Posted by 水仙 on Nov 22, 2022

i've been sitting on this poem since june 15th, 2022.

i wrote it from 02:19am to 03:05am that night.

i've been avoiding reality lately;

on purpose

reality is terrifying.

i don't usually sit on things i write for this long, on purpose.

but i've been avoiding reality lately.

do my words even mean anything anymore?

The same themes reappear:
- Don't ghost suicidal people.
- Capitalism sucks.
- "déjeme decirle, a riesgo de parecer ridículo, que la revolucionarie verdadere está guiado por grandes sentimientos de amor." — che guevara {*i changed the genders a little}. this quote, perhaps worded slightly differently en español, stared at me on the walls of a vegan diner in berkeley after i graduated university in 2011. it's probably (hopefully) still there. i used to repeat those words to myself, even though i haven't been able to finish books very much since 2011. yeah, i physically can't read. so sue me, ableist/classist "leftists". (*please don't, actually — you have much more money than i do, after all)

I didn't used to hesitate to "press publish".

When I used to have big breakdowns, I would write endlessly. Hundreds and thousands of texts, to the same person. Always, always men.








or so said my twitter bio temporarily, in early 2016, before i planned to kill myself.

maybe that should just apply to everything i publish from now on.

*yeah, i agree.*



[ poem start — june 15th, 2022 ]

usameriKKKans love easy answers.

or is it, that, "people" do...?

i've been living here for so long that i don't think i could make any claims about understanding any other country that well, anymore.

people don't want to believe that you can't recover from "mental illness".

people don't want to believe that you can try to attempt suicide multiple times in one month, and that there isn't an easy answer to "fix" that:

5150 them.


usameriKKKans are afraid of grief.


and so am i.

but my entire body is made of grief —

and yet, still, i avoid it.


people don't want to believe that you can go to therapy twice a week
take those "mood stabilizers" every single day
go to a good, kind, free, covered by state-poor-people-insurance therapist, every week for a year and a half
and still feel suicidal and depressed every. single. waking. moment. of your life.
from awakening to falling asleep through being asleep in nightmares.

people don't understand how painful it is.
if they did, they wouldn't hesitate to help in the ways that they agreed to help you in.
if they did, they wouldn't say "that sounds really lonely. i know someone else who's had a similar experience of feeling suicidal constantly. maybe i should connect you two." and then never do, even six months after they drive you to the ER and after they see you scream and throw up on their floor and after they know you didn't sleep for an entire week straight, at *all*.

i so wish life could be so easy.
that a body that has experienced violence could just heal the way that a minor accidental cut does.

but when it is another human who willfully slices in the wound — what then?



but then,
Why do I persist?


I was going to write about the poem "Good Bones" on the 6th anniversary of the Pulse shooting, which was June 12th, 2022.*

**i thought it would be easier. i was wrong. i'm always wrong — no i'm not.*

i remember what happened the next day, after the Pulse shooting.

the next day, my temporary roommate, a kind white woman, versus other shitty white and POGM "left-leaning" and queerish roommates i've had over the years —

that month, i learned what a Tenants' Union was.
I learned it the same month that my roommate told me her friend in the Seattle Tenants' Union killed themself because they couldn't afford their rent anymore.

i think that person was an immigrant of colour.

my roommate mentioned their friend's suicide the day after the Pulse shooting.


You could make this place beautiful, Maggie Smith wrote.

i'm angry about everything.
i remember the first time i wrote publicly about how angry i was as an adult.
it was january 2012.

but i remember the first time i wrote publicly about how angry i was, before i was an adult.
it was, like, 2003.


"You could make this place beautiful."

Maggie Smith is a white woman. the person who posted the poem on twitter in june 2016 was a white woman. i remember this.

when researching the poem a little while thinking about writing about the poem, (i did not plan this post, i do not plan most of my posts, especially if they're posts i wrote in 2022), the articles kept calling "Good Bones" a "viral poem that was published and went viral shortly after the Pulse shooting".

a "viral poem".

> Smith feels proud of her poem’s popularity, of course, but also a little conflicted.

“It’s a weird thing,” she says, “to have your poem’s success, and in turn your success, be tied to something that is shared because things are terrible.”

And even though "Good Bones" was published in the summer of 2016, Smith had actually written it a year previous, and she wasn’t thinking about world events at all.

She was thinking about her family.

“It was a poem written from the point of one mother feeling anxious about how to raise kids, and explain a world to them that is as wonderful as it is terrible,” says Smith. "How to keep the worst parts from them while they’re young, while not lying to them.’’ 


"You could make this place beautiful."


So why am I still here?

Because I read white women write poetry and wonder why it is less painful for me to read than to read most other non-Black non-Indigenous asians' poetry and know that they were not steeped in the same trauma I was.

None of them have been. At least there are no pretenses with the white women.

comrade [redacted] and i talked about it recently.
i was lamenting about the asian-usameriKKKan trope of writing about how "everybody used to bully me for my food at school! now they love it, grr white people!

it's literally so overdone that multiple people have written articles with literally the exact same premise."

"Most of those asian-usameriKKKan writers are writing for whites to read," they [who is also asian-usameriKKKan] said.

Trauma porn. Trauma clowning for the whites. Who are we writing for? Are you fetishizing yourself?

And I agreed with what they said. And that made me feel better. And it made sense to me.


white girls and boys used to bully me and call me ugly.
My chinese parents also used to bully me and make me feel ugly.
As an adult, whites fetishize me... but wait.
They fetishized me when I was a kid, too.
Nothing has changed.
I still feel ugly, no matter how I look on the outside.

What is "desireable" mean to you?


Everybody used to bully me and say I was ugly
and then white boys at a hackathon weekend in seattle in early 2014 who probably secretly still wanted to fuck me, still told me nobody liked me.*

*edit, november 21st, 2022* — in retrospect — i reflected upon this recently — this white dude probably told me that "nobody liked me" that day, because it was a make-a-[video-]game weekend hack-a-thon, and we were supposed to make games about a "social issue", and they (a different "team") had a horrifically inhumane idea involving Unhoused people that i told them that they shouldn't do.

and also, bc i was the only non-male PGM there, and also one of the few non-male people either way.

Nothing has changed.

The white kids are still bullying the asian kids about their food.

I'm not sorry, but I hate these memes.

Meme: "an element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other nongenetic means."

It's a meme, and I hate it.


I despise most people. Or, at least, I say I do.
I am extremely, extremely "Mentally Ill".
Does it scare you?


I don't know what Mad means yet, and i want to learn more before i call myself Mad.


i find it impossible to be dishonest about myself.
i have tried, for the last 6.5+ years, to hide myself again, very actively, to the point where i don't even know who i am anymore.

what was the point of this?

Oh yeah.

Good. Bones.


Can you follow my train of thought?
Because I can't.


Why can't i just be chaotic?

i wrote something critiquing white women personal essays recently, specifically the white woman's personal essay where she critiqued other white women personal essays lol. and it was a disorganized post with timeskips, going all over the place, and i asked myself, if i wanted to keep it public.

Why can't i just be chaotic?

if so-and-so famous person is allowed to be chaotic bc everybody thinks he's a genius, why can't *i* be chaotic?

*edit, november 22nd, 2022* — also, men are allowed to be chaotic. people who look like me, are not.

because i am TOO chaotic. i am so chaotic it scares people. i crossed over from "chaotic enough to be fun and exciting and sexy" to "so chaotic you scare me."

do i want to be chaotic?
honestly, oftentimes, inside, i just feel like a quiet, depressed, serious person.
calm anger,
critically analyzing everything.


I think
that i am not writing essays to attain a degree.
if i am chaotic
when i write something
perhaps it's a poem, perhaps it's just chaos,
to me
if i do a time-skipping mash of sources and opinion
it's essay
it's art


but i did want to talk about Good bones, and i'm afraid that i've lost the thread on that. well, *i* know where the thread is, but i'm not sure you do.
do you?


I learned what a Tenants' Union was, on June 13th, 2016, the day after the Pulse shooting. My new roommate, temporary of only a little over a month, was grieving both the shooting, and the fact that her friend from the Seattle Tenants' Union, an immigrant of colour, killed themself because they couldn't afford their rent anymore.


That's it.
That's the poem.


I wonder if I will ever be able to write something that's not about how oppressive systems are crushing us *all*.

I think that if I did, I would be denying reality. And they say I'M the cr*zy one.


"Good Bones" has been the oldest image on my camera roll for a long time, since I saved it, apparently on July 18th, 2016.
I wiped my phone after I turned 26 years old in a psych prison to which I voluntarily went.


"Good Bones"
by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.


i showed this poem to my sister that summer. that was the last year i really spoke to my sister. her child was almost five years old.

"this poem is depressing," she said dismissively.


i wanted to write about another piece of art (a quote that is basically a poem) that has carried me, also written by a white woman, but illustrated by a japanese-usameriKKKan woman (? i think). i saw the comic (but had read the quote in spring 2016, i think. or... *sometime*) during the second week of march 2020. which, you know, was the start of lockdown (i hate that word. i usually say "quarantine", but really, they mean different things. i think of "lockdown" as implying that businesses are locked down. whereas, "quarantine" sounds like it's about individual humans... or units of humans... *pods*...), at least in seattle.

but i think i can maybe split up the hope this time.


you could make this place beautiful.



rest in paradise...

Daniel Aston.
Kelly Loving.
Ashley Paugh.
Derrick Rump.
Raymond Green Vance.

november 19th, 2022.

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