Compare and ContrastIts one of those moments
That I want to spontaneously combust
When my mother
Or my relatives says
Your cousin got a job at a bank.
Your cousin got straight As
Your brother is in a relationship.
Your cousin always dresses nice
All of them said,
Why cant you?
Gee, I can feel my self-esteem dropping
Like a 1929 stock market,
Making me feel like a black mutt
In little pet store
Full of pretty purebred puppies
Breed to look good,
Behave and obey,
And show off by their owners
To their other owners
And their dogs,
Especially, the ones with the black sheepdogs
My dog has the finest coat.
My dog can obey every command.
My dog won Best in Show.
My dog has purebred puppies.
What does your dog do?
TwinkiesIm a Twinkie,
And made in the USA,
In a shelf
Full of mooncakes,
Like a room full of white sheep
With one who feels
Like a black lamb on the inside.
I didnt speak the same language
As my other relatives
Or speak to my parents,
They glare at me,
Thinking of me as a freak.
Presenting: The American Brat!
Watch her like any other American citizen
And have American friends
And have American boyfriends
Have to think for herself
And doesnt give a damn about her familys reputation.
I am back in the shelves,
Looking like any other pastry,
Even though I stick out like
Twinkie in shelf-full of mooncakes
The BlockThe world is dead at three in the morning
My creativity is counting on me as a writer
My desert eyes stared at the dustbowl screen
My brain is a big white room
I can hear my thoughts echoing
The blank screen in front of me leaves a trail of letters
Its my name and Untitled
My forehead made contact with the edge of my desk
Now, my brain is filled with cement
Surrounded by a barrier made of lead
The leg of my desk is being beaten by my right foot
My chin sat on left hand
My back pressed against the chair
Time for a break, for the umpteenth time
My eyes wandered to a photograph
My friend, the boy next door
My friends nose is a popup book
His nose like a plasma HDTV
My mind triggers his musk
His height makes me feel like a child
His hair is gelled into a death trap
His body is a mustang
His body also is a greyhound
I open my eyes
My screen is occupied with words
How did that get in there?
My Father in 1969My father walked with his comrade on the road
In the tropic heat, His dark charcoal hair clung to his neck like wet stamps
They were silent as they were strangers
Muted by the blood-stained events they feared
On the road, they see women in white long dresses formed into second skin
Clasping their hands into a silent pray
They see a group of old men in rags looked as they passed by
Putting an chimera-like animal over a fire for food
My father was there to teach men how to fight
More like boys, like him
But my father ever thought of was the safety of my mother in Saigon
A city of people who are bruised by the enemies who looked like themselves
Made in AmericaI was made in America
Not in Vietnam like a Tahari suit
I was manufactured in America
From the idea to the finished product
In the sweaty summer night of 1984
My brother was away with friends
Mother put on Chanel No. 5 and nothing else
It spoke, I want you
Mother look at Father and she remember
He was the soldier who yanked her into the haven of a helicopter
Escaping the jungle stained with sangria blood
Escaping the yellow men with guns
Mother wanted another child
A little living doll with Fathers face
Their own American-made imp running around the house
With no fear of the veiled bombs in the ground
By morning, Father was gone to work
Mother put her hand on her stomach
And waiting for the freedom she felt for herself and her child
Nine months and ten days of no napalm or evil men in brown suits
The Portrait of MichaelHere comes the Ice Cream Man!
I go to him on my bad days
I go to him on my good days
He is Red Bull
He is Pop Rocks
He is Oz
Hes one in the afternoon
When the day is clear, bright and blue like his eyes
His skin is French vanilla
Skin is chocolate-chip cookie dough
Skin felt like fresh linen
His scent of oriental wood and oranges
His voice sounds like a spider monkey
Sounds still in puberty at twenty-two
His hair felt like a six month old puppy
Hair is like chocolate
He is my punching bag
Im his quilt
I always can talk to him about everything
Open to him like a naked pervert with a trench-coat
Minus the slapping, hissing and the kicking in the face
And the heavy burden of guilt blowing up in my face
I will always invest my emotions with him
With no sign of a depression
He came to my life like a soda jerk
Added, Altered, shaken, turning into a whole new me
We come, left and come again together as if were cowboys
Fondly, secretly, frequently and eating pudding
Saving Face or Saving YourselfWhat if I tell my family that Im dating a non-Chinese man?
They glare at me if I have a bloody A on my breast,
Or will act like a troubled Tevye and disown me,
They will chase after me like Im a re-animated monster.
They want me to date a Chinese man,
Not Japanese or Korean, but Chinese,
All for the sake of cultural purity,
Gee, why is that borderline racist?
From time to time my non-Chinese friends ask me, Why is it matter?
I froze as I pause for a little while,
I want to say Everything. But thats not enough.
How can explain this concept of face to them?
That I have to avoid the mark of shame to get their love.
Talk softy, marry early, have kids, youre a woman; its your duty to be a good wife.
I have to obey these demands,
All for the sake of saving my familys reputation and not for the sake of my own heart.
All for the sake of not being shun by my family despite being the Stepford daughter for decades