Poems that encapsulate the various emotions of anger, pride, sadness, and wonder of Asian youth through the interplay of words and rhythm.
mezgilsiz ayaz/мезгілсіз аяз (tran. neverending frost)
“it’s been January for months in both directions frost” - Kaveh Akbar
“limerence” is a poem revolving around concepts of loss, deception, and unrequited love. The saying, “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” is ultimately true. There are millions of people who crowd this earth, each with different traits, personalities, and attributes to offer. Throughout the poem, the narrator cannot help but be engulfed by the astonishing nature of the ocean – and the many fish in the sea – referring to the saying discussed previously. There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but none of them are the narrator’s first love, someone who does not feel the same way. Burning love quickly turns into a searing hatred, and the narrator attempts, desperately, to find someone who mimics the essence of the one they truly desire.
It sounds a little mundane, but I want to try to turn a few moments at the barber into something significant. I cut my hair short, which was a complete shock to my mom. Rooted in tradition, I realized that she feared me. She feared that I looked like a boy, that I looked "queer." Something irrevocably changed, and it goes beyond hair. This piece will describe that moment before the snips, and what they mean for my relationship with my mom.
松柏后凋 (The pine and the cypress are the last to wither)
“Chengyu” are typically four character Chinese proverbs that have stories tied to them. I grew up learning and memorizing them during Saturday Chinese school classes, and always loved how each character contributed to the meaning of the whole. This one, Song Bai Hou Diao, is roughly translated into the pine and the cypress are the last to wither, symbolizing one’s resilience through rough times.
she is mortal
though perhaps, the gift of life
is its fleetingness;
perhaps it is our mortality that is most beautiful
老鬼 (Old Ghost)
This piece experiments with memory and the concept of epigenetic memory, where memory is passed though generation.
these lies will keep you alive
for a night or maybe two
until the seeds disperse along the settled soil
that will soon be the grave of your burden.
the rain is afraid of you too.
in this monsoon, the climate is scared in the way of something that’s changing too quickly. where our hands tear its hair out and it spins out of control.
it is breaking down.
and we are tearing it apart.
50 Ways to Be a Woman: Written by a Man
Don’t play video games. We all know it’s for male attention.
Have hobbies other than doing your hair and makeup. Women are so shallow.
Don’t obsess over stupid stuff like Twilight or BTS or Taylor Swift, it’s really embarrassing.
Our strides are parallel. The clouds
are as white as hanboks,
and we are shocked
by the insanity of breathing.
Flower Gardeners Of War
How could one expect any type
of floriculture to flourish in such
insomnia with my coffee
my belongings strewn carelessly
across my bed, my shrine,
sprout eyes at night,
watchfully gazing over my feverish stupor,
and upon my wake,
their unspoken taunts follow me
and marry themselves into my morning coffee.