竹升 jook-sing

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Jade Cho

 
 

thick bamboo pole[1]


(who are you?) hollow // water does not flow through me // in one end not out the other // disconnected from even this metaphor // i find my name in a wikipedia entry // a true 香蕉人[2] // something about being thick-headed // knock on skull // when 阿婆[3] speaks to me, i petrify // compendium of sounds, no definitions // see also, inherited silence // see also, i know the language of shame // once in a club in beijing i told two men i was a 坏人 huàirén[4]  instead of a 华人 huárén[5] // perhaps i meant to confess the sin of unknowing // 对不起[6], i’m sorry we plucked our tongues like weeds // i’m sorry i can only google translate my way home // the metaphor is that jook-sings are not part of either culture[7] // but we grow here, an empty forest // meaning, the water flows back to the source // meaning, even bamboo people ascend

 


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[1] zuk1 sing1 - an american-born chinese person who has little or no command of any chinese language

[2] xiāngjiāorén - banana person (yellow outside, white inside); an assimilated asian american

[3] āpó - granny

[4] huàirén - bad person

[5] huárén - ethnic chinese person

[6] duìbuqǐ - unworthy; to let down; i’m sorry

[7] Quoted from Wikipedia