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"Words' Worth" Poetry Readings

Poets at the Culture, Arts, and Parks Committee of the Seattle City Council.

We Got Great Selection by Angela Martinez Dy

If i could pick one of every color,
i would.
If i could pick one of every color,
i would.
If i could pick just one of each color
and spin it, just kick it
to embrace one another
i would.
most d e f initely
i would because
i got makeup tips from a sweet girl who i'm sure
didn't mean to hurt when she said
that a black cherry color would look so cute
with your pale pale white skin.

as if i needed to be reminded
that quite often i don't fit in when it's
assumed that i'm half this or that
assumed before i got a chance to react
assumed that you know me better than i know myself
just because i don't have a mirror in my hand
doesn't mean i can't see what you see
doesn't mean i am not who i be:

with daily attacks on the abstract
i have come to terms with my culture and i
i have come to terms with my color and i
i have come to terms with
i
understand that yeah, it's natural to jump to conclusions
but do they really have to be vocalized
cuz though it may not have looked like i was paying attention,
i ... can hear you
can ... i hear you
let it be known that
even though it was supposed to be a compliment
it was still kinda weird
even though they were just curious
it was still really weird
to hear them ask my coworker
"Wow...what race is she? Do you know her nationality?"

i had half a mind to ask them right back
"Do you know how rude that is to me?
At least have the courtesy to wait till i'm out of earshot
or else ask me to my face
because i've dealt with that before
But what you did just now?
That was kinda weird."

and then they walked, and now they're gone
so i guess i can move on...

If i could pick one of every color,
I WOULD.

If i could pick one color to decide
the fate of a world
the words to create
a stigma of a mixed
or was that mixed-up ancestry
cuz there is no such thing as pure
well, not really
cuz the last time i checked,
miscegenation wasn't in fashion
but it happened anyway
like past discrimination is losing taste
cuz asian is in, baby
way, way in...

the asian persuasian is in.

as is obvious so check it with some buddha beads
and dragon prints and shirts with prints in KaNjI
so did i hear you say "what's kanji?

well didn't you know cuz the AsIaN pErSuAsIaN is in

and my dad was shopping with me and he looked surprised
then asked me as if to verify
"Honey, does this mean we're in style now?"

Yes, i guess.

we're in style now but pale
still isn't pretty

when people expect a pinay - Filipina - to be down
when people expect all pinays to be brown

which isn't always true.
as an example, take my case
with this paperwhite skin and the pinay
of my race
and i don't call out one part of me
to deny any others you see it's just that
this is what i know best
of what i have learned most
that is...

Filipinos Come
In Every Color.

because
FILIPINOS COME
IN EVERY COLOR.

last time i checked,
miscegenation
wasn't in fashion
but it happened anyway.

This page was last updated: January 8, 2000
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