Sunday, June 12, 2016

When Will We

When will we not text "good night"
Will this really be the end?
I know I had stopped saying good night
Months ago

And I regret it now
It was childish
And stupid
And I wish I hadn't done that

To us
To you
To me

To start the day
To end the day

That's what I'm missing
Without you

I'm getting used to the silence
But the waves of sadness
Still come here and there

That there's an empty space
In the bed
And the things I used
To think were annoying

I miss
I admit it
I miss

Replacing Photos

image of two metal photo frames on a wall with black and white images of family and friends

The walls are bare
Random holes
Show injury
In the walls

Where his photos were
Not yours

The blank walls are
Empty canvases
For you to paint what you will
What you want

Your life
Not his

Looking through old frames
You have choices
To pick from
Black and white, metal, and color

So many choices
Good to have choices

The memories of togetherness
Cut and taped beneath a matte
Placed behind glass
And hung on walls of the past

Now you dust them off
Undue the tape

Going through your photo album
You carefully choose which ones
To print, to cut, to hang
These are the new images

For your space
Your life

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Crips and Queers Will Save Us All

I've spent a lot of my life in the queer community. Of course, personally. But also, professionally. A professional queer- we'd joke. How funny it is to be paid to be queer. But, that I was. Then, I was paid to be Asian American. That was a a good, but short gig - an interim position.

Now, I've been in the disability studies world for the past two years. I've gotten through a number of classes and attended as many disability cultural events I could. This past Friday, I co-organized a student disability studies conference. The new layer for me as a programmer was the accessibility. I knew it would be different, but I didn't know how different until the day came.

In the end, the conference was fine. The challenges we had weren't due to any accessible issues, but general technology crap. As I thought more about the day, I came to even better believe and understand, that the crips and queers will save us all. Without the academic theory- this is just a personal essay. Maybe in the future, this piece and my thoughts will be something more.

What Queerness Does

  • Explodes gender, gender identity, and gender expression
  • Redefines the idea of sexuality; that, sex is also not just for reproduction, but for pleasure; and, that pleasure is more than a vagina and penis
  • Reminds the community that we are "illegal" beings, until the law changes; that we are not full citizens, until we have a federal, non-discrimination act for housing, healthcare, and employment. Things are changing for sure. But, don't take for granted what marriage equality is; while others are still unemployed and homeless.
What Crip Does
  • Brings accessibility in all different ways - physically and cognitively. When doing the conference, we were mindful not only of the large print access copies, ASL interpreters, audio description, but also how others not familiar to the disability studies world could enter in a safe way.
  • It's about being inclusive. Otherwise, it sends the message that You, person X, aren't welcome. That you must change yourself to enter our world. It's on you, not us. This is not the way I want to operate.
There's so much more to say. If the "mainstream" society would behave the ways the crip and queer folks do... I know we'd have a much better world. It's my current world. If you want to be in it, I'll let you in.


I felt myself bubbling
like the percolator
I use to brew
My dark, black coffee

But I didn't have to
Plug the electric cord in
Something had already
Set me off; something that he did

I knew I had to get out of there
Or I was going to explode
With shards of nail bits
In his skin, eyes, and clothing

All he had to do
Was the laundry today
That's it
He rarely is ever asked much more

And he doesn't even have a job anymore
Same story

I'm so mad at him
At myself
That the day before
The divorce this is the stress on my

I left him a note saying,
Do whatever with the laundry
I'm not waiting for it to dry
For me to change it

I feel the anger
In my shoulders
Between and in
The muscles that meet my neck

I'm probably still mad
At him when he almost
Killed himself
How could he let me know?

He knew that I'd
Try and stop him
Wait up for him
Call the police on him

He said it was - selfish
Fuck yeah it was selfish
That he wouldn't even wait
Until we were divorced

That I'd have his debt
I wasn't going to be a widower
Divorce me first, I asked
Just wait a few more days

Then, find the train
Drink yourself down the hole
I fucking don't care
And won't be responsible

These are harsh words
I rarely say
But you've made me get
To this point

So, fuck you
I can't wait until you're gone.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Mis-gendering in Indiana

black, leather men's wallet image

There's two things I can count on in life. No - not death and taxes. The mis-gendering that happens to me in Indiana and Indian restaurants (read: "Thank you, sir!).

Yes, I have a shaved head.
Yes, I often wear pants and dark colors.
Yes, I have a small chest.
Yes, I carry a men's wallet.

But, to me on the inside, I still feel like I look like a woman. So, it just makes me laugh - at least now it does. Maybe a few years ago it didn't. And maybe if I didn't have a good support system, I'd be devastated.

I'm an Asian American woman who has a shaved head and mostly wears pants.

I just don't see such a big deal?

We know that with one's gender expression, then many people take the leap into sexual orientation. That if you're a gender non-conforming, female (cis or trans), you're assumed to be lesbian.

Keep this shit separate, people. One does not equal the other.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

When WE becomes ME

In block typeset letters, the word "we" is in gray metal

The WE is falling down the hill
as it falls the E turns circles as the W
rolls to try and catch up
sometimes it's EW and sometimes it's WE

What happens when a WE dissolves
and the W turns to an M
which then makes ME
from the plural to singular

It's been a WE situation for nearly 11 years
a rocky one but a good one too
I went from an I to a ME to a WE
But sometimes lost myself too

He would sometimes ask me
What order I put - me, him, and us
I would put us first, then, him, and me
ME last

I know better now
I know better that it has to be ME
Then, us
Then, him

He knew this already
And at times I was angry about
Him putting himself first
How dare he

I didn't want ME first
for him
but at least
put us first

I'm sad not to be a WE
I know there's a lot of social capital
that comes with a

But I'm also just sad
not to have the spouse
and partner I thought I was going to have
for the rest of my life

As the letters continue to fall and roll
I hope they'll land softly and unbroken

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

There's always more

the word more is in white letters on a black background and written three times and stacked on top of each other

I didn't think we could be
more further apart
but we are

the small things
not saying "good night"
to each other

I used to pull
the light cord
and, you'd come and hear it

now, the metal chain
is yanked down
I turn on my side to sleep

I've always slept
on my right side
I didn't mean to sleep
away from you

I've slept on the left side
of the bed
and I've still faced outward

sometimes I've been afraid
that you're going to
accidentally hit me in the night
you don't sleep as calmly as

I do

I can't sleep
on my stomach like
you do

you still invite me to eat
your cooking
but I'm not
eating meat so much

so that isn't shared

we can still be
in the same bed
but be worlds apart

people can be worlds apart
and still feel like
they're facing each other

that's love