Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Upon Reading a Patronizing Review of Ferlinghetti’s Delightful and Revelatory Entertainment, Little Boy

The only problem with the Proletariat
Is obeying the pretentious ***** that
Insist on calling us the Proletariat -

Resist their Insist!

For I will not be labeled by some artsy-crat
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.

Lawrence Hall’s vanity publications are available on as Kindle and on bits of dead tree:  The Road to Magdalena, Paleo-Hippies at Work and Play, Lady with a Dead Turtle, Don’t Forget Your Shoes and Grapes, Coffee and a Dead Alligator to Go, and Dispatches from the Colonial Office.
Charlie's Web Feb 13
How many times must my fists smack your stiffness until you soften?

I don’t want to use my fists, I’m not violent.
Even in defense, words raised to take the hardness,
silently, repeat, repeat.
Raised to repeat, repeat.
I never wanted to be violent.

I don’t want to use my fists, but your stiffness is contagious.
I don’t know how to look at you without them,
smacking every corner, separating hard shells.

I don’t want to use my fists.
my hands,
They’re raw and dry, too sanitized.
and my shell is colliding, oozing, fermenting
into juices of the berries you forbid.
I don’t want to use my fists anymore.
My hands want to open, softly.  
Sweet unfolding fingers
offer demons blessed darlings.
Janelle M Rivera Sep 2018
They told me I’m made in the image of God
But why do they tell me, “Stay out of the sun Janelle”
“Make sure you put on sunblock Janelle”
“Use papaya soap Janelle”
What kind of kingdom is this? It feels like hell
Scrubbing my skin
Pinching my nose
What hurts more
Is my deeply rooted self-hatred
I can’t shake it

Pinoy pride on our shirts
But underneath, white is all we strive to be
Home in the land of the free
Pinanganak sa Pilipinas
Lumaki sa America
Sino ka ba?

Ako? I’m proud to live in a place that
Stands for liberty & justice for all
I’m proud to be light-skinned
I’m proud to not sound like a FOB
I’m proud to live in such diversity
But turns out, I live in this hegemony
Sino ka ba?

Ako? I’m free
Free to play the game
My colonizers created
Free to assimilate
Assimilate to eradicate
My Filipina identity

Then Jesus swoops in to save me
Not like my colonizer, no
But as a Father who knows
And loves every part of me as I am, Fil-Am
Sino ka ba?

Ako? Ako ay anak ng Diyos
Binuhos niyang biyaya para sa akin
Para dumating ako sa puntong ito na
Maganda ako kasi Pilipina ako
Now I can see
The image of God
Redeemed in me
This was the first poem that I ever wrote. I had just returned from a six week mission trip in the Philippines where I had begun to further understand the lasting effects of U.S. imperialism and specifically,  how it affects our perception of self.  I was inspired by Ruby Ibarra’s work and I wanted to convey my process in fully accepting my Filipina American identity. Even in the midst of brokenness, I saw and continue to see the beauty of God’s healing and redemption in me and in the Filipino people.

— The End —