Ignorance, time freeze, and turtle ships

When ignorance is presented to you
in its glorious dumbfounded form,
your body jerks still in sudden fury
in its attempt to fight back,
show your beautiful strength,
your warrior glory,
but what really happens
is that you stumble
in a weak feeble flail
of a defensive comeback.

Now wouldn’t it be nice
if we can stop time
for infuriating moments like these,
play out ALL the possibilities,
see which one is the most satisfying,
choose the one that is most gratifying.

So here’s an example,
an example that occurred to me
where a simple, unassuming man,
a white thick accented French man,
came up to me while I was filling gas
and presented a Confucius style bow
in his earnest attempt
to get me moving
so he can fulfill his own needs quicker
(even though there was an empty gas pump
RIGHT NEXT TO HIM).

Confused by his bow,
I ask him disappointingly
why the bow was necessary
and he responds by bowing AGAIN
and demands that I just move my car.

As my blood boils to popping,
TIME FREEZE.

I calm down,
collect the forces of Patience and Love,
and gently tell him
there is a nearby gas pump he can use
and that I will be done shortly.

REWIND.

I do absolutely nothing
and just stand there.

REWIND.

I curse like a soggy pirate gangsta
and make him scamper away.

REWIND.

I go straight into his face
and yell like a deranged banshee.

REWIND.

I go straight into his face
and PUNCH IT,
call upon my spiritual ancestors
with their gigantic turtle ships,
bulldoze his helpless self with their mass,
smother overly spiced kimchi on his eyes,
and then do some taekwondo shit
over his still quivering body.

Now if only I can pull off the last option,
it would’ve been magnificent!

But if I had a choice,
I wish I can instill in him
an instant clear understanding
that ignorant shit like that
puts a damper on my struggle,
for I am
not some Oriental pushover,
not some apathetic exotic stereotype,
but a normal human being.

So what choice did I choose?
I went for the soggy pirate gangsta
and made that motherfucker scamper off to his car!
That’s right, you just fucked with the wrong Asian!

I AM KOREAN AMERICAN

There was a time when being Korean American
was the equivalent of having an identity crisis,
torn between my Korean heritage
and my American upbringing.
There was a time when being Korean American
was the equivalent of being in hell,
burned alive by the flames of self-hatred.

Whenever I saw a Korean,
I saw nothing worth liking.
I saw narrow-minded bigots,
I saw unhappy repressed families
uncontrollable raging fathers
silent terrified mothers
I saw myself,
a kid sitting in his room alone,
attempting to cut himself with his Swiss army knife
because he thinks being Korean is a pathetic sin.

And then on April 16th, 2007,
I saw Cho Seung-Hui.

As I delved deep into his life
I saw him,
his rage intertwined with mine
and I became consumed with despair.

When the South Korean government
apologized for Cho’s actions
I became terrified that this rage I possess
was inherent in all Korean men,
our cursed heritage the formula for
ticking time bombs waiting to go off.

But as I approached the blurred edge
between us
I came to realize
that my rage didn’t come from
the world,
white people,
or other Koreans
but it came from my own father,
the man who I never understood.

So I confronted this fact for the first time in my life
and discovered the roots of my father’s upbringing,
discovered the love that he always had for me
which could only be expressed with his fists
and never through loving embrace.

With this knowledge,
self-hatred left me
with a silent goodbye
and walked off with Cho.

With nothing to keep me down
I found the beauty
in learning to love myself
so I can live out my life
and I can give my love
to the people around me.

I found the beauty
in knowing
that I have a choice
in how I want my story to be told
I can be ashamed of my ugly past
I can be ashamed of being Korean
and inflict in on the world
inflict it on myself
or I can accept it
and let it be told
let something ugly within myself
be turned into something beautiful.

And yes,
I don’t know the language,
I don’t get the culture,
I don’t quite fit in,
but it doesn’t matter anymore.

Because what I do get are
the little things in life.

I love how there is no food that can
satisfy my stomach
like some good ol’ jjangjjangmyun
where I get into a primal frenzy
and devour the noodles without fully swallowing
get that black soy bean sauce splattered all over my mouth
and I lick it all up like a hyperactive puppy.

I love how I can unleash my inner diva
in a light frenzy noraebang
and use my voice as a vessel of chaos
and dance my ass off in sheer ecstatic nonsense.

I love how when I look at these fine Korean sistas
I just go
Damn,
What’s your name?

I love how I can sit so peacefully
surrounded by my family
hear their chatters and feel their excitement
smell my grandma’s blissful home cooking
and although I don’t understand a word they’re saying
I know I can feel content
and just
Be.

I love how I can finally be proud of my Korean heritage
the heritage that I once despised.
No longer do I see myself
as a loser,
an outcast
a victim.

Instead
I see a fighter,
a lover,
a champion.

For I am a Korean
I am an American
I am Korean American.

A Rant against the Asian Community

What I am about to say next
will come off as a pissed off rant
but I say all of this out of love,
as fucking crazy as that sounds
so I must make it clear
that despite these harsh words
it does not mean
I hate my Asian community
no, I love them
like I love my family
but like my family
they drive me fucking crazy
and because of that,
I need to get this negative shit off my chest
and hold nothing back.

If they don’t like me
or they hate me because of
what I have to say now
at least I was being honest
to say what I need to say
to take the step forward
and let it be known.

So here goes:

I’m sick of my fellow Asian artists who think they’re hotshots
just because they won some Asian lifetime achievement awards
was featured in some minor guest role in a Hollywood movie
performed at some community event with lots of other Asian people
and let it get to their heads that they actually made it
and can treat me like shit because of their “success”
“Success” my ass, you’re just a big fish swimming in a shitty little pond
so get off your mighty high Asian horse
before I knock you down from it.

I’m sick of my fellow Asian activists who are so holier than thou
married to their pride in how expressive and opinionated they are
that when I disagree with them
they look at me as if I’m sort of traitor or an uneducated fool
motherfucker, I don’t give a shit what you think
or how much more bullshit you may think you know
you’re just a human like me and you’re not any more enlightened
so wipe that smug progressive condescending look off your face.

I’m sick of my Asian elder folks
who think that just because I’m young
they have the right to be patronizing
tell me that I have not seen the world
or that I don’t know my Asian American history
I may be young
and I may have a lot to learn
but you being older doesn’t necessarily make you smarter
it just makes you old
so don’t you dare try to pat me on my head
and tell me that I don’t know shit
because I am going to bite your hand if it gets near me.

I’m sick of my Asian peers
who constantly try to shut me up
telling me that I’m rocking the boat
for making too much noise or attention
chastise me for being too serious
that I need to take these humiliating Asian jokes
like they’re the best things in the world
I’m incredulous that they are so
ignorant of where they are standing on their two feet
wake the fuck up, will you?
open your eyes and realize that you’re not white
nor will you ever pass off as white
so stop pretending you are
and dismiss your own cultural heritage
just so you can get a white person to like you better.

But ultimately, I’m sick of my Asian community in general
who don’t even understand what Asian really means
that Asia isn’t just yellow people, it’s all of Asia
and yes that includes Desis and Iranians!
We’re somehow really good at bickering amongst ourselves
with Asian this and Asian that
afraid to let our model minority stereotype go
afraid to criticize our own people
because we’re afraid that we will hurt their feelings
okay seriously, where do you think growth comes from
if it isn’t for honesty?
we are so incubated within ourselves
that I feel like I’m being suffocated by my own roots
and while it is important
to remember where one comes from
let me bring in a lame simile and use trees
because trees, the ones that make it,
reach their magnificent heights
because they go through adversity
and go through all sorts of changes
as a result of their struggle,
they GROW.

Okay.
I’m done ranting now.

An Open Letter to the Goddess of Asian American Art

To my dear beloved Goddess,

I just want to make it clear
that I have the utmost respect for you
and sincere appreciation for your beauty.

Because of you, thousands have dared
to express themselves openly,
reveal their souls and demons,
and challenged the expectations of society
to be something more than
doctors, lawyers, and accountants.

For that, I love you
and will always love you.

But I must be frank with
what I must say next
and if I hurt your feelings,
it is not my intention to do so
so please listen to what I have to say
because it is only out of love that I say this:

As beautiful as you are,
I feel your beauty does not truly shine
for you have many followers
who create art in your name
but fail to put their heart & soul into it;
they declare their devotion to you
only because of your origins
and not because of your divinity.

But the worst part of it all
is that you encourage them to do so
because you don’t want to hurt their feelings
for you are far too gentle and concerned.

I know our community is few and small
but if we are to truly excel in this world
we cannot succeed in our mission
of spreading the Word
when the Word stays trapped amongst us
and coated with insincerity and false praises.

Your followers declare me a heretic
for they believe I am calling you a cheap whore
but I say only what I am saying now
not out of malice or spite
but out of honesty and love
because it is I
I who have true love
that will have the courage
to speak my thoughts openly.

I say this to you
because I believe your beauty
can shine just as brightly
amongst all the Gods & Goddesses
that you are kin with,
because I believe you do not
need to be pitied
or looked down upon
but stand tall with your head held high
this can only happen when you have
the courage and the resolve
to uphold a standard that we
we as Asian Americans
must work hard to achieve
and be open to all forms of criticism.

Despite my harsh words,
know that you are my muse
who saved my life
when you extended your
gentle soft hand to pull me
out of the darkness

Remember that I am
and always will be
one of your most devoted
and honest
followers.

The blues over Korean Girls

Korean girls, you’re so goddamn hot
but why ya’ll such a difficult lot?
I just want to ask you for a dance
but you look at me as if I got no chance.

Am I such a bore, an unseeming disgrace?
Is there a huge hairy spider on my face?

Oh Korean girls, how you taunt me so
you make a man like me feel so low
I do my best and be courageously bold
but ya’ll are just too damn icy cold.

A perspective of hatred against Muslims

Muslims,
they got no place in our country
Our red, white, and blue
our home
our haven.

These Muslims
these towel heads
these savages
these motherfuckers

They all deserve to die
don’t tell me that it’s only Al-Qaeda
I’m not going to listen to that
it’s their religion
something is wrong
with their religion
to create all these
suicide bombers
women stoners
emotionless monsters.

Do you see the news of what their religion preaches?
these news tells me Jihad is their holy struggle
their holy struggle to kill us all
to kill in the name of their Allah
but I don’t need the news to tell me
why my mother isn’t here with me.

Did you see the footage of the people
jumping off the burning towers?
My mother was one of those people
Muslims were responsible for this
for my mother to take the plunge
that would smash her body into bloody pulp
this is my proof that Muslims are monsters.

Don’t bring up any comparisons
that Christians have their own violent sects
that lynched, killed, and burned
countless Jews, blacks, Asians
over a span of hundreds of years
my mother wasn’t killed by Christians
they were killed by Muslims
and that is all there is to know.

Don’t bring up any attempts
to convince me that there is a deeper meaning
to what Jihad truly means
it doesn’t matter
my mother was killed by their Jihad
and that is all there is to know.

Don’t tell me that these Muslims
are people just like me
feel pain just like me
cry just like me
love just like me
laugh just like me
the more I can blame them
for the reason
why my mother isn’t here right now
the better I can feel about myself
comfort in my own hatred
and that is all there is to know.

That is all there is to know.

Black & Asian Lovin’

To be absolutely honest
the hottest interracial rmance
in my personal, humble opinion
is with
an Asian man
and
a Black woman.

Hot.

Some say this is an unlikely combination
I say it’s the perfect combination
if what they say is true
Black men shun Black women for white
Asian women shun Asian men for white
then you get two sexy yet lonely people
with mutual woes
who need some lovin’
who got a whole lotta lovin’
and you get

Hot.

You also get the most
awesome word in the world:
BLASIAN.

Blasian sounds like a superhero
a sexy, smooth powerful superhero
capable of demolishing
racism,
sexism,
homophobia,
global warming,
and
the Tea Party.

Okay I know that sounds crazy as hell
but wouldn’t that be just so swell?