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By Debbie Hu
oh ghost of double-headed neglected sunflower... are you arching your spine towards this literally splendiferous sunrise, are you inclining your double ghost heads, so proud
now I live with a white boy named chris chris told me about the sunflower that used to be in our garden it grew two heads that were too heavy, eventually for the stem, and it fell over
are you sunflower ghost hearing these squawks and those white trucks w/ the funny oversized barrels on their side in the back sunflower ghost, what are those trucks for? may I at least be as long-winded towards you as allen ginsberg? what are your feelings about chris
i liked him when he was telling me about you sunflower ghost but yeah he is a fucking racist
bahhh i don't feel like weighing him on the scales of justice my poor scales they are as stiff and sore as my 24 year old back that still remembers a time when it didn't ache constantly
bluhhh sunflower am i leaning on you too hard when i say metaphorically that i thought i'd be happier with a second head but
I think so much now it might be breaking my back.
I can't help but see the contortions of my thought, sometimes, as the writhings of a trauma that refuses to quite harden into knowledge i can't wait until i am done writhing so i can get back to the business at hand (so what is the business at hand)
i'm in new zealand & i'm scared to ask myself why because i think if i were to answer truthfully it would take a long time
& that might be boring
& it would also involve me saying calmly, but with a frequency that might feel like "hysteria"
THEY WERE FUCKING RACISTS. THEY WERE RACIST. THAT'S RACIST.
one year ago dick jokingly says to a person of color (not me) "you're so racist!" because the person of color has been bringing up race all night & i say, "dick, what does 'racist' mean to you?" Dick fixes me with his precisely intelligent good-at-cunnilingus head, says, in his culturally relevant white American voice, "'racist' means, trying to be funny, and almost funny, but not that funny." i laughed. oh that's funny that you got the last word dick because i think that might be my definition of "asian-american woman writing poetry on the internet"
i don't know why i ever wanted dick's head to grow next to my head but now he's there and i'm sore between the shoulderblades because i sit and stare at my twitter interface, stoned for hours at a time without taking a break or stretching, or if i'm at home, i sit in bed under covers huddled over my iPad wearing a hat and scarf & read about race & read about tarot & masturbate & play videogames & drink tea & procrastinate peeing & get high & think thoughts about race & say the ones that i think are interesting or relevant or funny or something because i have 567 twitter followers & i'm terrified of displeasing them becuase i think some of them are amazing and i don't want to waste their time etc. & you know i'm like bernadette mayer, so fucking verbal, like i could just sit and spit thoughts at you for like days straight without ever running out of things to say unless i'm afraid of offending or displeasing you or making you mad or bored or being repetitive
blehhh i should go stretch but i'm a paranoid mess rn i have sensitive skin it keeps breaking out in hives i don't like that line because it feels like an overly cheesy metaphor but i also like the metaphor and also i feel like i should let myself say whatever i want since white supremacy never let me be who i am but guhhh here i am with 2 heads again trying to soak up that sun
"ahhh you know white people, they can't even go outside without catching a disease that's why they stay inside wearing SPF 500 with their computer shorts" - Himanshu
& i think it alienates me when white feminists don't feel the punctum of race not that it's productive to complain & you know, there are always mitigating factors, etc. which i walk around weighing with my two heads but yeah,
i don't know how to talk about race and feminism
i feel stuck in the gunk of racism and sexism all day long and so
i empathize with feminism, but i don't think it often empathizes with me & other woc
and maybe this is so bourgeois to be like demanding a politics of empathy but it sucks and i do feel it driving a second wall between my white comrades and me i think they might say, "it's driving a wall" but there was always a first wall they never paid attention to so for me, it's driving a second wall but maybe the second wall is good, if it makes the first wall more visible? but the first wall was never really a wall, more a block //
though there are also other identity-blocks, other structural identity experiences I haven’t experienced & it’s hard not to make it me-against-the-world & it’s hard to see our struggles as related but I’m staying up not eating because I’m so scared to be so ugly but I feel like if I keep being a presence then the world will stop being so alien to us eventually & I believe words are like ghosts & that every word you say in a room Makes that room more haunted by you Maybe helps you live in it By fixating on whiteness, I feel as though I'm making a block into a blockage or is it making a block into a blockade or is it me writing stubbornly unbeautiful poetry after sunrise and before breakfast congratulating myself for getting out of bed i'm trying not to be sorry i'm trying not to say sorry but as an "empowered" woman of color feminist i need someone to fucking be sorry and until you say you're really sorry and you mean it i will alternate between hating you, hating myself for making it an issue, feeling tempted to say i'm sorry so you'll say it back, feeling righteousness w/ wounded ego, not getting out of bed,
and trying to get over it
Debbie Hu is from the U.S. and China, and is currently studying in New Zealand. Her work has been published in hoax, Mrs. Maybe, Moonroot, and Everyday Genius. Her chapbook, Airy Baby, is being released soon from Perfect Lovers Press. She can be contacted at @debbiehu or [email protected].