Contributors * more photos to appear soon

Contributors * more photos to appear soon
Christy Namee Eriksen, kim thompson, Jon Schill

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Once Removed

Hello Thursdays! I am new to writing poetry and eager to learn and grow from being in community with each of you. I want to thank you for sharing your art and inviting me to be part of this project. I am sharing the piece that I started while living in MN, and continued to write as I begin learning Korean language while living in Korea. Thank you for giving me a space to share it. Peace and love~
기 화영
What good is half the story?

Told in tortured tongue, twisted and tamed.
Recoded Korean complete with English Talk function. 
Even she daydreams of songs I sung and sounds undone.
My first language once removed.

Case K85-160. 
Another non-native English speaker numbered and claimed. 
In two-world paradigm of white-normative worthiness.
Let’s call her Lori Jane.

I wanna blow up this “East meets West” bullshit--
That never let me beg the question:
How do I claim the class privilege that cost me my mother?
How do I hug her when she hid her white guilt in my humanity?

Can any of us consent in this time of capitalism?
Each person made product, produced by imperialist consumer culture. 
“Get your…bootless mail-order baby."
Easy addition to your four-person family equation.

I’m gonna pass on the long-winded rant about global white supremacy, dominant narratives of heteropatriarchy, and constructions of hegemonic masculinity...
But for now, let’s consider my desire: 
To talk to her, my birthmother once removed.

Three decades. 
Two continents. 
One ocean. 
I came all this way just to say “I love you,” to first mother once removed. 

Is it anything but injustice that when I hold her hand, 
I can’t tell her about my day. 
The friends I made at school today. 
The stories we shared over kimchi and rice, mystery meat, and baby fish soup.

To third mother now removed: 
Even “I love you” fails us when my brown skin betrays your good intentions. 
“I love you.” Three words held hostage by the histories of violence that I carry with me, each day, on this bruise called my back. 
“I love you.” English language on lease as long as I don’t call you racist.

This is my orphan love story. 
Crafted in American-made, Midwest English.
I am your bootless mail-order baby gone bad. 
Gone evil.

Raging against the capitalist machine.
Waking up the rebel sleeper force of overseas Korean adoptees. 
Calling all Yellow Devils! 
To reject our constricted status: language-less Korean learners when living in our motherland.

I want to learn at school today--
The other half of my story. 
Reclaiming Kee, Wha Yung!
Self-determined Asian American and deconstructed transnational adoption symptom.

1 comment:

  1. "How do I claim the class privilege that cost me my mother?"

    I'm not sure I can express how much this resonated with me.