling agency-watchers or beginning
gazpacho-makers, or vegetarians who have (unfortunately) recently turned pescetarian

and although these categories above would be accurate, the nation that i would like
you to refer to is even less of a statistical minority, and a fairly obvious one,
and that would be:


oh, oh, oh, i know you may balk about how many Asians you have taken money from or
how many Asian events you have attended, but in 2008, the year of our lord – i would
like to banish, in your words, the term: “black, white, whatever” to the garbage can
of mass media rhetoric forever.

even worse than this is, in your words:

“we believe in the rights of all people black, white, blue, purple, green, silver – “

now, i consider myself a fairly well-traveled and informed person and yet i don’t
think that blue or purple or green or silver people exist, but in fact, brown and
yellow and red people do.

we may not call ourselves these things, but if we are going to essentialize to the
colors of the rainbow and relegate ourselves to stuffing communities into these
sloppy pots. i would like to point out that “whatever” does not represent me, nor
does blue or purple or green or silver for that matter.

and you may scream well, we can’t talk about everybody’s problems and that much is
true, but i am a sucker for specificity and when it comes down to whether or not
i actually exist and furthermore whether my heart, my uterus, my tax return, and my
generation will be represented by your whack ass --

i would like to say: i’m real. i’m here. i’m voting. and believe me, this girl
is yellow.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

thinking this is WORd-nerd-THY

a poem-report (and a work in progress).

I overheard a horde of grad students discussing their current living situations. One lives off of the un-friendly side of Euclid Street. She noted the increasing amount of thefts and police presence abundance of black men that populate her neighborhood. This conversation became one of grading their students and evaluating campus climate. "I'm just gunna give all of my students As!" a T.A. says. As if alleviating a factor contributing to high stress levels would ensure your safety. That doesn't solve their problems, you dumb fuck. Doesn't. Solve. The. Problem.

Dekalb. (02/14/08)
Oxnard. (02/12/08)
Memphis. (02/11/08)
Baton Rouge. (02/08/08)
Portsmouth. (02/07/08)

5 U.S. school shootings over the past 8 days.

Quell a school plot conjured in Germany.
Quell another in France.

2 international plots foiled.

Remember Santee.
Remember Columbine.
Remember V-Tech...

..amongst the many.

This is not coincidence.
Why does the media cast these incidents as projects of pathology?
Pass off taxonomy as Truth
Classifying youth
Deduced to a faceless, nameless individual that people saw
but never knew

Schools like prisons,
Why does the media insist that students are model citizens?
The products of an ongoing conditioning process
That originally excluded Other, womyn, and (descendants of) immigrants

Remember violence.
Remember self-hatred.
Remember silence.
Remember to awaken.

No wonder...
Even the free-thinking are imprisoned
The free-spirited have clipped wings

No wonder..
Isolated students are like lost souls

What takes place in the university is no different from society
You have students with heightened sensitivities
You have steamroller ideologies
You have victims of a school/prison system
Wading in what feels like damnation

Education does not mean mind control
Voices are calling
Classroom violence happens so often
Access to weaponry, pulling the trigger
and being triggered
is a microcosm
of the fact that we haven't yet realized that
We. Have. A. Problem.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Valentine's Day Special

V-Day Games: (for other word nerds!)WORD DROP GAME

V-Day Book Recommendation: Read the book! See the Vagina Monologues at your local college/university!
V-Day Poem (by Ruby of iLL-Literacy):
And V-Day Music:

Provided by your favorite people: STRONG WOMYN



Friday, February 01, 2008

Obama-nation? Abomination?

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