So, recently my interest in poetry has grown a lot. And by a lot, I mean I’m filling up notebooks with them and I’ve entered the Poetry Jam at my high school, even though I’m absolutely petrified of talking in public. And I was talking to one of my teachers, and she suggested I post some of my stuff online and see what people think of it. So, here’re a few things I wrote back in April of this year.
The story behind this first poem? To make it short, a tiny Asian kid with an East Coast accent, Chinese mannerisms, a chip on their shoulder a mile wide, and who didn’t know when to shut the hell up didn’t really fit in anywhere. Not in Malaysia, and not in Florida. Especially not in the tiny suburban neighborhood I lived in that was filled with extremely xenophobic asshole parents, and their even more xenophobic asshole children. I got picked on for anything and everything, from my skin color to the shoes I wore to–yes, my eyes. Specifically, the fact that they used to be this weird, not-quite-hazel and not-quite-brown color. (They darkened.) But it was a weird eye color to have in a place populated with stereotypical blond-blue-eyed-and-pale-as-fuck kids, so I got some shit for it.
To all brown-eyed little girls who have to deal with assholes
I have spent a lifetime watching people getting
beaten down, and
by uncaring, insensitive, bullying shitbags.
And, frankly, I’ve had enough of this.
Because it blows my mind
That after all the years you’ve spent alive and breathing on this Earth,
Nobody’s ever bothered to take the time to tell you that
Your eyes aren’t fucking brown.
copper against honey and sage
sunlight shining through a glass of whiskey
ochre oil paint drying on a canvas
the very personification of the word “alive”
the color I call home, and
they’re the same shade as the earth under your mother’s flowerbeds after it rains.
But they are definitely not
So don’t you dare tell yourself that the bullies are right about your eyes. Don’t you dare tell yourself that they’re right about you.
You’re not as simple as they wanted you to be.
I am a bitter person and this is how I choose to embrace it. It could be worse, I could be out keying a car or something right now. But hey, here I am writing angry poetry. Speaking of poetry, this next one pretty much speaks for itself. No explanation needed.
Dear Me (also known as Jesus Christ I Fuck Up A Lot) (furthermore known as I’m Really Bad At Titles Someone Help Me)
Dear fiery, brave, little 13-year-old-self:
Being out-and-proud doesn’t mean all that you think it means.
You’ll lose friends (have lost them.)
You’ll get stares (have gotten them.)
And every time one of your queer friends who lives across the country is having a rough time, a little bit more of your heart is going to fracture for them.
But, you know, being out-and-proud has a good side too.
I know, I know, you’ve thought about this already. You already know (or think you know) what’s coming next in your life.
…Let me tell you, you have no idea.
When you come out to your (former, thank God) best friend, she’ll just want to know: “How did you learn what ‘pansexual’ means? Even I don’t know what that means! Are you sexually attracted to pans or something?”
…Yeah, it’s gonna hurt for a while. Brace yourself, because over the next part of your personal history, you’re going to keep getting reactions along that line.
And by along that line, I mean assholes.
But really, your life doesn’t suck that much. Not yet, from what I’ve experienced so far.
Because (and here’s what’s coming for you):
You’ll attend your first PRIDE.
You’ll get your first crush on a straight girl, and learn what it means when shit like that happens.
You’ll–accidentally–come out to everyone in your biology class.
You’ll (on purpose this time) come out to your freshman English class.
Because these are the continued misadventures of a not-so-straight, not-so-cis Asian kid in suburban Florida.
And god, are there going to be some weird-ass stories in here.
But the next time you try to work up the nerve to come out to someone in person,
Go with your gut. (I’ll bet you 10 bucks you’re going to like the results.)
So hey, if any of you guys’ve got something to say, comment! Even if it’s just yelling at my shitty-ass titles, I’ll take it. (My titles are seriously terrible, though, like jfc I reeeeally need to work on that.)