Creative Writing

Jazz Kiang is a fourth year undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Asian American Studies. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Campus Retention Committee and has previously advocated for Asian American student issues as a former director of the Asian Pacific Coalition.

 

Title: (Still) Untitled

I’m capable of anything

Nas’ imagination gave me wings to fly like doves

Not over streets

But over ringing campus bells that have hooked my opposing gaze

 

You walk past me

Like invisible spirits of a Miyazaki movie

Only introducing yourself when the sun conveniently sets its bright gaze

 

You are class privilege

And a passerby I may never meet in public

 

Because somehow

We wish sunsets to suspend themselves even at the cost of someone else’s sunrise

 

Because somehow

Proposition 209 has shepherded our minds back into Plato’s caves of individualism

 

Because somehow

Our radical imaginations have yet to improve the silenced poverty of our peers

 

Pass onto me your bravery

So I can bypass the hurdles of insecurity that you once used to grapple with

Because somehow

My wallet has bought into this too

 

You are the Burberry fabric I wrap like a noose around my neck

Lauded for beauty but really just a hanging execution by European bourgeoisie

 

You are the inferno Nikes I trudge in

Splashing muddy ignorance of the needled hands that Asian children half my age “just do it” with

 

You are the jasmine scent from 20-pound bags of Buddha brand rice

The choice of life without deserts of only high fructose corn syrup

 

You are the sea breeze during the walk to the ATM every first day of the month

Spotify Premium in headphones deaf to the clangs of nickels grandparents trade bottles for

 

You are class privilege

And the self-proclaimed progressives have tried to hide you

 

I’m capable of nothing

If my imagination passes without these wings

 

You are class privilege

And I have you

By Jenny Huang, Andrew Lopez, Jazz Kiang, Tiffany Guo, Daniel Kim and Gensei Kawahara

“Unanswered”

We speak for equality

Destroy the patriarchy

Power in the world

Opposing sides of a coin

Are we heads or tails?

We were the unheard

They laughed when we tried to join

But we cannot fail

A tail has no voice

As a penny on the floor

But still holds value

If given the choice

Would we still want to look down

Or have a new view?

We remove our veils

The potential to be both

While being the heads

We will be the tails

We have all of the power

We stand as the end

We speak for equality

Destroy the patriarchy

Patriarchy isn’t colorblind

Women of color haven’t been recognized

They say women got the right to vote in 1920

White, brown, black, and yellow women were of plenty

Yet suffrage wasn’t meant for women of the working class

Just the ones with white fences and green grass

Feminism says that we’re women so together we stand

But how come you won’t hold my pigmented hand?

We’re all in this fight equally

Stand up to the hetero, cis, white, man, the bully

We speak for equality

Destroy the patriarchy

Not a single cut more,

distress and pain galore.

Our hearts have bled,

ouch!

but look we have never fled.

Not a second more,

tick tock!

time to act in valor.

Join us in alliance

Fight!

rebel and rise up in defiance.

The movement feels rough during tough times,

But ten pennies weigh more than a dime

Don’t get lost in sorrow,

heads up!

there will still be a tomorrow.

Where should we find an answer for equality?

Shoulder-to-shoulder,

march,

show them who is bolder.

No, it’s not provocative,

look in the mirror,

It’s our prerogative.

Icons last forever in patriarchal memory

But the real lions are women in our families

Grace Lee Boggs, Nobuko Miyamoto, Yuri Kochiyama

Their legacies are more than just periods and commas

We speak for equality

Destroy the patriarchy

To the dear someone who might want to be my friend,

The first thing you must do is forget that I’m Chinese.

Second, you must never forget that I’m Chinese.

(As much as I’d like to), no, I don’t play five instruments. I do, however, enjoy and sing Disney songs in the shower.

Yes, I highly value studying, learning, and working. I list them as priorities. It’s not because Confucius said so—it’s the simplest way to become empowered. But why yes, I would love to attend that social gathering (i.e. party) with you next week Friday.

And, if the Chinese and U.S. governments finally flip out against each other and enter into World War III, please don’t go Red Scare on me and scream“Communist!” at me. The term has done nothing wrong to deserve such an unjustified negative connotation.

Lastly, if you decide that I’m a suitable friend candidate, don’t wear your masks. True beauty lies within. As consolation for ever having to read my terrible writing, I now offer a lifelong term of genuine friendship.

P.S. If you felt déjà vu while reading this… my hint is Pat Parker.

Not yet yours, but sincerely,

Lucy

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