10 Reasons to Lie to A Man Who Loves You
1) You’ve lied your whole life to stay alive, for as long as you can remember, and now your mouth is not sure how to shape the truth
2) The only thing you know for certain about the truth is that it has hurt you. People have hurt you for telling the truth.
3)You are afraid that the truth will hurt him. Fundamentally, you are afraid that you are a hurtful person.
4) Because he would kill you if he knew.
5) Because he would leave you if he knew.
6) Because you are not sure there is a difference between those two things.
7) You would have to admit that you do not know who you are without him. You are afraid that if you start looking for the answer, you will not like what you find.
8) You have always secretly thought that you are a selfish, ungrateful person, and telling the truth is a selfish, ungrateful thing. So, of course, is lying. You are selfish and ungrateful either way, and there is no way out.
9) You are afraid that he would stop loving you if you knew who you really were.
10) You are even more afraid that he would keep on loving you, and this thought shatters you, because you don’t believe, have never believed, that this is what you deserve.
October 13, 2014 at 2:00pm
there is nothing worse for poetry
and nothing better for politics
or is it
no, i don’t know the meaning
of my chinese name
(which, having given up my english one some years
i am more inclined to think of
as simply, you know, my name).
i do not know where it comes from,
and i forgot the characters some decades ago.
funny you should ask,
the pronunciation of its syllables,
worn down by burble of time,
and the chattering clumsiness
of anglophone teeth,
has eroded and warped beneath the years;
even my family does not remember really
how to properly say my name,
in the jaws of the world it is, like the ancestors from whom it derives,
a memory in constant re-creation, a xerox copy
growing more blurred with each reprise.
sometimes i dream that the motherland
has come to visit and she does not know what
to call me,
according to chinese legend, i suppose this means
that i am not eligible to die,
i would be turned away from the gates of the underworld
because the bureaucrats who preside over the Land of the Dead
would not know who to write down in their ledger of souls.
i am instead destined to wander
this earth for the rest of eternity, searching for my meaning;
i am told that in chinese we have a term for this:
'hungry ghost' - which incidentally is the same word
we use for white people -
i like that. hungry ghost. i think perhaps
there is such a thing as being hungry without
is the hunger that unlocks you.
that hurts you to set you free.
i feel it when you ask me what my name is,
i close my eyes before i answer,
and there the ancestors are,
climbing up walls of my throat with their fingernails,
clawing their way out of my mouth.
October 12, 2014 at 11:05pm
a stupid man,
a selfish man,
a cruel man,
a fucked up man,
a cowardly man,
a narcissistic man,
a man who will never grow up,
sooner or later,
one by one,
you will break your rules
for them all.
because you are a stupid child,
a selfish child,
a cruel child,
a fucked up child,
a cowardly child,
a narcissistic child,
and someday, sooner or later,
you will grow up.
will outgrow them all.
September 27, 2014 at 2:40am
you need to learn the difference
between what you got
and what you deserved.
someday this knowledge
will save your life.
eve was no fool,
she knew what waited for her outside the garden.
and she wanted it.
because everyone’s paradise
is someone else’s prison,
and free will’s a funny thing when
doing the wrong thing is the only thing
that leads to liberation.
and because sometimes,
September 17, 2014 at 7:00pm
give me that
Great Wide Somewhere
September 11, 2014 at 12:41am
my father’s hands are rough and calloused
from years of physical labour /
from kitchens, and shovels / from farm fields and logging camps.
mine are soft and delicate /
quick to type essays / tickle pianos /write poetry.
i’m home from university / he shakes my hand
palms pressed together /
i feel the distance (of oceans and eons, that’s all) /
i invoke you, living spirits of the now
i call on your bodies: skin, flesh, blood, and bone,
young people of colour,
i see you,
i sing you,
i say your names,
i summon you,
wake up up up up up up up up up,
rise up up up up up up
time to step from the shadows into the light
time to raise your arms and join in the fight
time to open old wounds and set blood to right
time to unite
drive out white
supremacy from this land,
ideals from our minds,
hands from our buttocks & breasts
boots from our throats,
young people of colour,
do honour to our ancestors,
their power and pride,
do honour to the voices
that still whisper inside,
young people of colour
wake up up up up up up up
rise up up up up up up up
drive the imperialist dream out of your mind,
your ancestors died still dreaming of this time,
someone stole your names from you lands from you voices from you
stories from you tongues from you time from you they took your
beauty from you youth from you stole your body from you pride from
young people of colour i see you,
i sing you,
i summon you,
i say your names: Indigenous, Black, Asian, Brown,
i need your strength,
i need your sound,
i need your stories,
i need your sight,
i need your skin, flesh, blood, and bone,
young people of colour, i invoke you,
living spirits of the now,
we are the revolution,
we are already here.
September 10, 2014 at 12:48am
you are afraid your heart will stop if you stop working,
(your father once had three jobs and tried to keep it a secret from you)
you are afraid that you will stop if you stop working,
(he didn’t want you to worry, but you noticed he was never home. the lines growing across his face. the way his eyes never seemed to focus anymore)
you are afraid you won’t know who you are
if you stop running.
(your mother worked and went to school and cried and worked and went to school and cried and all you were was a lazy, selfish child. spoiled spoiled spoiled, that’s what you were.)
you have forgotten the difference
you can no longer distinguish
between what you are doing
and where you are going.
you cannot explain the difference
(your father told you once that there were only two important things in life: family and money. in that order)
the white man tells you: love what you do,
because he wants you to work
(your ancestors worked their hands to bone, their bones to stone, to blow holes in the sides of mountains, dreaming of a child who would not have to work so hard)
he wants you to work and be grateful and grovel for more.
your ancestors say:
love who you are. do what you must.
love who you are. remember us.